United States presidential election, 1996

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United States presidential election, 1996
United States
1992 ←
November 5, 1996 → 2000

All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 49.0%[1] Decrease 6.2%
  44 Bill Clinton 3x4.jpg Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait.JPG RossPerotColor.jpg
Nominee Bill Clinton Bob Dole Ross Perot
Party Democratic Republican Reform
Home state Arkansas Kansas Texas
Running mate Al Gore Jack Kemp Pat Choate
Electoral vote 379 159 0
States carried 31 + DC 19 0
Popular vote 47,401,185 39,197,469 8,085,294
Percentage 49.2% 40.7% 8.4%

United States presidential election in Alabama, 1996 United States presidential election in Alaska, 1996 United States presidential election in Arizona, 1996 United States presidential election in Arkansas, 1996 United States presidential election in California, 1996 United States presidential election in Colorado, 1996 United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1996 United States presidential election in Delaware, 1996 United States presidential election in Florida, 1996 United States presidential election in Georgia, 1996 United States presidential election in Hawaii, 1996 United States presidential election in Idaho, 1996 United States presidential election in Illinois, 1996 United States presidential election in Indiana, 1996 United States presidential election in Iowa, 1996 United States presidential election in Kansas, 1996 United States presidential election in Kentucky, 1996 United States presidential election in Louisiana, 1996 United States presidential election in Maine, 1996 United States presidential election in Maryland, 1996 United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1996 United States presidential election in Michigan, 1996 United States presidential election in Minnesota, 1996 United States presidential election in Mississippi, 1996 United States presidential election in Missouri, 1996 United States presidential election in Montana, 1996 United States presidential election in Nebraska, 1996 United States presidential election in Nevada, 1996 United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1996 United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1996 United States presidential election in New Mexico, 1996 United States presidential election in New York, 1996 United States presidential election in North Carolina, 1996 United States presidential election in North Dakota, 1996 United States presidential election in Ohio, 1996 United States presidential election in Oklahoma, 1996 United States presidential election in Oregon, 1996 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania, 1996 United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1996 United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1996 United States presidential election in South Dakota, 1996 United States presidential election in Tennessee, 1996 United States presidential election in Texas, 1996 United States presidential election in Utah, 1996 United States presidential election in Vermont, 1996 United States presidential election in Virginia, 1996 United States presidential election in Washington, 1996 United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1996 United States presidential election in Wisconsin, 1996 United States presidential election in Wyoming, 1996 United States presidential election in Delaware, 1996 United States presidential election in Maryland, 1996 United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1996 United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1996 United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1996 United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1996 United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1996 United States presidential election in Vermont, 1996 United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1996ElectoralCollege1996.svg
About this image
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Dole/Kemp (19), Blue denotes those won by Clinton/Gore (31+D.C.). Numbers indicate electoral votes allotted to the winner of each state.

President before election

Bill Clinton
Democratic

Elected President

Bill Clinton
Democratic

The United States presidential election of 1996 was the 53rd quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 5, 1996.[2] The contest was between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton from Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore from Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp from New York for Vice President. Businessman Ross Perot ran as candidate for the Reform Party with economist Pat Choate as his running mate; he received less media attention and was excluded from the presidential debates and, while still obtaining substantial results for a third-party candidate, by U.S. standards, did not renew his success of the 1992 election. Turnout was registered at 49.0%, the lowest for a presidential election since 1924.

President Clinton's chances of winning were initially considered slim in the middle of his term as his party had lost both the House and the Senate in 1994 for the first time in decades; he had reneged on promises to cut taxes and to reduce the deficit, enacted a Federal assault weapons ban, and had a failed healthcare reform initiative. He was able to regain ground as the economy began to recover from the early 1990s recession with a relatively stable world stage. He went on to win re-election with a substantial margin in the popular vote and electoral college. Despite Dole's defeat, the Republican Party was able to maintain a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Background[edit]

In 1995, the Republican Party was riding high on the significant gains made in the 1994 mid-term elections. In those races, the Republicans, led by whip Newt Gingrich, captured the majority of seats in the House for the first time in forty years and the majority of seats in the Senate for the first time in eight years. Gingrich became Speaker of the House, while Bob Dole elevated to Senate Majority leader.

The Republicans of the 104th Congress pursued an ambitious agenda, highlighted by their Contract with America, but were often forced to compromise with President Clinton, who wielded veto power. A budget impasse between Congress and the Clinton Administration eventually resulted in a government shutdown. Clinton, meanwhile, was praised for signing the GOP's welfare reform and other notable bills, but was forced to abandon his own health care plan.

