11 Interesting Facts about the Presidential Election

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For the next few days there is likely to be little other news than that of the US Presidential Election.  Whilst obviously having no direct impact on the UK the decisions voters make across the ocean will doubtless be felt here nonetheless.

Speedy thought it might take the opportunity to discover some interesting facts about what has been billed as “the most important election in any of our lifetimes”. 

 

1.     Pretty significantly for this election Hillary Clinton is the first woman to clinch the nomination for a major party. But the first woman to run for president was Victoria Woodhull, leader of the Suffragette movement in the US, in 1872 – almost 50 years before women were allowed to vote in presidential elections (1920).

 

2.     At 70, Donald Trump would be the oldest candidate to be elected as a first-term president. Ronald Reagan was 69 when he won his first term, and 73 when he won for the second time.

 

3.     Mr Trump would be one of the tallest: he is 6ft3. Abraham Lincoln is considered the tallest at 6ft4.

 

4.     Mr Reagan is the only divorced man to be elected president. Mr Trump, twice divorced and currently married to Melania, would be the second.

 

5.     A candidate has lost the election after winning the popular vote four times. The last was Al Gore versus George W Bush in 2000. The others are: Grover Cleveland in 1888; Samuel Tilden in 1876; and Andrew Jackson in 1824.

 

6.     The twitter handle @POTUS, which has more than 11 million followers, will be made available to the new president on 20 January. It will retain its followers but start with no tweets on the timeline.

 

7.     The sums of money required for a Presidential bid are phenomenal. Mrs Clinton has raised $1,068.1m and Mr Trump raised $512.2m

 

8.     The first of three TV debates between Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump was watched by a record 84 million people.

 

9.     The State to watch out for come election night is Ohio which has voted for the winner at every election. The one exception? In 1960 when it went for Mr Nixon instead of JFK. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.

 

10. The Democratic Party started using the donkey as their symbol in the 19th century, when Andrew Jackson was the nominee (1828). His opponent called him a “jack***” and Mr Jackson started using it on campaign posters. Influential political cartoonist Thomas Nast then started using it regularly in his cartoons.

 

11. In 1948 The Chicago Daily ran a front-page that mistakenly declared Thomas Dewey the winner over incumbent president Harry Truman. A beaming Mr Truman famously held the Dewey Defeats Truman” front page at a victory appearance.

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