United States presidential election in Tennessee, 1988
The 1988 United States presidential election in Tennessee took place on November 8, 1988. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1988 United States presidential election. Tennessee voters chose 11 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
Tennessee was won by incumbent United States Vice President George H. W. Bush of Texas, who was running against Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Bush ran with Indiana Senator Dan Quayle as Vice President, and Dukakis ran with Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen.
Tennessee weighed in for this election as 4% more Republican than the national average. As of 2017, this was the last time the Republican candidate carried Davidson County (home of Nashville) and Shelby County (home of Memphis), both of which have become Democratic strongholds into the 21st century.
The presidential election of 1988 was a very partisan election for Tennessee, with more than 99% of the electorate voting for either the Democratic or Republican parties, though 10 candidates did appear on the ballot. Most counties in Tennessee turned out for Bush, including the highly populated Shelby County and Davidson County, by narrow margins. Those two counties have never voted Republican since this election. Also, it is interesting to note that Tennessee was the only state that Bush actually improved on Ronald Reagan’s 1984 vote share, if only by 0.07 percent. He became only the second Republican after Richard Nixon in 1972 to carry Lincoln County and Hardeman County, which were two of only seven counties in the nation to switch from Mondale to Bush.[a]
Bush won the election in Tennessee with a solid 16 point landslide. The election results in Tennessee are reflective of a nationwide reconsolidation of base for the Republican Party, which took place through the 1980s. Through the passage of some very controversial economic programs, spearheaded by then President Ronald Reagan (called, collectively, "Reaganomics"), the mid-to-late 1980's saw a period of economic growth and stability. The hallmark for Reaganomics was, in part, the wide-scale deregulation of corporate interests, and tax cuts for the wealthy.
Dukakis ran his campaign on a notably socially liberal agenda, and advocated for higher economic regulation and environmental protection. Bush, alternatively, ran on a campaign of continuing the social and economic policies of former President Reagan - which gained him much support with social conservatives and people living in rural areas, who largely associated the Republican Party with the economic growth of the 1980s. Additionally, while the economic programs passed under Reagan, and furthered under Bush and Clinton, may have boosted the economy for a brief period, they are criticized by many analysts as "setting the stage" for economic troubles in the United State after 2007, such as the Great Recession.
|Elections in Tennessee|
|United States presidential election in Tennessee, 1988|
|Republican||George H. W. Bush||947,233||57.89%||11|
|America First||David Duke||1,807||0.11%||0|
|New Alliance Party||Lenora Fulani||1,334||0.08%||0|
|U.S. Labor Party||Lyndon LaRouche||873||0.05%||0|
|Socialist Workers Party||James Warren||718||0.04%||0|
- Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, p. 111 ISBN 0786422173
- Menendez; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, pp. 298-303
- "Since 1980s, the Kindest of Tax Cuts for the Rich". The New York Times. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
- Jerry Lanson (2008-11-06). "A historic victory. A changed nation. Now, can Obama deliver?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2013-07-21.