Nominations[edit]

Democratic Party nomination[edit]

Democratic Candidates

Candidates gallery[edit]

With the advantage of incumbency, Bill Clinton's path to renomination by the Democratic Party was uneventful. At the 1996 Democratic National Convention, Clinton and incumbent Vice President Al Gore were renominated with token opposition. Incarcerated fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche won a few Arkansas delegates who were barred from the convention. Jimmy Griffin, former Mayor of Buffalo, New York, mounted a brief campaign but withdrew after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. Former Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey contemplated a challenge to Clinton, but health problems forced Casey to abandon a bid.[3][4]

Clinton easily won primaries nationwide, with margins consistently higher than 80%.[5]

Republican Party nomination[edit]

Republican Candidates

Candidates gallery[edit]

A number of Republican candidates entered the field to challenge the incumbent Democratic President, Bill Clinton.

The fragmented field of candidates 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.

Former U.S. Army General Colin 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. Former and future Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a presidential campaign exploratory committee, but declined to formally enter the race.

Primaries and convention[edit]

Ahead of the 1996 primary contest, Senate majority leader and former vice-presidential nominee Bob Dole was seen as the most likely winner. However, Steve Forbes finished first in Delaware and Arizona while paleoconservative firebrand Pat Buchanan managed early victories in Alaska and Louisiana, in addition to a strong second place in the Iowa caucuses and a surprising victory in the small but key New Hampshire primary. Buchanan's New Hampshire win alarmed the Republican "establishment" sufficiently as to provoke prominent Republicans to quickly coalesce around Dole,[6] and Dole won every primary starting with North and South Dakota. Dole resigned his Senate seat on June 11 and the Republican National Convention formally nominated Dole on August 15, 1996 for President.

Popular primaries vote[7]

Convention tally:

Former Congressman and Housing Secretary Jack Kemp was nominated by acclamation for Vice President, the following day.

Major third parties[edit]

Parties in this section have obtained ballot access in enough states to theoretically obtain the minimum number of electoral votes needed to win the election. Individuals included in this section have completed one or more of the following actions: received, or formally announced their candidacy for, the presidential nomination of a third party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate and obtained enough ballot access to win the election; filed as a third party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Within each party, candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Reform Party nomination[edit]

Ross Perot was on the ballot in every state.

Reform candidates

The United States Reform Party had great difficulty in finding a candidate willing to run in the general election. Lowell Weicker, Tim Penny, David Boren and Richard Lamm were among those who toyed with the notion of seeking its presidential nomination, though all but Lamm decided against it; Lamm had himself come close to withdrawing his name from consideration.

Ultimately, the Reform Party nominated its founder Ross Perot of Texas in its first election as an official political party. Although Perot easily won the nomination, his victory at the party's national convention led to a schism as supporters of Lamm accused him of rigging the vote to prevent them from casting their ballots. This faction walked out of the national convention and eventually formed their own group, the American Reform Party, and attempted to convince Lamm to run as an Independent in the general election; Lamm declined, pointing out a promise he made before running that he would respect the Party's final decision.

Economist Pat Choate was nominated for Vice President.

Libertarian Party nomination[edit]

Harry Browne was on the ballot in every state.

Libertarian candidates

The Libertarian Party nominated free-market writer and investment analyst, Harry Browne of Tennessee, and selected Jo Jorgensen of South Carolina as his running-mate. Browne and Jorgensen drew 485,798 votes (0.5% of the popular vote).

The Balloting
Presidential Ballot 1st
Harry Browne 416
Rick Tompkins 74
None 61
Irwin Schiff 32
Douglas J. Ohmen 20
Jeffrey Diket 1
Jo Jorgensen 1

Natural Law Party nomination[edit]

John Hagelin was on the ballot in forty-three states (463 Electoral Votes). Those states with a lighter shade are states in which he was an official write-in candidate.

Natural Law candidate:

The Natural Law Party for a second time nominated scientist and researcher John Hagelin for President and Mike Tompkins for Vice President. The party platform included preventive health care, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy technologies. During his campaigns, Hagelin favored abortion rights without public financing, campaign finance law reform, improved gun control, a flat tax, the eradication of PACs, a ban on soft money contributions, and school vouchers.

Hagelin and Tompkins drew 113,671 votes (0.1% of the popular vote).

U.S. Taxpayers' Party nomination[edit]

Howard Phillips was on the ballot in thirty-eight states (414 Electoral Votes). Those states with a lighter shade are states in which he was an official write-in candidate.

U.S. Taxpayers' candidates

The U.S. Taxpayers Party had run its first presidential ticket in 1992, it being head by Howard Phillips who had failed to find any prominent conservative willing to take the mantle. In 1996 the situation ultimately proved the same, though Pat Buchanan for a time was widely speculated to be planning on bolting to the Taxpayers' Party should the expected Republican nominee, Senator Bob Dole, name a Pro-Choice running-mate. When Jack Kemp, who is Pro-Life, was tapped for the position Buchanan agreed to endorse the Republican ticket. Again, Phillips found himself at a temporary post that was made permanent, with Herbert Titus being nominated for the Vice Presidency.

