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Elections

Gallup's Editor-in-Chief reports on eight things we learned from the American people during the presidential campaign of 2016.

The U.S. system for electing presidents is controversial, unpopular and not well understood, but has stood as the law of the land since George Washington was elected in 1789.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned amid a bribery and tax evasion scandal. A majority of Americans thought he should resign, and the public had decidedly mixed opinions of Agnew during his time in office.

The last major-party presidential nominee who refused to participate in a debate was Jimmy Carter in 1980. Most voters disapproved of his decision, but it may have helped Ronald Reagan establish his kinder, gentler persona.

George H.W. Bush went into the 1988 convention trailing his opponent on the ballot and garnering so-so ratings for several key character traits. He came out of the convention with a new image and a commanding lead.

Some initial changes in the images of GOP candidates have emerged one week after the Aug. 6 Republican debate. Three candidates came out of the debate in much better positions than they went in with.