The Presidential Election 1988


Map Code: Ax00097

With Reagan approaching the end of his second term, the Republicans struggled to find a successor. Despite initial competition and losses in the primaries, Vice President George Bush ended up as the only candidate in the running. He chose lesser-known senator Dan Quayle as running mate. The Democratic candidacy race was more crowded, with many contenders including Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and Jesse Jackson. After controversy, scandal, drop-outs and primary losses, Dukakis won. Up against a well-organized and tactical Republican campaign, Dukakis struggled to effectively handle Bush’s strategy of attacks and manoeuvres. As election day grew nearer, Dukakis’s liberal image began to catch on with the voters, but this popularity came too late and Bush achieved 79.2 per cent of the electoral vote and 53.4 per cent of the popular vote. Performed well in the suburbs and Southern states, but lost much of Reagan’s support in rural areas.

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