Phillips and Titus drew 182,820 votes (0.2% of the popular vote).

General election[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Without meaningful primary opposition, Clinton was able to focus on the general election early, while Dole was forced to move to the right and spend his campaign reserves fighting off challengers. Political adviser Dick Morris urged Clinton to raise huge sums of campaign funds via soft money for an unprecedented early TV blitz of swing states promoting Clinton's agenda and record. As a result, Clinton could run a campaign through the summer defining his opponent as an aged conservative far from the mainstream before Dole was in a position to respond. Compared to the 50-year-old Clinton, then 73-year-old Dole appeared especially old and frail, as illustrated by an embarrassing fall off a stage during a campaign event in Chico, California. Dole further enhanced this contrast on September 18 when he made a reference to a no-hitter thrown the day before by Hideo Nomo of the "Brooklyn Dodgers", a team that had left Brooklyn for Los Angeles 38 years earlier. A few days later Dole would make a joke about the remark saying "And I'd like to congratulate the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the N.L. Central. Notice I said the St. Louis Cardinals not the St. Louis Browns." (The Browns had left St. Louis after the 1954 season to become the Baltimore Orioles.)

Dole chose to focus on Clinton as being "part of the spoiled baby boomer generation" and stating "My generation won [World War II], and we may need to be called to service one last time." Although his message won appeal with older voters, surveys found that his age was widely held as a liability and his frequent allusions to WWII and the Great Depression in speeches and campaign ads "unappealing" to younger voters. To prove that he was still healthy and active, Dole released all of his medical records to the public and published photographs of himself running on a treadmill. After the falling incident in California, he joked that "I was trying to do the Macarena" (a dance craze then sweeping the country).[citation needed]

The Clinton campaign avoided mentioning Dole's age directly, instead choosing to confront it in more subtle ways such as the campaign slogan "Building Bridges to the Future" in contrast to the Republican candidate's frequent remarks that he was a "bridge to the past", before the social upheavals of the 1960s. President Clinton, without actually calling Dole "old", questioned the age of his ideas.[8]

With respect to the issues, Dole promised a 15% across-the-board reduction in income tax rates and made former Congressman and supply side advocate Jack Kemp his running mate. Bill Clinton framed the narrative against Dole early, painting him as a mere clone of unpopular House Speaker Newt Gingrich, warning America that Bob Dole would work in concert with the Republican Congress to slash popular social programs, like Medicare and Social Security, dubbed by Clinton as "Dole-Gingrich".[9] Bob Dole's tax-cut plan found itself under attack from the White House, who said it would "blow a hole in the deficit" which had been cut nearly in half during his opponent's term.[10]

Throughout the run-up to the general election, Clinton maintained comfortable leads in the polls over Dole and Perot. The televised debates featured only Dole and Clinton, locking out Perot and the other minor candidates from the discussion. Perot, who had been allowed to participate in the 1992 debates, would eventually take his case to court, seeking damages from not being in the debate, as well as citing unfair coverage from the major media outlets.

Throughout this campaign, Clinton was always leading in the polls, generally by large margins.

Campaign donations controversy[edit]

In late September 1995, questions arose regarding the Democratic National Committee's fund-raising practices. In February the following year, China's alleged role in the campaign finance controversy first gained public attention after the Washington Post published a story stating that a U.S. Department of Justice investigation had discovered evidence that agents of China sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the DNC before the 1996 presidential campaign. The paper wrote that intelligence information had showed the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. was used for coordinating contributions to the DNC[11] in violation of U.S. law forbidding non-American citizens from giving monetary donations to U.S. politicians and political parties. Seventeen people were eventually convicted for fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the U.S. elections.

One of the more notable events learned involved Vice President Al Gore and a fund-raising event held at Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California. The Temple event was organized by DNC fund-raisers John Huang and Maria Hsia. It is illegal under U.S. law for religious organizations to donate money to politicians or political groups due to their tax-exempt status. The U.S. Justice Department alleged Hsia facilitated $100,000 in illegal contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign through her efforts at the Temple. Hsia was eventually convicted by a jury in March 2000.[12] The DNC eventually returned the money donated by the Temple's monks and nuns. Twelve nuns and employees of the Temple refused to answer questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment when they were subpoenaed to testify before Congress in 1997.[13]

Results[edit]

On election day, President Clinton won a decisive victory over Dole, becoming the first Democrat to win two consecutive presidential elections since Franklin Roosevelt. At age 50 years and 2 months, Clinton also became the youngest person to win re-election to the office. In the popular vote, he out-polled Dole by over 8.2 million votes. The Electoral College map did not change much from the previous election, with the Democratic incumbent winning 379 votes to the Republican ticket's 159. In the West, Dole managed to narrowly win Colorado and Montana (both had voted for Clinton in 1992), while Clinton became the first Democrat to win the state of Arizona since Harry Truman in 1948. In the South, Clinton took Florida – a state he had failed to win in 1992 – from the Republicans in exchange for the less electoral-vote-rich Georgia. The election helped to cement Democratic Presidential prospects in states including California, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, and Connecticut; all went on to vote Democratic in subsequent Presidential elections, having voted Republican in the three prior to 1992. 1996 marked the first time that Vermont voted for a Democrat in two successive elections.

