What history predicts about this presidential election





Given the fascinating twists and turns of the current election season just in the last year, only a foreign exchange student just off the plane would hazard a prediction about this Nov. 4's presidential balloting.

But one thing is certain -- well, more than likely: This will be the first-ever presidential election in the nation's history pitting two sitting U.S. senators against each other.

Americans haven't been very receptive to legislators from that body becoming the nation's chief executive. Only two sitting senators -- John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Warren G. Harding in 1920 -- have ever succeeded in reaching the White House. And neither of them completed one term, as pointed out by Robert Schmuhl, an expert and author on the American presidency and an American Studies professor at the University of Notre Dame.

In the 48 years since Kennedy, his research shows, 40 senators have sought the presidency. And 40 didn't get it.



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