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Political Pursuit

By George Weber
Sunday, October 24, 2004; Page B04

What's a presidential election without a presidential election quiz? That would be about as much fun as watching a Florida recount. This one may be a bit challenging, but an audience that prides itself on its political acumen deserves nothing less. Answers appear on

Page B5.

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Answers to Quiz (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
_____Campaign 2004_____
The Big Winners (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
Don't Do It, Justices (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
It's Bear Baiting, Stupid (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
They're Looking Hard for a Reason to Be Optimistic (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
A Major Case of Superpower Envy (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
They Know Who's on Their Side (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
On Bush, the Communists and Their Foes Can Agree (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
Shave and a Haircut, With Political Bits (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
We Don't Care, So They Don't (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)
Decision Iraq (The Washington Post, Oct 24, 2004)

1. Six states voted for the winner in every one of the last seven presidential elections. Which ones?

2. Eleven states have voted Republican in every election since 1964, when all 11 went for Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. Name them.

3. Only one state has voted for the Democratic nominee in each of the past seven elections. Which state?

4. In the 26 elections since 1900, how many times has an incumbent lost?

5. Three presidents won two terms without winning a majority of the popular vote either time. Who were they?

6. Since the Civil War, no third-party candidate has won the presidency. But one came in second. Who was it, and what was the year?

7. When was the last time a third-party candidate won any electoral votes?

8. We all know about Florida's role in President Bush's victory in 2000. In the previous 108 years, only three other elections were close enough in the electoral vote that the switch of one state would have changed the outcome. Which elections were those? (Bonus question: Which state, among the states that had enough electoral votes to change the outcome, had the closest popular vote margin?)

9. In the 2000 election, five states were won by a margin of less than 1 percent. Which were they?

10. In the 36 elections beginning with 1860, only five Democratic nominees have won 51 percent or more of the popular vote. Who were they and in which elections?

11. The popular vote was first counted in 1824. In all the elections since, who recorded the highest popular vote percentage?

12. Since the popular vote was recorded, which election has been the most lopsided in the electoral vote?

13. Beginning in 1860, when the first Republican president was elected, we have had 36 elections, all won by either a Republican or a Democrat. How many victories has each party had?

14. In which election did the winner of the electoral vote fail to capture the presidency?

15. Who was the last nominee to win all the Southern (ex-Confederate) states and yet lose the election?

George Weber is an American history buff who lives in Virginia, the place of birth for eight U.S. presidents.


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