Reform Party nominee Ross Perot won approximately 8% of the popular vote. His vote total was less than half of his performance in 1992. The 1996 national exit poll showed that just as in 1992,[14] Perot drew supporters from Clinton and Dole equally.[15] In polls directed at Perot voters as to who would be a second choice, Clinton consistently held substantial leads.[16] Perot's best showing was in states that tended to strongly favor either Clinton (such as Maine) or Dole (particularly Montana, though the margin of victory there was much closer). Perot once again received his lowest amount of support in the South.

Although Clinton is a native of Arkansas, and his running mate hailed from Tennessee, the Democratic ticket again carried just four of the eleven states of the American South. This tied Clinton's 1992 run for the weakest performance by a winning Democratic presidential candidate in the region before 2000 (in terms of states won). Clinton's performance seems to have been part of a broader decline in support for the Democratic Party in the South. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, the Democrats would fail to carry even one of the Southern states, contributing to their defeat both times. This completed the Republican takeover of the American South, a region in which Democrats had held a near monopoly from 1880 to 1948. However, in 2008, the Democrats were able to win three Southern States, but that was still worse than Clinton's performances in both 1992 and 1996. This was the last election in which a third-party candidate carried over 3% of the national popular vote. Since 1984, no winning Presidential candidate has surpassed Bill Clinton's 8.5 percentage popular vote margin, or his 220 electoral vote margin since 1988. Also note that no Democratic Presidential candidate has surpassed Clinton's 8.5 percentage popular vote margin since 1940 (except 1964), and no Democratic Presidential candidate has surpassed his electoral vote margin since 1964.

The election was also notable for the fact that for the first time in U.S. history the winner was elected without winning the male vote and the third time in U.S. history that a candidate was elected President twice without receiving an absolute majority of the popular vote in either election (Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson are the others, although all three won pluralities [i.e. the most votes]).[15]

Clinton was the first Democrat to win re-election to the presidency since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the first Southern Democrat to win re-election since Andrew Jackson in 1832.

This was the last time the following states voted Democratic: Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri as of the 2012 election.

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
vote
Running mate
Count Pct Vice-presidential candidate Home state Elect. vote
William Jefferson Clinton (Incumbent) Democratic(a) Arkansas 47,401,185 49.24% 379 Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Tennessee 379
Robert Joseph Dole Republican(b) Kansas 39,197,469 40.71% 159 Jack French Kemp New York[17] 159
Henry Ross Perot Reform(c) Texas 8,085,294 8.40% 0 Patrick Choate(d) Washington, D.C. 0
Ralph Nader Green Connecticut 685,297 0.71% 0 Winona LaDuke(e) California 0
Harry Browne Libertarian Tennessee 485,759 0.50% 0 Jo Jorgensen South Carolina 0
Howard Phillips Taxpayers Virginia 184,656 0.19% 0 Herbert Titus Oregon 0
John Hagelin Natural Law Iowa 113,670 0.12% 0 Mike Tompkins Massachusetts 0
Other(f) 113,667 0.12% Other(f)
Total 96,277,634 100% 538 538
Needed to win 270 270

Official Source (Popular Vote): 1996 Official Presidential General Election Results

Source (popular and electoral vote): Federal Elections Commission Electoral and Popular Vote Summary unofficial Secondary Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. "1996 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved August 7, 2005. 

Voting age population: 196,498,000

Percent of voting age population casting a vote for President: 49.00%

(a) In New York, the Clinton vote was a fusion of the Democratic and Liberal slates. There, Clinton obtained 3,649,630 votes on the Democratic ticket and 106,547 votes on the Liberal ticket.[18]
(b) In New York, the Dole vote was a fusion of the Republican, Conservative, and Freedom slates. There, Dole obtained 1,738,707 votes on the Republican ticket, 183,392 votes on the Conservative ticket, and 11,393 votes on the Freedom ticket.[18]
(c) In South Carolina, the Perot vote was a fusion of the Reform and Patriot slates. There, Perot obtained 27,464 votes on the Reform ticket and 36,913 votes on the Patriot ticket.[18]
(d) On the California, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas election ballots, James Campbell of California, Perot's former boss at IBM, was listed as a stand-in Vice-Presidential candidate until Perot decided on Pat Choate as his choice for Vice President.
(e) The Green Party vice presidential candidate varied from state to state. Winona LaDuke was his vice presidential candidate in eighteen of the twenty-two states where he appeared on the ballot. Anne Goeke was Nader's running mate in Iowa[19] and Vermont. Madelyn Hoffman was his running mate in New Jersey.[20] Muriel Tillinghast was his running mate in New York.[21]
(f) Candidates receiving less than 0.05% of the total popular vote.

