Sunday, May 11, 2008

Can someone please define "landslide"?

Call Polprint a cynical, hope-busting pundit. But she has read one too many articles about Obama's "landslide" victory over Clinton in North Carolina last week. The latest culprit was a Week in Review piece in today's New York Times, about how Democrats can win back the South (highly unpersuasive on the presidential front, incidentally).

Is 56-42 really a landslide? Polprint has vivid memories of her first encounter with political landslide: Ronald Reagan's trouncing of Walter Mondale in 1984. OK, so Reagan won the popular vote 59-41, by just four points more than Obama did in North Carolina. But he swept 49 of 50 states, so "landslide" may be more apt for his electoral-college victory.

Clinton actually seems to be the one gearing up for a landslide: she's ahead 66-23 in West Virginia, according to the latest poll. We'll see how the press describes her victory. (Polprint has a sneaking suspicion that "landslide" is chiefly a term of coronation, and mostly applies when expectations are exceeded.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A landslide is basically a lopsided result, where one candidate will have a bigger margin in percentage of win, and or electoral college vote.