Alan R.M. Jones: Not a Patch on Reagan's Epoch-making Re-election

Alan R.M. Jones, an adviser in the Howard government, was also a political staffer in Washington during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

Even before the ballot counting is complete in the US presidential election, analysts, party faithful and journalists such as Andrew Sullivan claim already to see forensic messages in the debris that is the Republican Mitt Romney's unsuccessful Oval Office bid.

Sullivan, who only days ago claimed that the "Confederacy" was ascendant when Romney's chances looked hopeful - somebody call General Sherman - now claims Barack Obama has won a historic political and ideological referendum. He says 2012 is to today's political tectonics what Ronald Reagan's re-election was was to 1980s America.

Sullivan claims that Obama's 24-state, 303 electoral college vote win (as of yesterday's tally) represents a landslide that has delivered "a permanent Democratic majority". Obama's razor-thin 50.1 per cent of the popular vote has led Sullivan to anoint him "a Democratic Reagan".

Earth to Sullivan, the Gipper won 49 states - all but Democratic challenger Walter Mondale's home state of Minnesota - and nearly 60 per cent of the popular vote. Reagan's re-election was a landslide victory of historic proportions.

Had Romney pulled another 300,000 or so votes across the four battleground states of Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia, Obama would be packing his teleprompter...

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