The Date: November 7
The Situation: As Americans go to the polls, U.S. troops are bogged down in a meatgrinder battle that will eventually cost 24,000 casualties and another 9,000 lost to fatigue, illness and friendly fire. Division after division is poured into a region that poses no real threat and could easily be avoided. The American war effort appears to have bogged down due to poor decision making and a lack of resources.
The Battle Cry: The party in power adopts the slogan "Never swap horses in the middle of the stream."
The Result: The incumbent president wins with 53.4% of the popular vote and an overwhelming 432 electoral votes
Now, as Paul Harvey would say, "for the rest of the story."
The year was 1944. The battle was the Hurtgenwald in Germany. After the Operation Market Garden debacle in September, the failure to capture a major port resulting in long supply lines, and too few troops, Allied forces would be stalemated on the Western Front for some five months of bloody attrition warfare. The Democrats urged Americans to "stay the course" and Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected in a landslide.
Lucky for FDR, he didn't have to deal with today's media. They concealed his deteriorating medical condition (he died some six months later) and spared the public nightly tallies of the dead and wounded.