Saturday, October 22, 2016

25 Facts for Your Election Night Party

With the election just over two weeks away, it's worth getting ready for your election night party, and what better way to do that than by spouting off some wonderful trivia about the two candidates (and the two vice presidential nominees) at your party to sound super smart and politically-informed.  Here are 25 bon mots you can throw out there depending on how the night goes...

If Hillary Clinton Wins...

1. Everyone knows Clinton is the first woman to be elected president, but in an interesting twist is she's actually beating the woman who currently has received the most votes for president of the United States, Dr. Jill Stein, who was the Green Party candidate in 2012 and received 469,000 votes that year (a number Clinton has almost certainly already bested even as of today thanks to early voting and absentees).
2. Hillary Clinton will become the first non-incumbent Democrat to succeed another Democratic president since Martin van Buren in 1836.  While other Democrats have come close (notably Hubert Humphrey in 1968 and Al Gore in 2000), no Democrat has accomplished what Clinton is going to do in over 150 years.  For comparison sake, the last time this happened was before Queen Victoria had even begun to reign in England.
3. Hillary Clinton is the first former occupant of the White House to become president.  While John Quincy Adams and George W. Bush both had fathers that were president, they were both adults by the time that their dads had become POTUS, so they weren't permanent residents of the White House.
4. Hillary Clinton is the second president to be born with a last name different from the one she will be inaugurated with; her husband Bill Clinton, is the first as he was born William Jefferson Blythe, Jr.
5. Hillary Clinton would mark only the third time since the enactment of the 17th Amendment that two presidents will have served together in the US Senate (both she and President Obama served in the Senate together from 2005-2008).  The other times were from 1950-53 (when future-Presidents Nixon and Johnson served together) and 1953-61(when future-Presidents Kennedy and Johnson  served together).

If Donald Trump Wins...

1. Donald Trump would become the oldest person ever to become president, being 238 days older than Ronald Reagan when he first took the Oath of Office in 1981.
2. Trump would become the first president in American history to be elected without any sort of political or military background.  Four other presidents have won the White House without any sort of elected background, but three of them (Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower) were high-ranking generals, and the fourth (Herbert Hoover) was Secretary of Commerce.
3. Trump would become the first president since Gerald Ford to enter the White House undefeated electorally.  Jimmy Carter was defeated for governor in 1966, Ronald Reagan lost the Republican nomination in 1968/1976, George HW Bush lost the GOP nomination in 1980 as well as two Senate elections, Bill Clinton lost a House race in 1974 as well as reelection as governor in 1980, George W. Bush lost a House race in 1978, and Barack Obama lost a House primary in 2000.  Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2008 Democratic Primary means this streak would continue if she were elected.
4. Melania Trump would become the first foreign-born First Lady since Louisa Adams, who was born in London.  Donald Trump would be the only president in United States history to have been married three times in his lifetime; he'd be the seventh to be married more than once after John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Ronald Reagan.
5. Trump's win would officially mean that University of Pennsylvania would become the fifth Ivy League school to have a president as a graduate of the school.  Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale have all hosted presidents, meaning that over 50% of the Ivy League would have presidential graduates.  It's worth noting that William Henry Harrison did attend Penn for medical school, but didn't complete his studies.

If Tim Kaine Wins...

1. Tim Kaine will become the first Vice President to have ever served on a City Council.  While other Vice Presidents (Spiro Agnew, Joe Biden) have served in county-level positions, he will become the first veep to ever be a city councilman.
2. Kaine will become the first person since the passage of the 17th amendment to be both a governor and a senator prior to being elected Vice President.
3. Tim Kaine will continue a long tradition of Democratic Vice Presidents being senators.  Every Democratic vice president since 1945 (Henry Wallace) has been a sitting US Senator.  It's worth noting that every presidential cycle has seen the Democratic convention nominate a senator since 1940 save one (1984, where Rep. Geraldine Ferraro was the nominee).
4. Tim Kaine's wife Anne Holton would become the first Second Lady to have kept her maiden name upon getting married.  She is the daughter of former Republican Governor of Virginia Linwood Holton.
5. Anne Holton would become the fifth consecutive Second Lady to hold a Masters-level degree.  Marilyn Quayle, like Holton, was an attorney, Tipper Gore has a Masters in Psychology, Lynne Cheney has a Master of Arts degree, and Jill Biden has a doctorate in Education.  This also holds true if Karen Pence is elected, as she has a Masters in Education.

