Republican Party presidential primaries, 1996

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Republican Presidential Primaries, 1996
United States
1992 ←
January 29 to June 4, 1996 → 2000

  Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait.JPG Pat Buchanan.jpg Steve Forbes.jpg
Nominee Bob Dole Pat Buchanan Steve Forbes
Party Republican Republican Republican
Home state Kansas Virginia New York
States carried 44 4 2
Popular vote 9,024,742 3,184,943 1,751,187
Percentage 58.82% 20.76% 11.41%

1996RepublicanPresidentialPrimaries.svg

Gold denotes a state won by Pat Buchanan. Green denotes a state won by Steve Forbes. Purple denotes a state won by Bob Dole. Grey denotes a territory that did not hold a primary.

Republican presidential candidate before election

George H. W. Bush

Republican presidential candidate-elect

Bob Dole

The 1996 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1996 U.S. presidential election. Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, former Senate Majority Leader was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1996 Republican National Convention held from August 12 to August 15, 1996 in San Diego, California.

Background[edit]

Following the 1994 midterm elections, many prominent candidates entered what would be a crowded field. This was expected as Democratic President Bill Clinton was very unpopular in his first two years in office, eventually leading to the Republican Revolution. However, as Clinton became increasingly popular in his third year in office, several withdrew from the race or decided not to run. Former U.S. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell was widely courted as a potential Republican nominee. However, on November 8, 1995, Powell announced that he would not seek the nomination. Former Secretary of Defense and future Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney was touted by many as a possible candidate for the presidency, but he declared his intentions not to run in early 1995. Then-Texas Governor George W. Bush was also urged by some party leaders to seek the Republican Party nomination, but opted against doing so.

Primary race overview[edit]

Going into the 1996 primary contest, Senate Majority Leader and former vice-presidential nominee Bob Dole was widely seen as the front runner. Dole had significant name recognition, as he was a two time presidential candidate - in 1980 and 1988, and was expected to win the nomination against underdog candidates such as the more conservative U.S. Senator Phil Gramm of Texas and more centrist U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. The fragmented field of candidates, which also included journalist and 1992 presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and magazine publisher Steve Forbes, debated issues such as a flat tax and other tax cut proposals, and a return to supply-side economic policies popularized by Ronald Reagan. More attention was drawn to the race by the budget stalemate in 1995 between the Congress and the President, which caused temporary shutdowns and slowdowns in many areas of federal government service.

On January 29, Buchanan won a non-binding straw poll in Alaska. Most pundits dismissed Buchanan's showing as insignificant.[1] Buchanan later said that future Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin worked on his 1996 Alaska campaign.[2] On February 6, Buchanan won the Louisiana caucus. Buchanan and Gramm had made several trips to the state to campaign. Gramm was expected to win, due to being from neighboring Texas and having the support of many of the Louisiana party regulars.[3]

Dole won the Iowa Caucus with 26% of the vote, a considerably smaller margin of victory than was expected.

Gramm's poor showing in Louisiana plus placing 5th in Iowa's caucuses resulted in his withdrawal from the contest on the Sunday before the New Hampshire primary.

In the New Hampshire Primary, Buchanan recorded a surprising victory over Dole, who finished in second place.

Buchanan's early victories and Forbes' victories in Delaware and Arizona put Dole's expected front runner status in doubt during the formative months of the primary season. Dole won every primary after including North and South Dakota; this eventually gave him enough delegate commitments to claim status as the GOP presidential presumptive nominee.

Having collected only 21 percent of the total votes in Republican primaries and won 4 states, Buchanan suspended his campaign in March. He declared however that, if Dole were to choose a pro-choice running mate, he would run as the US Taxpayers Party (now Constitution Party) candidate.[4] Forbes also withdrew in March having won only two states.[5]

Dole resigned his Senate seat on June 11 in order to focus more intently on his presidential campaign.

Candidates[edit]

Nominee[edit]

Withdrew during convention[edit]

Withdrew during primaries[edit]

Withdrew before primary elections[edit]

Declined to run[edit]

Results[edit]

Statewide[edit]

