No matter how the presidential race turns out, the nation is in an historic period of bitter partisanship. Only one period in US history witnessed such an extended collection of closely contested elections. America is tuning into the golden oldie era of the ’80s-the 1880s. American politics has returned to the Gilded Age.
We can see this most prominently with the presidential elections. The 20th Century witnessed blowouts in both the Popular Vote and the Electoral College. The winner in 11 of the 21 elections from 1900 through 1984 saw one candidate score a higher than 10 percent margin of the popular vote. Five of them, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, managed to win by 20 percent.
Since Ronald Reagan’s crushing victory in 1984, no president has topped 8.5 percent. The result is that Barack Obama‘s 2008 triumph, seen today as a blowout was only 7.3 percent. This is by far the largest vic