Landslide

Landslide, like many idioms, has a literal meaning as well as a figurative meaning. We will examine the meaning of the common saying landslide, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A landslide, in political terms, is a victory that is overwhelming, a victory in which the candidate receives an overwhelming majority of the votes. Exactly what percentage of votes a candidate must receive to be considered the recipient of a landslide victory is up for debate. The literal meaning of landslide is a rapid downward trajectory of a great amount of soil and rock; the term has evolved from the British term, landslip. The expression landslide to mean an overwhelming political victory seems to have first been used in the 1850s to describe the American presidential race between John Fremont and James Buchanan.

Examples

In an interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace in Dec. 2016, Trump dismissed a question about Russian interference in the election by boasting “we had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the electoral college, I guess the final number is 306 and [Clinton] is down to a very low number.” (Forbes Magazine)

Belarus election: Lukashenko’s claim of landslide victory sparks widespread protests (The Guardian)

CNN host Jake Tapper reassured Election Night viewers that the idea of a Democratic landslide “was always a pipe dream,” but liberal pundits, some of whom work for his own network, have for months argued that Republicans were in for a repudiation of historic proportions. (The National Review)