1996 Republican primary and caucus results[6]
Bob Dole Pat Buchanan Steve Forbes Lamar Alexander Alan Keyes Richard Lugar Phil Gramm Morry Taylor Bob Dornan
January 29 Alaska (caucus) 17% 32% 31% 1% 10% - 9% - -
February 6 Louisiana (caucus) - 44% - - 4% - 42% - -
February 12 Iowa Caucus 26% 23% 10% 18% 7% 4% 9% 1% -
February 20 New Hampshire primary 26% 27% 12% 22% 2% 5% - 2% -
February 24 Delaware (primary) 27% 19% 33% 13% 5% 5% 2% - -
February 27 Arizona (primary) 30% 27% 33% 7% 1% 1% - - -
February 27 North Dakota (primary) 42% 18% 20% 6% 3% 1% 9% - -
February 27 South Dakota (primary) 45% 29% 13% 9% 4% - - - -
March 2 South Carolina (primary) 45% 29% 13% 10% 2% - - - -
March 2 Wyoming (caucus) 40% 18% 17% 7% 7% - - - -
March 3 Puerto Rico (primary) 98% - - - - - - - -
March 5 Colorado (primary) 43% 21% 21% 10% 4% 1% - - -
March 5 Connecticut (primary) 54% 15% 20% 5% 2% 1% - - -
March 5 Georgia (primary) 41% 29% 13% 14% 3% - - - -
March 5 Maine (primary) 46% 24% 15% 7% 2% 3% - - -
March 5 Maryland (primary) 53% 21% 13% 6% 5% 1% - - -
March 5 Massachusetts (primary) 48% 25% 14% 8% 2% 2% - - -
March 5 Minnesota (caucus) 41% 33% 10% 5% 10% - - - -
March 5 Rhode Island (primary) 64% 3% 1% 19% - 3% - 1% -
March 5 Vermont (primary) 40% 17% 16% 11% - 14% 1% - -
March 7 New York (primary) 55% 15% 30% - - - - - -
March 9 Missouri (caucus) 28% 36% 1% - 9% - - - -
March 12 Florida (primary) 57% 18% 20% 1% 2% 2% - - 1%
March 12 Louisiana (primary) 48% 33% 12% 2% 3% - - 1% -
March 12 Mississippi (primary) 60% 26% 8% 2% 2% - - - 2%
March 12 Oklahoma (primary) 59% 22% 14% 1% 2% - - - -
March 12 Oregon (primary) 51% 21% 13% 7% 4% 1% - - -
March 12 Tennessee (primary) 51% 25% 8% 11% 3% - - - -
March 12 Texas (primary) 56% 21% 13% 2% 4% - 2% - -
March 19 Illinois (primary) 65% 23% 5% 1% 4% 1% 1% - -
March 19 Michigan (primary) 51% 34% 5% 1% 3% - - - -
March 19 Ohio (primary) 66% 22% 6% 3% 2% 1% - - -
March 19 Wisconsin (primary) 53% 34% 6% 2% 3% - - - -
March 26 California (primary) 66% 18% 7% 2% 4% 1% 1% - 1%
March 26 Nevada (primary) 52% 15% 19% 2% 1% - - - -
March 26 Washington (primary) 63% 21% 9% 1% 5% - - - -
April 23 Pennsylvania (primary) 64% 18% 8% - 6% 5% - - -
May 7 Washington D.C. (primary) 75% 9% - - - - - - -
May 7 Indiana (primary) 71% 19% 10% - - - - - -
May 7 North Carolina (primary) 71% 13% 4% 2% 4% 1% - - -
May 14 Nebraska (primary) 76% 10% 6% 3% 3% - - - -
May 14 West Virginia (primary) 69% 16% 5% 3% 4% 1% 2% - -
May 21 Arkansas (primary) 76% 23% - - - - - - -
May 28 Idaho (primary) 66% 22% - - 5% - - - -
June 4 Alabama (primary) 76% 16% - - 3% - - - -
June 4 Montana (primary) 61% 24% 7% - - - - - -
June 4 New Jersey (primary) 82% 11% - - 7% - - - -
June 4 New Mexico (primary) 76% 8% 6% 4% 3% - - - 1%

Nationwide[edit]

Overall popular primaries vote[7]

Convention tally:

Notable endorsements[edit]

Bob Dole

Pat Buchanan

Steve Forbes

Lamar Alexander

W. Phillip Gramm

Pete Wilson

Convention and VP Selection[edit]

The delegates at the Republican National Convention formally nominated Dole on August 15, 1996 as the GOP presidential candidate for the general election. Dole was the oldest first-time presidential nominee at the age of 73 years, 1 month (Ronald Reagan was 73 years, 6 months in 1984, for his second presidential nomination).

Former Congressman and Cabinet secretary Jack Kemp was nominated by acclamation as Dole's running mate the following day. Republican Party of Texas convention delegates informally nominated Alan Keyes as their preference for Vice President.

Other politicians mentioned as possible GOP V.P. nominees before Kemp was selected included:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anchorage Daily News. Jan. 31, 1996. p. 1b
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9rZkJfKoEU
  3. ^ The Advocate [Baton Rouge]. Feb.7, 1996. p. A1
  4. ^ Porteous, Skipp (April 1996), Howard Phillips on Pat Buchanan, Freedom Writer (Public Eye) .
  5. ^ AllPolitics - Steve Forbes
  6. ^ 1996 Republican Primary Election Events Timeline
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "US President – R Primaries Race – July 07, 1996". Our Campaigns.com. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  8. ^ "AZ US President – R Primary Race – Feb 27, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  9. ^ "DE US President – R Primary Race – Feb 24, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  10. ^ "Candidate – George Corley Wallace". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  11. ^ "LA US President – R Primary Race – Mar 12, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  12. ^ "Dole wins both Dakotas, but is lagging in Arizona." Toledo Blade. February 28, 1996. Accessed December 2, 2009. Final paragraph: Mr. Mecham is supporting Buchanan "all the way," and he still has an effective organization in the state.