Popular vote
Clinton
  
49.24%
Dole
  
40.71%
Perot
  
8.40%
Nader
  
0.71%
Browne
  
0.50%
Others
  
0.44%
Electoral vote
Clinton
  
70.45%
Dole
  
29.55%

Results by state[edit]

States/districts won by Clinton/Gore
States/districts won by Dole/Kemp
Bill Clinton
Democratic
Bob Dole
Republican
Ross Perot
Reform
Ralph Nader
Green
Harry Browne
Libertarian
Others Margin State Total
State electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % #
Alabama 9 662,165 43.16 769,044 50.12 9 92,149 6.01 5,290 0.34 5,701 0.37 −106,879 −6.97 1,534,349 AL
Alaska 3 80,380 33.27 122,746 50.80 3 26,333 10.90 7,597 3.14 2,276 0.94 2,288 0.95 −42,366 −17.53 241,620 AK
Arizona 8 653,288 46.52 8 622,073 44.29 112,072 7.98 2,062 0.15 14,358 1.02 552 0.04 31,215 2.22 1,404,405 AZ
Arkansas 6 475,171 53.74 6 325,416 36.80 69,884 7.90 3,649 0.41 3,076 0.35 7,066 0.80 149,755 16.94 884,262 AR
California 54 5,119,835 51.10 54 3,828,380 38.21 697,847 6.96 237,016 2.37 73,600 0.73 62,806 0.63 1,291,455 12.89 10,019,484 CA
Colorado 8 671,152 44.43 691,848 45.80 8 99,629 6.59 25,070 1.66 12,392 0.82 10,613 0.70 −20,696 −1.37 1,510,704 CO
Connecticut 8 735,740 52.83 8 483,109 34.69 139,523 10.02 24,321 1.75 5,788 0.42 4,133 0.30 252,631 18.14 1,392,614 CT
Delaware 3 140,355 51.80 3 99,062 36.58 28,719 10.60 18 0.01 2,052 0.76 639 0.24 41,293 15.25 270,845 DE
D.C. 3 158,220 85.19 3 17,339 9.34 3,611 1.94 4,780 2.57 588 0.32 1,188 0.64 140,881 75.85 185,726 DC
Florida 25 2,546,870 48.02 25 2,244,536 42.32 483,870 9.12 4,101 0.08 23,965 0.45 452 0.01 302,334 5.70 5,303,794 FL
Georgia 13 1,053,849 45.84 1,080,843 47.01 13 146,337 6.37 17,870 0.78 172 0.01 −26,994 −1.17 2,299,071 GA
Hawaii 4 205,012 56.93 4 113,943 31.64 27,358 7.60 10,386 2.88 2,493 0.69 928 0.26 91,069 25.29 360,120 HI
Idaho 4 165,443 33.65 256,595 52.18 4 62,518 12.71 3,325 0.68 3,838 0.78 −91,152 −18.54 491,719 ID
Illinois 22 2,341,744 54.32 22 1,587,021 36.81 346,408 8.03 1,447 0.03 22,548 0.52 12,223 0.29 754,723 17.51 4,311,391 IL
Indiana 12 887,424 41.55 1,006,693 47.13 12 224,299 10.50 1,121 0.05 15,632 0.73 673 0.03 −119,269 −5.58 2,135,842 IN
Iowa 7 620,258 50.26 7 492,644 39.92 105,159 8.52 6,550 0.53 2,315 0.19 7,149 0.58 127,614 10.34 1,234,075 IA
Kansas 6 387,659 36.08 583,245 54.29 6 92,639 8.62 914 0.09 4,557 0.42 5,286 0.49 −195,586 −18.21 1,074,300 KS
Kentucky 8 636,614 45.84 8 623,283 44.88 120,396 8.67 701 0.05 4,009 0.29 3,705 0.27 13,331 0.96 1,388,708 KY
Louisiana 9 927,837 52.01 9 712,586 39.94 123,293 6.91 4,719 0.26 7,499 0.42 8,025 0.45 215,251 12.07 1,783,959 LA
Maine 4 312,788 51.62 4 186,378 30.76 85,970 14.19 15,279 2.52 2,996 0.49 2,486 0.41 126,410 20.86 605,897 ME
Maryland 10 966,207 54.25 10 681,530 38.27 115,812 6.50 2,606 0.15 8,765 0.49 5,950 0.33 284,677 15.99 1,780,870 MD
Massachusetts 12 1,571,763 61.47 12 718,107 28.09 227,217 8.89 4,734 0.19 20,426 0.80 14,538 0.57 853,656 33.39 2,556,785 MA
Michigan 18 1,989,653 51.69 18 1,481,212 38.48 336,670 8.75 2,322 0.06 27,670 0.72 11,317 0.29 508,441 13.21 3,848,844 MI
Minnesota 10 1,120,438 51.10 10 766,476 34.96 257,704 11.75 24,908 1.14 8,271 0.38 14,843 0.68 353,962 16.14 2,192,640 MN
Mississippi 7 394,022 44.08 439,838 49.21 7 52,222 5.84 2,809 0.31 4,966 0.56 −45,816 −5.13 893,857 MS
Missouri 11 1,025,935 47.54 11 890,016 41.24 217,188 10.06 534 0.02 10,522 0.49 13,870 0.64 135,919 6.30 2,158,065 MO
Montana 3 167,922 41.23 179,652 44.11 3 55,229 13.56 2,526 0.62 1,932 0.47 −11,730 −2.88 407,261 MT
Nebraska 5 236,761 34.95 363,467 53.65 5 71,278 10.52 2,792 0.41 3,117 0.46 −126,706 −18.70 677,415 NE
Nevada 4 203,974 43.93 4 199,244 42.91 43,986 9.47 4,730 1.02 4,460 0.96 7,885 1.70 4,730 1.02 464,279 NV
New Hampshire 4 246,214 49.32 4 196,532 39.37 48,390 9.69 4,237 0.85 3,802 0.76 49,682 9.95 499,175 NH
New Jersey 15 1,652,329 53.72 15 1,103,078 35.86 262,134 8.52 32,465 1.06 14,763 0.48 11,038 0.36 549,251 17.86 3,075,807 NJ
New Mexico 5 273,495 49.18 5 232,751 41.86 32,257 5.80 13,218 2.38 2,996 0.54 1,357 0.24 40,744 7.33 556,074 NM
New York 33 3,756,177 59.47 33 1,933,492 30.61 503,458 7.97 75,956 1.20 12,220 0.19 34,826 0.55 1,822,685 28.86 6,316,129 NY
North Carolina 14 1,107,849 44.04 1,225,938 48.73 14 168,059 6.68 2,108 0.08 8,740 0.35 3,113 0.12 −118,089 −4.69 2,515,807 NC
North Dakota 3 106,905 40.13 125,050 46.94 3 32,515 12.20 847 0.32 1,094 0.41 −18,145 −6.81 266,411 ND
Ohio 21 2,148,222 47.38 21 1,859,883 41.02 483,207 10.66 2,962 0.07 12,851 0.28 27,309 0.60 288,339 6.36 4,534,434 OH
Oklahoma 8 488,105 40.45 582,315 48.26 8 130,788 10.84 5,505 0.46 −94,210 −7.81 1,206,713 OK
Oregon 7 649,641 47.15 7 538,152 39.06 121,221 8.80 49,415 3.59 8,903 0.65 10,428 0.76 111,489 8.09 1,377,760 OR
Pennsylvania 23 2,215,819 49.17 23 1,801,169 39.97 430,984 9.56 3,086 0.07 28,000 0.62 27,060 0.60 414,650 9.20 4,506,118 PA
Rhode Island 4 233,050 59.71 4 104,683 26.82 43,723 11.20 6,040 1.55 1,109 0.28 1,679 0.43 128,367 32.89 390,284 RI
South Carolina 8 504,051 43.85 573,458 49.89 8 64,386 5.60 4,271 0.37 3,291 0.29 −69,407 −6.04 1,149,457 SC
South Dakota 3 139,333 43.03 150,543 46.49 3 31,250 9.65 1,472 0.45 1,228 0.38 −11,210 −3.46 323,826 SD
Tennessee 11 909,146 48.00 11 863,530 45.59 105,918 5.59 6,427 0.34 5,020 0.27 4,064 0.21 45,616 2.41 1,894,105 TN
Texas 32 2,459,683 43.83 2,736,167 48.76 32 378,537 6.75 4,810 0.09 20,256 0.36 12,191 0.22 −276,484 −4.93 5,611,644 TX
Utah 5 221,633 33.30 361,911 54.37 5 66,461 9.98 4,615 0.69 4,129 0.62 6,880 1.03 −140,278 −21.07 665,629 UT
Vermont 3 137,894 53.35 3 80,352 31.09 31,024 12.00 5,585 2.16 1,183 0.46 2,411 0.93 57,542 22.26 258,449 VT
Virginia 13 1,091,060 45.15 1,138,350 47.10 13 159,861 6.62 9,174 0.38 18,197 0.75 −47,290 −1.96 2,416,642 VA
Washington 11 1,123,323 49.84 11 840,712 37.30 201,003 8.92 60,322 2.68 12,522 0.56 15,955 0.71 282,611 12.54 2,253,837 WA
West Virginia 5 327,812 51.51 5 233,946 36.76 71,639 11.26 3,062 0.48 93,866 14.75 636,459 WV
Wisconsin 11 1,071,971 48.81 11 845,029 38.48 227,339 10.35 28,723 1.31 7,929 0.36 15,178 0.69 226,942 10.33 2,196,169 WI
Wyoming 3 77,934 36.84 105,388 49.81 3 25,928 12.25 1,739 0.82 582 0.28 −27,454 −12.98 211,571 WY
TOTALS: 538 47,400,125 49.24 379 39,198,755 40.71 159 8,085,402 8.40 685,297 0.71 485,798 0.50 420,024 0.44 8,201,370 8.52 96,277,634 US

