History Against McCain Winning Third Term for GOP

Ruling party has only increased share of popular vote once since 1928
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2008 4:10 PM CDT
In this 1924 black-and-white file photo, Franklin D. Roosevelt swims in the pool at Warm Springs, Ga. where he went to regain his health following a polio attack.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In all six elections since 1928 in which one party had 8 consecutive years in the White House, the incumbent party lost popular vote ground; in four, Americans voted for change. That's bad news for John McCain, Robert David Sullivan writes in the Boston Globe, because George Bush only won 50.7% of the national popular vote in 2004.

More specifically, Sullivan says, it’s the poorer, more rural and Western areas that have snubbed incumbents. If McCain wants to use history as a guide, he should “compensate for any Western losses by tapping into the ‘don't change horses’ feeling that often shows up in places like Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania”—“wealthier areas” happier to hold the status quo.