United States presidential election, 1992

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Election

The 1992 Presidential election was held on Tuesday, November 3, 1992 between incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush, Democratic governor Bill Clinton, and independent businessman Ross Perot. Governor Clinton unseated the incumbent President Bush by 7.6%.

Results

Electoral Votes:

  • Bill Clinton/Al Gore (D): 370
  • George H.W. Bush/Dan Quayle (R): 168
  • Ross Perot/James Stockdale (I): 0

Popular Vote:

  • Bill Clinton/Al Gore (D): 44,909,806 -- 43.0%
  • George H.W. Bush/Dan Quayle (R): 39,104,550 -- 37.4%
  • Ross Perot/James Stockdale (I): 19,743,821 -- 18.9%
1992 Electoral College Results. States Clinton won are in blue and states Bush won are in red.

Candidates

Democratic candidates:

Democratic Candidate for President:

Democratic Candidate for Vice President:


Republican candidates:

Republican Candidate for President:

Republican Candidate for Vice President:


Major Independent candidates:

Candidate for President:

Candidate for Vice President:


Other Third Party and Independent Candidates


Campaign Issues

World following the end of the Cold War; the recession of 1991; the Persian Gulf War; the Bush tax increase

Analysis

After the Gulf War, incumbent President Bush looked invincible in the upcoming election. As a result, many prominent Democrats, including Dick Gephardt, Mario Cuomo and Al Gore, opted out. The Democratic primary crowd was a collection of has-beens and unproven politicians. Former California Governor Jerry Brown (who last held office in 1983) represented the far left; Former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas (last held office in 1985) preached business-friendly liberalism flavored with brutal realism, telling people that he "was not Santa Claus". Virginia Governor Douglass Wilder, the first black popularly elected governor jumped in the race but soon ran out of cash. But in October 1991, the young, vibrant Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, jumped into the race. Clinton polled well initially but sunk to single digits when a rumor about sexual harassment appeared in the media. He toughed it out through the winter of 1991-1992, and in January, came in a close second to Tsongas in the New Hampshire primary. His staff was quick to praise him as "the comeback kid", and Clinton went on to win more primaries in the South, gaining enough momentum to force Tsongas out of the race. Brown stuck it out to the end, but his candidacy was rendered hopeless when Clinton won the California primary. Clinton was nominated at the convention, and picked Sen. Al Gore Jr. of Tennessee as his running mate.

Meanwhile, Bush faced a primary challenge from Pat Buchanan. Buchanan was brushed off fairly easily, but his bid made a point: the Republican party was not as unified as previously thought. Bush was nominated at his convention, and he stuck with Dan Quayle as his running mate.

Ross Perot, a Texas electronics magnate, made a strong self-financed Independent bid. Appealing to both Republicans and Democrats, Perot made a strong showing in the polls. He dropped out of the race temporarily, and then re-entered and remained till election day.

Clinton's team operated under the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid", and indeed, the electorate blamed Bush for the stagnant economy. On election day, Clinton won 43 percent to Bush's 38. Perot won an amazing 19 percent, the highest total for an independent since 1912.

See also


References


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