United States presidential election in Texas, 1988

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United States presidential election in Texas, 1988
← 1984 November 8, 1988 1992 →
  George H. W. Bush, Vice President of the United States, official portrait.jpg Dukakis1988rally cropped.jpg
Nominee George H. W. Bush Michael Dukakis
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Massachusetts
Running mate Dan Quayle Lloyd Bentsen
Electoral vote 29 0
Popular vote 3,036,829 2,352,748
Percentage 55.95% 43.35%

County Results

President before election

Ronald Reagan

Elected President

George H. W. Bush

The 1988 United States presidential election in Texas took place on November 8, 1988. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1988 United States presidential election. Texas voters chose 29 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the President and Vice President.

Texas 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.

Texas weighed in for this election as 2% more Republican than the national average.

Partisan background[edit]

The presidential election of 1988 was a very partisan election for Texas, with more than 99% of the electorate voting for either the Democratic or Republican parties.[1] This is one of the last elections in Texas where you see many rural counties (including a large Democratic stronghold along the border with Louisiana) voting for the Democratic Party, and the populated counties, such as Houston’s Harris County, voting mainly for the Republican candidate. Since the Presidential election of 1996, this demographic trend in Texas has reversed to its current form of “urban Democrats” and “rural Republicans” as it has elsewhere in the United States.

As of 2017, and despite Bill Clinton’s two ensuing nationwide election victories, the 1988 election constitutes the last occasion when Lee County, Calhoun County and San Saba County have supported the Democratic presidential nominee.[2]

Republican victory[edit]

Bush won his home-state with a solid 12 point landslide. This election marks one of the first times that Texas has proven (post Reagan) to be a reliable Republican vote, and a decisively large player in Southern politics. The election results in Texas are also 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 1980s 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.[3]

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.


United States presidential election in Texas, 1988
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican George H. W. Bush 3,036,829 55.95% 29
Democratic Michael Dukakis 2,352,748 43.35% 0
Libertarian Ron Paul 30,355 0.56% 0
New Alliance Party Lenora Fulani 7,208 0.13% 0
Write-Ins 160 >0.01% 0
Socialist Workers Party James Warren 110 >0.01% 0
Totals 5,427,410 100.0% 29

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  3. ^ "Since 1980s, the Kindest of Tax Cuts for the Rich". The New York Times. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-21.