[22]

Close states[edit]

States where the margin of victory was under 5% (117 electoral votes):

  1. Kentucky, 0.96%
  2. Nevada, 1.02%
  3. Georgia, 1.17%
  4. Colorado, 1.37%
  5. Virginia, 1.96%
  6. Arizona, 2.22%
  7. Tennessee, 2.41%
  8. Montana, 2.88%
  9. South Dakota, 3.46%
  10. North Carolina, 4.69%
  11. Texas, 4.93%

States where the margin of victory was between 5% and 10% (143 electoral votes):

  1. Mississippi, 5.13%
  2. Indiana, 5.58%
  3. Florida, 5.70%
  4. South Carolina, 6.04%
  5. Missouri, 6.30%
  6. Ohio, 6.36%
  7. North Dakota, 6.81%
  8. Alabama, 6.96%
  9. New Mexico, 7.32%
  10. Oklahoma, 7.81%
  11. Oregon, 8.09%
  12. Pennsylvania, 9.20%
  13. New Hampshire, 9.95%

Voter demographics[edit]

The Presidential vote in social groups (percentages)
Social group Clinton Dole Perot  % of
total vote
Total vote 49 41 8 100
Party and ideology
Conservative Republicans 6 88 5 21
Moderate Republicans 20 72 7 13
Liberal Republicans 44 48 9 2
Conservative independents 19 60 19 7
Moderate independents 50 30 17 15
Liberal independents 58 15 18 4
Conservative Democrats 69 23 7 6
Moderate Democrats 84 10 5 20
Liberal Democrats 89 5 4 13
Gender and marital status
Married men 40 48 10 33
Married women 63 28 7 33
Unmarried men 49 35 12 15
Unmarried women 62 28 7 20
Race
White 43 46 9 83
Black 84 12 4 10
Hispanic 72 21 6 5
Asian 43 48 8 1
Religion
Protestant 41 50 8 38
Catholic 53 37 9 29
Other Christian 45 41 12 16
Jewish 78 16 3 3
Other 60 23 11 6
None 59 23 13 7
White Religious Right?
White Religious Right 26 65 8 17
Everyone else 54 35 9 83
Age
18–29 years old 53 34 10 17
30–44 years old 48 41 9 33
45–59 years old 48 41 9 26
60 and older 48 44 7 24
First time voter?
First time voter 54 34 11 9
Everyone else 48 42 8 91
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, or bisexual 66 23 7 5
Heterosexual 47 43 8 95
Education
Not a high school graduate 59 28 11 6
High school graduate 51 35 13 24
Some college education 48 40 10 27
College graduate 44 46 8 26
Postgraduate education 52 40 5 17
Family income
Under $15,000 59 28 11 11
$15,000–$30,000 53 36 9 23
$30,000–$50,000 48 40 10 27
$50,000–$75,000 47 45 7 21
$75,000–$100,000 44 48 7 9
Over $100,000 38 54 6 9
Region
East 55 34 9 23
Midwest 48 41 10 26
South 46.0 45.9 7.3 30
West 48 40 8 20
Community size
Population over 500,000 68 25 6 10
Population 50,000 to 500,000 50 39 8 21
Suburbs 47 42 8 39
Rural areas, towns 45 44 10 30

Source: Voter News Service exit poll, reported in The New York Times, November 10, 1996, 28.[23]

Polling controversy[edit]

Some post-election debate focused on the alleged flaws in the pre-election polls, almost all of which overstated Clinton's lead over Dole, some by a substantial margin. For example, a CBS/New York Times poll overstated Clinton's lead by 10 points despite having an error margin of 2.4%. The odds against this sort of error occurring were 15,000:1.[24] A less extreme example was a Pew poll which overstated Clinton's lead by 5 points, the chances of this happening were 10:1 against.[24] Gerald Wasserman, having examined eight pre-election polls, argued that pure chance would produce such a skewed result in favor of Clinton only once in 4,900 elections.[25] However, because Clinton won the election by a comfortable margin,[26] there was no major reaction towards the inaccuracy of the polls.[26] The polls were also less inaccurate than the overwhelming majority of those taken in 1948,[26] which predicted that losing candidate Thomas Dewey would beat President Harry Truman by a comfortable margin,[26] and in 1980, which predicted that Reagan would win without a landslide victory.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Election Dates". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Anyone left? The search for a Clinton challenger in 1996.". The Progressive. TheFreeLibrary.com. May 1, 1995. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ Newton-Small, Jay (November 24, 2009). "Can a Pro-Life Dem Bridge the Health-Care Divide?". Time. Retrieved December 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ "US President – D Primaries Race – Feb 01, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  6. ^ Julie Hirschfeld Davis (January 26, 2012), "'Stop-Newt' Republicans Confront New Base" Bloomberg News
  7. ^ "US President – R Primaries Race – July 7, 1996". Our Campaigns.com. Retrieved March 10, 2008. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Matt (September 25, 2008). "McCain and Obama Can Learn A Lot From Past Debaters". Townhall.com. Retrieved August 18, 2016. It's the age of his ideas that I question 
  9. ^ Berke, Richard L. (October 7, 1996). "Clinton And Dole, Face To Face, Spar Over Medicare And Taxes". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  10. ^ "09/02/96 MEDICARE, TAXES, AND BOB DOLE: A TALK WITH THE PRESIDENT". Businessweek.com. June 14, 1997. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  11. ^ Woodward, Bob and Duffy, Brian, "Chinese Embassy Role In Contributions Probed", Washington Post, February 13, 1997
  12. ^ Eskenazi, Michael, "For both Gore and GOP, a guilty verdict to watch", CNN.com, March 3, 2000
  13. ^ Abse, Nathan, "A Look at the 94 Who Aren't Talking", Washington Post, June 9, 1998
  14. ^ Holmes, Steven A. (November 5, 1992). "THE 1992 ELECTIONS: DISAPPOINTMENT – NEWS ANALYSIS An Eccentric but No Joke; Perot's Strong Showing Raises Questions On What Might Have Been, and Might Be". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Presidential Election Exit Poll
  16. ^ 1996 Election Tracking Polls
  17. ^ Matthews, Dylan (August 9, 2012). "The effect of veep picks, in two charts". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 27, 2014. Jack Kemp, whose home state of New York saw an even stronger anti-Republican swing in 1996 
  18. ^ a b c "'96 Presidential and Congressional Election Statistics". Official website of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on January 26, 2006. Retrieved February 17, 2006. 
  19. ^ "November 12, 1996" (PDF). Minutes of the Meetings of the Board of Supervisors. Cerro Gordo County. 1996. Retrieved March 30, 2006. 
  20. ^ Fernandez, Sonia (February 22, 2000). "Nader '55 to run for president". The Daily Princetonian. Daily Princetonian Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved March 30, 2006. 
  21. ^ "Electors of President and Vice President". Cattaraugus County: Board of Elections: 1996 Election Results. Cattaraugus County, New York State. Retrieved March 30, 2006. 
  22. ^ 1996 Presidential General Election Data - National, Uselectionatlas.org.
  23. ^ "1996 Presidential Exit Polls Results". CNN. 
  24. ^ a b "Polls". .psych.purdue.edu. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Were The Polls Right?". .psych.purdue.edu. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Mitofsky, W. J. (1998). "Review: Was 1996 a Worse Year for Polls Than 1948?". The Public Opinion Quarterly. 62 (2): 230–249. doi:10.1086/297842. 

Further reading[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Laurence W. Moreland and Robert P. Steed, eds., ed. (1997). The 1996 Presidential Election in the South: Southern Party Systems in the 1990s. ISBN 0-275-95951-1. 
  • Ceaser, James W.; Andrew E. Busch (1997). Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics. ISBN 0-8476-8405-9. 
  • Clinton, Bill (2005). My Life. Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X. 
  • Green, John C. (1999). Financing the 1996 Election. ISBN 0-585-26014-1. 
  • Pomper, Gerald M.; et al. (1997). The Election of 1996: Reports and Interpretations. ISBN 0-585-22457-9. 

Journals[edit]

  • Jelen, Ted G.; Marthe Chandler (2000). "Culture Wars in the Trenches: Social Issues as Short-Term Forces in Presidential Elections, 1968–1996". The American Review of Politics. 21: 69–87. 

Web references[edit]

External links[edit]