This is an article about ranking presidents by their electoral college success. It is NOT a comment about how good they were once they got the job. The top five in electoral success order are:
- FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: It’s not close. FDR won four times in four tries, a feat that will never be matched because of the term limit amendment. In 1932, he ran against an incumbent who had won nearly every state four years earlier; FDR changed the map from one color to another in four years. Throw in a defeat as a vice-presidential candidate in 1928, and Roosevelt is clearly the champ.
- RICHARD NIXON: I wasn’t exactly proud to list Nixon at #2, but facts is facts. Nixon had two wins out of three and the loss was a contested election to Kennedy. Top that off with two wins as Ike’s VP, and you’ve got a resume. In two straight elections, Nixon increased the Republican’s share of the popular vote by 20% each time. They lost by 22% in 1964, the year before he ran. Then, they won by 1% in 1968 and by 23% in 1972. Nobody else can make that claim.
- RONALD REAGAN: I know you want Reagan to be first or second, but no. This is a hard list to get to the top of, though, so be proud of Ronnie nonetheless. Two massive landslides and a coattail win for his vice president four years after that.
- ANDREW JACKSON: Won the popular vote three times in a row, losing one of those in the only time the vote went to congress.
Ryil Adamson is the author of “The Best-Looking One Always Wins,” which is the premiere book on presidential elections. You should read it.