History Stands Against the Idea of Incumbent President Losing but His Party Gaining House Seats


In order to accept the current 2020 election results, one must also believe that Donald Trump was pretty much the only incumbent president in U.S. history to lose his re-election bid while his own party gained seats in the House of Representatives.

The Republican Party has flipped at least nine seats and perhaps more.

Meanwhile, Trump garnered 9.7 million more votes than 2016 (72.7 million versus almost 63 million), yet currently is losing in the Electoral College count.

By the way, Trump’s vote tally is the most garnered by any presidential candidate in U.S. history, with the exception of Joe Biden’s 78 million.

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Biden actually outperformed Barack Obama’s 2012 total in Philadelphia by over 23,000 votes. The city is 44 percent African-American.

The former vice president topped him in the state overall too, by 500,000 votes: approximately 3.4 million to Obama’s 2.9 million. A half a million votes is quite a leap in a state that only has 12.8 million people total.

Biden also outperformed Obama in Michigan by 200,000: 2.8 million to Obama 2.6 million.

By way of comparison, Biden and Obama garnered essentially the same number of votes in Wisconsin in their respective elections, 1.6 million.

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Lawsuits have been filed in both Pennsylvania and Michigan alleging foul play in the tallying of votes.

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio believes “something doesn’t feel right” about the presidential election results.

“The same people who told us you could trust the Steele dossier are now telling us you can trust the results of this election,” Jordan told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

“I think people in Pennsylvania and people across the country … know something doesn’t feel right here,” the lawmaker added.

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“The president got 9 million more votes this time than he did four years ago and yet he comes up short even though we gained seats in the House of Representatives. Something doesn’t feel right,” Jordan reiterated.

Of course, incumbents rarely lose, and when they do, with one exception in American history I’ve been able to find, their party doesn’t gain seats.

In 1980, Republicans saw a net gain of 34 seats in the House with Ronald Reagan’s win over incumbent Jimmy Carter.

When Reagan won re-election in 1984, the GOP picked up another 14 seats.

In 2012, Democrats grabbed an additional eight seats when Obama won re-election.

The only example of an incumbent president losing and his party gaining seats is 1992, nine of them to be exact.

In that election, Democrat Bill Clinton defeated Republican George H.W. Bush; however, Clinton won with just 43 percent of the vote, due to Ross Perot being in the race as an independent candidate.

In other words, the conservative vote, or at least the right-of-center vote, actually won the majority of the electorate.

Does any of this mean that Democratic shenanigans are to blame? That’s not clear.

Republicans flipped seats in places as diverse as California, New York, New Mexico, Florida and Oklahoma, suggesting the Trump train was helping pull candidates to victory.

Are there hundreds of thousands of voters out there who chose Biden at the top of the ticket and the Republican House candidate down-ballot?

Trump garnered a 95 percent approval rating among Republicans in the weeks leading up to the election, so it’s not like there is a large population of NeverTrump GOP voters.

It could be the independents doing split-ballot voting.

Maybe it’s all just an anomaly shaped by COVID and Trump’s “love him or hate him” personality, but it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at before certifying the winner of the race.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith