While the Republicans held onto Vermont's 3 electoral votes once more, the closeness of the race represented a turning point in the state's political history. Vermont had once been one of the most Republican states in the country, historically having voted Republican more times than any other state, often by landslide margins. From 1856 to 1988, the state had gone Republican in every presidential election except for the 1964 Democratic landslide. Despite this history, the state was considered a swing state in 1988, and the Dukakis campaign targeted it in its electoral strategy. In this election, Vermont weighed in as about 2% more Democratic that the nation.
Like the rest of liberal and secularNew England, Vermont in the 1980s began moving to the Democratic Party as the Republican Party became increasingly dominated by conservatives, Southerners, and Evangelical Christians. Consequently this would be the last time that a Republican would carry the state of Vermont in a presidential election, and in the following two decades it would become regarded as one of the bluest of blue states.