Republicans Can Learn from the 1892 Election

Voters wait in a 90-minute line to cast their ballots on the first day of the state’s in-person early voting for the national elections in Durham, N.C., October 15, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)
It’s time to organize, unify, and sharpen the message. And then watch Joe Biden be shown the door by his party's young ideological zealots.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE R epublicans looking for a historical parallel to their present situation may think first of 1976, the last time an incumbent president lost a close election decided by narrow margins in a few states. There is another example, however, that better fits many of the contours of the moment: the 1892 election. The lessons from that election offer some optimism for how quickly things can turn, and some ominous parallels for Democrats.

Begin with a striking number: Eight American presidents before Donald Trump have lost reelection since the beginning of modern popular-vote elections in the 1830s. In four out of the eight,

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