Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the Presidential election, Donald Trump joins an
unwanted list of incumbent US presidents who have filed to secure re-election.

became only the third sitting president to have lost a re-election since World
War II, the other being Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush.

Biden completed
the victory with the flipping his home state of Pennsylvania after four days of
counting since the November 3 election. However, Trump has alleged voter fraud
and has initiated legal action against the result in key states, as well as
calling for a recount in the state of Wisconsin.

“There is a
reason why it’s unusual for incumbents to be defeated. Incumbents have the
ability to use the bully pulpit to their advantage; they can change the
storyline,” AFP quoted Mark Dallek, a pollical historian at the George Washington
University as saying.

“They have all the trappings of the White House —
executive power, the Oval Office, Air Force One. These are powerful symbols
that they have at their disposal.”

In the
build-up to the election, Trump held rallies in front of Air Force One, insisted
on putting his name on the 150 million pandemic stimulus checks and delivered
his Republican convention speech in front of the White House.

These actions
sparked accusations of violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibit the involvement
of the federal government in political activities.

The first
president never to have crossed fifty per cent approval ratings in the Gallup
polls and was intensely divisive over his four-year term, receiving widespread
criticism to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, personal scandals and
his abrasive rhetoric.

In stark
contrast, George H. W. Bush enjoyed over 90 per cent approval ratings as he led
the US into the first Gulf War in 1991.

However, Dallek
said both Bush and Carter failed to unite their parties, facing challenges from
within their parties heading into the general election that significantly weakened
their position.

Lyndon Johnson, who did not technically lose the re-election but chose not to
seek one following revolt over the outcome of the Vietnam War. Taking over from
Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford lost to a spirited Ronald Reagan in 1976.

Having lost
the election, Trump still remains dominant within the party and there are already
talks of him likely to seek a second term in 2024, an even rarer feat.

Only one president
in US history has served two non-repeating terms, Democrat Grover Cleveland,
who won his second term in 1892 after a narrow loss four years prior.