In 2000, I voted for the incumbent vice president, and somehow believed and thought he would win. I voted the day of the election and of course had no idea that the outcome would not be revealed until December 13, 2000. I don't know why I thought he'd win, even though the popular vote would support my notion that Al Gore was more popular among the electorate than the actual winner, Governor George Bush of Texas. I should've known better since only 4 incumbent vice presidents have won a presidential election. At that point in 2000, Vice President George Bush was the first incumbent vice president to win since Martin Van Buren in 1936. Notice I used the Bush's titles to differentiate them rather than their middle initials. Of course, had Gore used more of President Bill Clinton and simply won his own home state he'd have won the election.
Historically, with the exception of Samuel Tilden, the person that won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote, returned 4 years later and defeated the president elected simply by the Electoral College. Andrew Jackson had the most votes in 1824, but John Quincy Adams was eventually elected president by the House of Representatives because neither candidate had a majority in the Electoral college. President Grover Cleveland won the popular vote in 1888, but Benjamin Harrison won the Electoral College. Four years later, former president Cleveland defeated President Harrison in a rematch. In 2004, Gore joined Tilden by not running again against the man that lost the popular vote but won the presidency. Most likely, Gore didn't run in '04 because Bush was a wartime president and no Democrat was going to beat him. If you asked me on September 10, 2001, if Gore were to run in '04, I'd say he would win. But if you asked me on September 12, 2001, in a post-9/11 America, I'd tell you that Bush would win reelection. I predicted it on that tragic day and proof that Bush was unbeatable is that Gore didn't run and the other most popular Democrat, Hillary Clinton, didn't run. Sure she was a first term U.S. Senator from New York, but in 2002 she was considered a front-runner for the presidential nomination on the Democratic side. But she knew, like Gore did, that she'd lose to a popular wartime president. Called it!
If you follow President Bush's ratings from 9/11, you'll see he has the highest approval rating since his father after the Gulf War. But if you follow those numbers they go down, and a chart would show that if the election of 2004 were in December the president would probably lose. And his poll numbers just kept going down from there. So by 2008, there was no way a Republican could win the presidency. The presidential election of 2008 was pretty much determined during the 2008 Democratic primary/caucus elections between then-senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Once Obama won the nomination it was clear that he'd be winner in November.
As I write this and explain my justifications for the '04 an '08 election predictions, the evidence for reelection was so clear. Since Obama's election in 2008, I've predicted his reelection. As Election Day approaches, it looks like 2012 will be another 2004, 1976, or a 1968 to name a few close elections. But I've always thought that he was unbeatable, maybe it's like my vote for Clinton in '96 and Gore in '00, but the evidence for his reelection is there. The Republicans in 2012 nominated Mitt Romney out of a field that included fringe candidates and the lone logical candidate in Jon Huntsman, and he got no love whereas all those others scared Romney at least once by out polling him. In 2012, the Republicans had to choose a candidate out of the B-team (I don't think B-team is right, maybe Z-team), the no-love-candidate Jon Huntsman, and Etch A Sketch Mitt Romney. The A-Team of the Republican Party didn't show up, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, and Jeb Bush, to name a few. Jeb Bush at least had his last name as a reason not run.
My prediction of Obama's '12 victory was confirmed by the A-Team GOPers skipping the race because they knew they couldn't defeat a popular president like Obama, just like Gore and Hillary skipping '04. Now if I am wrong, I'll admit it and those A-Team GOPers will be upset that they didn't step up. If I am wrong, I'll still predict that a President Romney will win reelection in 2016, because the economy will be better in the 2013-2017 presidential term and that president will get the credit. Meaning a President Romney will win reelection or President Obama will be able anoint his successor whether that's Vice President Joe Biden, probably-by-then former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or some other popular Democrat in four years, just like President Theodore Roosevelt did with William Howard Taft in 1908 or Ronald Reagan with Vice President Bush in 1988. Had Gore relied more on the popular Clinton, he too would have received the love of a popular outgoing incumbent. But Gore felt the Lewinsky scandal should not touch him, even though Clinton was popular post-impeachment and more so as an outgoing POTUS.
I don't see my 2012 prediction being wrong, although in the days leading up to election night I'm reminded of the days before 2000. I'm probably questioning myself because of all the articles I read that say how close the election is, or how friends or comments-online-people declaring a Romney landslide victory. I just wonder where are they getting their info since they bash any poll that says Obama will win. Obama's reelection will not just be the first for someone of African ancestry, but also the first time that 3 presidents have been reelected back-to-back since James Monroe succeeded James Madison in 1816 and Madison succeeded Thomas Jefferson in 1808. I'm sure the 57th U.S. Presidential Election will result in the reelection of the 44th President of the United States and 47th Vice President. Why is it the 57th election and 44th POTUS and 47 VPOTUS? That sounds like that can be a pointless presidential pfact, which is probably better than this pointless presidential 'pinion.