In the 1960 presidential election, JFK barely defeated then-Vice President Richard Nixon. His final lead in the popular vote was only 112,827 votes, or 49.72% (compared to 49.55% for Nixon).
After JFK’s assassination, however, 64% of those interviewed said they had voted for JFK, while only 36% admitted voting for Nixon. It seems that people were embarrassed in hindsight to admit they did not vote for a martyred President who still ranks among the greatest in our history.
To that end, recall that Trump lost–not won, lost–the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost three million votes. A mere 45.9% of voters cast their ballots for Trump, compared to 48% for Clinton. Indeed, Trump’s percentage of the popular vote is almost identical to Michael Dukakis in 1988. Stop and really think about that for a moment. I’ll wait.
In the end, people want to be correct and have a hard time admitting they were wrong. That’s just human nature. For that reason, I believe that we will see a reverse JFK effect with Trump. In other words, as time goes by and he continues to disgrace the country, the Constitution, and common sense, fewer and fewer people will admit that they voted for him. This is reflected already in Trump’s record low approval ratings at and after his inauguration–recently hitting an abysmal 38%.
Buyer’s remorse, anyone?