1988 Elections Bush vs Dukakais

Vice President George H. W. Bush faced challenges from both Senator Dole and Reverend Pat Robertson. While Bush finished an embarrassing third place in Iowa, he recovered. Bush forced his opponents to withdraw, after he won most of the contests on Super Tuesday. Thus, Bush was unopposed at the Republican convention in New Orleans. The only matter of contention at the 1988 Republican convention was Bushís decision to select Senator Quayle be his running mate. This decision was widely criticized. Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts quickly became the Democratic front-runner. Gary Hart withdrew due to allegations of sexual improprieties, and Mario Cuomo, of New York refused to run. One by one, Dukakis' opponents withdrew. When the convention took place in Atlanta, only Jesse Jackson was remained. Dukakis won on the first ballot, after receiving 2,876 votes, compared to Jacksonís 1,218. Dukakis chose Senator Lloyd Benson of Texas as his vice presidential running mate.

When the campaign began, Governor Dukakis held a clear lead over Vice President Bush. Then, the Republicans successfully attacked Dukakis in a number of ways. One of the most notable criticisms was an attack on Dukakis surrounding the furlough release of Willie Horton, an African American convicted of murder. Horton was released on a weekend furlough from prison while Dukakis was governor. Bush stated: "Don't let murders out on vacation to terrorize innocent people... Dukakis owes the people an explanation of why he supported this outrageous program".

The Republicans then went on to sponsor a series of television ads with pictures of Horton and the related crime scenes, claiming it was Dukakis who had let that happen. The fact that the program was started by Dukakis' Republican predecessor, and that while President Reagan had been governor of California it had been instituted there as well, was not mentioned. This and other attack ads were very effective. Governor Dukakis was not a very effective campaigner. He hurt his campaign badly when, at a debate, Dukakis stated he would not advocate the death penalty for someone who had raped and murdered his wife. Consequently, George Bush won by a large margin.

Particpation of Eligible Voters 50.1%

Democratic Convention
Republican Convention
TV Commercials

 

State results in 1988

Electoral Results in 1988

Alabama George Bush 815,576 59.2 Michael Dukakais 549,506 39.9
Alaska George Bush 119,251 59.6 Michael Dukakais 72,584 36.3
Arizona George Bush 702,541 60.0 Michael Dukakais 454,029 38.7
Arkansas George Bush 466,578 56.4 Michael Dukakais 349,237 42.2
California George Bush 5,054,917 51.1 Michael Dukakais 4,702,233 47.6
Colorado George Bush 728,177 53.1 Michael Dukakais 621,453 45.3
Connecticut George Bush 750,241 52.0 Michael Dukakais 676,584 46.9
Delaware George Bush 139,639 55.9 Michael Dukakais 108,647 43.5
Florida George Bush 2,618,885 60.9 Michael Dukakais 1,656,701 38.5
Georgia George Bush 1,081,331 59.8 Michael Dukakais 714,792 39.5
Hawaii George Bush 158,625 44.8 Michael Dukakais 192,364 54.3
Idaho George Bush 253,881 62.1 Michael Dukakais 147,272 36.0
Illinois George Bush 2,310,939 50.7 Michael Dukakais 2,215,940 48.6
Indiana George Bush 1,297,763 59.8 Michael Dukakais 860,643 39.7
Iowa George Bush 545,355 44.5 Michael Dukakais 670,557 54.7
Kansas George Bush 554,049 55.8 Michael Dukakais 422,636 42.6
Kentucky George Bush 734,281 55.5 Michael Dukakais 580,368 43.9
Louisiana George Bush 883,702 54.3 Michael Dukakais 717,460 44.1
Maine George Bush 307,131 55.3 Michael Dukakais 243,569 43.9
Maryland George Bush 876,167 51.1 Michael Dukakais 826,304 48.2
Massachusetts George Bush 1,194,635 45.4 Michael Dukakais 1,401,415 53.2
Michigan George Bush 1,965,486 53.6 Michael Dukakais 1,675,783 45.7
Minnesota George Bush 962,337 45.9 Michael Dukakais 1,109,471 52.9
Mississippi George Bush 557,890 59.9 Michael Dukakais 363,921 39.1
Missouri George Bush 1,084,953 51.8 Michael Dukakais 1,001,619 47.8
Montana George Bush 190,412 52.1 Michael Dukakais 168,936 46.2
Nebraska George Bush 397,956 60.2 Michael Dukakais 259,235 39.2
Nevada George Bush 206,040 58.9 Michael Dukakais 132,738 37.9
Now Hampshire George Bush 281,537 62.4 Michael Dukakais 163,696 36.3
New Jersey George Bush 1,743,192 56.2 Michael Dukakais 1,320,352 42.6
Now Mexico George Bush 270,341 51.9 Michael Dukakais 244,497 46.9
New York George Bush 3,081,871 47.5 Michael Dukakais 3,347,882 51.6
North Carolina George Bush 1,237,258 58.0 Michael Dukakais 890,167 41.7
North Dakota George Bush 166,559 56.0 Michael Dukakais 127,739 43.0
Ohio George Bush 2,416,549 55.0 Michael Dukakais 1,939,629 44.1
Oklahoma George Bush 678,367 57.9 Michael Dukakais 483,423 41.3
Oregon George Bush 560,126 46.6 Michael Dukakais 616,206 51.3
Pennsylvania George Bush 2,300,087 50.7 Michael Dukakais 2,194,944 48.4
Rhode Island George Bush 177,761 43.9 Michael Dukakais 225,123 55.6
South Carolina George Bush 606,443 61.5 Michael Dukakais 370,554 37.6
South Dakota George Bush 165,415 52.8 Michael Dukakais 145,560 46.5
Tennessee George Bush 947,233 57.9 Michael Dukakais 679,794 41.5
Texas George Bush 3,036,829 56.0 Michael Dukakais 2,352,748 43.3
Utah George Bush 428,442 66.2 Michael Dukakais 207,343 32.0
Vermont George Bush 124,331 51.1 Michael Dukakais 115,775 47.6
Virginia George Bush 1,309,162 59.7 Michael Dukakais 859,799 39.2
Washington George Bush 903,835 48.5 Michael Dukakais 933,516 50.0
West Virginia George Bush 310,065 47.5 Michael Dukakais 341,016 52.2
Wisconsin George Bush 1,047,499 47.8 Michael Dukakais 1,126,794 51.4
Wyoming George Bush 106,867 60.5 Michael Dukakais 67,113 38.0
Dist. of Col. George Bush 27,590 14.3 Michael Dukakais 159,407 82.6
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