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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:31 AM

A blast from the media past: Bush has a mandate.

President Bush was re-elected in 2004 with 286 electoral votes, the smallest popular-vote margin since 1976 (excluding the 2000 election) and the lowest electoral vote count for an incumbent president's re-election since 1916. Nevertheless, many in the media were quick to echo Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that "the nation" gave Bush "a mandate." It remains to be seen whether the media will apply the same standard in assessing the results of the 2008 election.

In 2004, President Bush was re-elected with 286 electoral votes, defeating Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) by 3.3 million votes -- the smallest popular-vote margin since 1976 (excluding the 2000 election) and the lowest electoral vote count for an incumbent president's re-election since Woodrow Wilson drew 277 electoral votes in 1916. Nevertheless, many in the media were quick to echo Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that "the nation" gave Bush "a mandate." It remains to be seen whether the media will apply the same standard in assessing whether the results of the 2008 election constitute "a mandate" for the projected winner.

Among the many media outlets that declared Bush's victory a "mandate" (identified by affiliations and titles from 2004):


http://mediamatters.org/print/research/2008/11/04/in-2008-will-media-recall-2004-declarations-of/146033

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