As Obama and Romney head towards the finish line neck-and-neck, here's a look at some races that we're quite as close.
Photo by Karim Sahib / Getty Images
With election day upon us in what's sure to be a nail biter, we can at least rest assured that—whoever wins—this is how democracy is supposed to work (well, it would if the White House were determined by the popular vote, anyway, but that's another matter). But while a U.S. candidate can win with less than 50% of the popular vote (see: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, etc.), in other supposed "democracies" candidates don't leave anything to chance. As you look at this list of some of the world's biggest landslides in history, consider that the biggest win in the U.S. was Lyndon Johnson with 61% in 1964. In other words, your vote counts, even if those cast by the folks in these other countries don't.
Saddam Hussein, 2002
In referendum on whether to grant Iraq's president a new seven-year term, Hussein squeeked out a victory with 100% of the vote. In 1995, he got a mere 95%.
Bashar Al-Assad, 2007
After winning 97.2% of the vote in 2000, Syria's president—who essentially inherited control of his country when his father died—was re-elected with 97%. Things have gone great for his country ever since.
Paul Kagame, 2003
Rwanda's president, who helped end that country's genocide, was first elected with 95% of the vote. Seven years later, he got 93%.
Meles Zenawi, 2010
Ethiopia's president and his EPRDF party took 499 of the parliament's 547 seats, for 91.2 percent landslide. He passed away this past August.
Nursultan Nazabayev, 2005
The president of Kazakhstan took control of the country following the fall of the Soviet Union 1989, and was elected with 91.2 % of the vote sixe years later. Then he abolished term limits.
Islam Karimov, 1991
After Uzbekistan declared independence from the Soviet Union, Karimov won his country's first election with 86%. In the referendums and elections since, he's never failed to get less than 80%.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, 2007
Rounding out our trio of –stan dictators, Tukmenistan's president was elected with 89% of the vote.
Robert Mugabe, 2008
In a presidential run-off, Zimbabwe's longtime, ridiculously mustachioed ruler took 85% after his challenger pulled out at the last second.
Alexander Lukashenko, 2006
The president of Belarus gained power in 1994 in his country's first post-Soviet election, was was re-elected with 82.6% of the vote 12 years later.
Vladimir Putin, 2004
Russia's preposterous leader, who seems to have found a way to stay in power forever, was re-elected president with a 71.9% victory. Because of term limits, he was force to step down and assume the Prime Minister's post. Putin returned to the presidency this year.
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