Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Barack Obama is the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to win twice with 51% of the vote. While this is certainly true, framing Obama’s win with that headline overlooks Ronald Reagan’s wins in 1980 and 1984.
In 1980, Reagan knocked off an an incumbent by taking 50.8 % of the vote — with a third-party candidate in the race, to boot. In his re-election bid, President Reagan handily defeated Walter Mondale, taking 58.8% of the vote.
So yes, technically, Obama is the first president since the country liked Ike to win with 51% of the vote, but even the current President would probably admit that Reagan’s wins are more impressive.