James BuchananSuper PACs are forming for her.  Influential Pols, such as John Lewis of Georgia, are backing her.  The Republicans are campaigning against her already.  Though Hillary Clinton has not formally declared, all indications are that she will run for President in 2016.

What does Hillary Clinton’s future campaign have to do with James Buchanan?  Really, nothing special, but since Secretary Clinton appears to be the only candidate in the offing for a run for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Buchanan does offer one an interesting footnote to discuss.

Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States, succeeded fellow Democrat Franklin Pierce in March 1857.  He was the last Democrat to succeed, by election, a sitting Democratic President. No Democrat has pulled off this feat since.  The split Democratic Party of John Breckinridge and Stephen Douglas lost to Abraham Lincoln in 1860.  William Jennings Bryan could not win after the Dems nominated him over Grover Cleveland in 1896.  James Cox (1920), Adlai Stevenson (1952), Hubert Humphrey (1968), and Al Gore (2000) all failed in their bids to take over the Presidency after their party mates had served their terms.

Based on models that have been in development for the past ten years, the Dems have a 2.9%-3.8% disadvantage as they prepare to take over after President Obama serves his last days.  The models use data since 1888 and 1916, but both are consistent and significant.

For the Dems to win in 2016, there will be economic factors that will determine whether they will win.  More on those pieces later, but Mrs. Clinton begins her campaign with a statistical up hill struggle facing her.


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