Obama has become the third consecutive president to win a second term. Andrew J. Polsky's reason for the trend: "recent incumbent presidents have enjoyed the advantage of early, unified support from their own party." He continues:
To secure a nomination by acclamation, as most recent incumbent presidents have done, confers an extraordinary advantage on a candidate. He has the luxury of positioning himself in the political center from the outset. He does not face accusations that he is feckless and unprincipled. He need not worry that any position he takes will alienate either those in his party who supported him during the primaries or middle-of-the-road voters. In an evenly split polity, where campaigns vie for the finicky affections of the independents between the two camps, the incumbent president begins with an important head start.