Sure, Obama won twice with 51% of vote, but Reagan’s wins are still more impressive

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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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.