Last night, I wrote that Kennedy and Truman* won the narrowest mandates in the 20th century. I realized this morning, after the second cup of tea, that this is in fact incorrect. The year 2000 is, as Arthur C. Clarke kept scolding us, entirely in the 20th century as well. Therefore, the narrowest mandate in fact goes to George W. Bush, whose margin of victory was -500,000 votes nationwide, right? This would give him what political scientists** would call a "negative mandate", or in layman's terms, a "Loss."
Glad I could clear up that mistake on my part.
*Despite their narrow margins of victory, I should say that I am an unabashed Kennedy and Truman fan. I am far too big a space nerd to not idolize the man who said "We choose to go to the moon." And Truman? The man finished off the Nazis, and then he's all like "Come on, ya bunch of Commies! You want some of this? That's right, I didn't think so, bitch!"
**No political scientists that I know of use this term. Am I the first?