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The Presidential Election Of 1992 Essay

1547 words - 6 pages

The Presidential Election of 1992


In 1992 the incumbent president George Bush was seeking reelection. It was the general consensus that he would be the 'hands down, no contest winner'. When the smoke had cleared and the votes were tallied, many were shocked at the results. Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton had defeated the incumbent by a landslide! How could this be? How did the commander and chief of what could be considered the greatest victory in modern American history defeat the Iraqi army and one year later lose the election for the presidency? The answers to these questions as well as explanations for the outcome lie within the campaign strategies and tactics used by each candidate. There were various major political events and public opinion data that occurred throughout the general election stage of the campaign. This paper will analyze both the political events and the public opinion data, in hopes of developing a better understanding as to what helped shape the overall outcome. There were three candidates in the race for the presidency, President Bush (R), Bill Clinton (D), and Ross Perot (I). Each of the three, to a greater or lesser extent, focused their campaign on the economy. President Bush focused more of his campaign on criticizing his opponents primarily Bill Clinton. He would often compare the economy to that of other nations, claiming it wasn't all that bad and resumed attacking his opponents. Bill Clinton on the other hand focused his campaign strategy on implementing the need for 'change.' At that time the national debt and unemployment was rising. Clinton vowed to improve the economy and the quality of life for the American people by bringing about change. Ross Perot was more of a crusader against Washington. His strategy was focused primarily on the ever-increasing national debt. He sought to lower the debt and improve the economy. There were several mistakes that Bush made during his attempts to capture reelection. During his 1988 election campaign George Bush made a powerful promise that captured the interest of many. The promise was clear and simple, "read my lips, no new taxes." Many of his supporters held him to this promise. In June of 1990 the president agreed to a tax increase that was aimed at lowering the national debt. Most outraged by this were conservative republicans, as a result they abandoned Bush and granted Perot their support. The mere involvement of third party candidates has helped shape the outcome in previous presidential elections. Since 1860 third party candidates have appeared in seven presidential elections, candidates of the incumbent party have lost six of those (Burnham 1993, 1). Public opinion polls are very important; they provide a general idea of how the public feels about certain issues. Most candidates campaigning for office know this and try to address the concerns of the people. Throughout the general election stage public opinion polls indicated that many Americans didn't approve...

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