If Mike Pence Wins...

1. Pence will become the fourth consecutive Republican Vice President to have served in the United States House of Representatives, coming after George HW Bush, Dan Quayle, and Dick Cheney.
2. Indiana has a strangely long history of vice presidents, second only to New York-Pence would be the sixth vice president from the state, the most recent being Dan Quayle.  It's worth noting that the only president who is from Indiana (Benjamin Harrison) never served as Vice President.
3. While his running mate has never lost an election, Mike Pence actually failed in his first two runs for Congress, only successfully winning in 2000.
4. Republicans playing the long count on number of vice presidents can breathe a sigh of relief if Pence wins.  Currently there have been 20 different Republican vice presidents, and 18 different Democratic vice presidents (thanks in large part to the late 19th Century, when Republicans dominated the White House).  The presidential numbers will still remain favoring the GOP, since it's currently 18-15 in that regard.
5. Mike Pence's wife Karen is 231 days older than him; should her husband be elected, Karen Pence will be the first Second Lady since Pat Nixon to be older than her husband.  It's worth noting that Joe Biden's first wife Neilia was older than him, but died before he took office.

Evan McMullin
Depending on How the Night Progresses...

1. Ohio has correctly aligned with every presidential victor since 1960, a feat all the more incredible when the next longest streak for a state is Florida, which has called it right since 1992.  If polls are correct that Trump wins Ohio, but loses the White House, it will be only the third time the Buckeye State has gone against the nation in over 100 years.
2. Since the passage of the 17th amendment, North Carolina has only once voted for one party for the White House and then a second party for the Senate (in 1968, with Vice President Nixon and Senator Sam Ervin splitting the vote).  If aggregate polling is right, this could be the second if Clinton/Sen. Richard Burr both win.
3. Regardless of who wins, the presidential daughter streak will continue-every president since Dwight Eisenhower has had at least one daughter (Chelsea Clinton for the Democrats, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump for the Republicans).  It's worth noting that if Donald Trump wins, however, that it will be the first time that a president has had a son since George HW Bush.
4. Should Evan McMullin successfully win the state of Utah and its six electoral votes, he will become the first third-party candidate to win the popular vote of a state since 1968, when Alabama Governor George Wallace won five states in the South.  In fact, only four men since 1900 have won a state's popular/electoral college votes as a third-party candidate: Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 (who made it close enough he actually beat the Republican candidate nationwide, winning 20 states), Bob LaFollette (a favorite son similar to McMullin, winning in Wisconsin in 1924), Strom Thurmond in 1948 (remember that, Trent Lott?), and Wallace.  Considering one of those men was a former president, one a senator, and two incumbent governors, McMullin would be the least established third-party candidate to win an electoral vote in American history.  Should McMullin (or any of the candidates) win the state with less than 32.1% of the vote, that would be a record for the lowest percentage of the vote to still win a state (currently held by Woodrow Wilson in Idaho in 1912).
5. If Utah does vote for McMullin, it will end their 12-cycle run of voting for the Republican nominee.  The all-time record for most consecutive cycles for the Republicans is held by Vermont (27-cycles), which is not at any risk of changing, but the current record is a nine state tie between Utah, Alaska, Idaho, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.  Recent polls have shown Alaska and Utah quite close in the polls, so they could give more room to the other seven states in their quest to take out Vermont.  The Democratic side seems unlikely to flip, as Minnesota seems assured to vote for Hillary Clinton, moving them up to 11-straight cycles of backing the Democrat (Georgia has the all-time record at 24).

There you go-any other election-related trivia?  Share it in the comments!

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