The 2016 Presidential Election and Historical Comparisons


Everyone is making comparisons between the 2016 presidential election and other presidential election in American history.  I have also been doing plenty of this here at the blog (including my last post about George Wallace).

Historical analogies are never perfect. But we can learn from them, even if it only reminds that, for the most part, there is nothing new under the sun.

Here are few analogies I have seen:

Election of 1800:  I have pointed to this video to remind people that the mudslinging we are seeing in this campaign is not new.  I have also referred to this election to show that politicians have been using religion in presidential campaigns for a long time.

Election of 1824:  I recently wrote a piece about Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts about Andrew Jackson.  Most historians who are interested in comparing Donald Trump to Andrew Jackson also reference this election.

Election of 1912:  Historians have been referencing this election in the context of the possibility of the GOP rejecting Trump at its July convention.  In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was rejected by the Republican Party and responded to the rejection by forming the Bull Moose Party.  Some say Trump could do something similar if he does not get the nomination in Cleveland.

Election of 1964:  Political historians have compared the conservative extremism of both Trump and Ted Cruz to Barry Goldwater.

Election of 1968:  Some historians have compared Donald Trump to George Wallace.

What other presidential election comparisons have you seen?

5 thoughts on “The 2016 Presidential Election and Historical Comparisons

  1. I am comparing it to 1964 at the moment. If there is a contested GOP convention and Trump goes in with the most delegates, but does not get the nomination, then I would reevaluate the comparison because he will almost certainly make a third party run. There are still quite a few primaries to go and it is possible that the GOP manages to get another candidate to the convention with enough delegates to win on the first ballot. So this is not over yet. I do think though that if Trump does not get the nomination at a contested convention where he has more delegates than any other candidate going in, he will make a third party run.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I were certain of my students, I’d point out the question asked about presidents in general, not POTUS.

    To which I would imply POTUS was to be inferred by the examples.

    { and Hitler ran against Hindenburg in 1932 ;p }


Comments are closed.