1988 United States presidential election

1988 United States presidential election

← 1984 November 8, 1988 1992 →

538 members of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout50.2%[1] Decrease 3.1 pp
  1988 Bush (cropped).jpg Michael Dukakis color photograph (cropped).png
Nominee George H. W. Bush Michael Dukakis
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Massachusetts
Running mate Dan Quayle Lloyd Bentsen
Electoral vote 426 111[2]
States carried 40 10 + DC
Popular vote 48,886,597 41,809,074
Percentage 53.4% 45.6%

1988 United States presidential election in California1988 United States presidential election in Oregon1988 United States presidential election in Washington (state)1988 United States presidential election in Idaho1988 United States presidential election in Nevada1988 United States presidential election in Utah1988 United States presidential election in Arizona1988 United States presidential election in Montana1988 United States presidential election in Wyoming1988 United States presidential election in Colorado1988 United States presidential election in New Mexico1988 United States presidential election in North Dakota1988 United States presidential election in South Dakota1988 United States presidential election in Nebraska1988 United States presidential election in Kansas1988 United States presidential election in Oklahoma1988 United States presidential election in Texas1988 United States presidential election in Minnesota1988 United States presidential election in Iowa1988 United States presidential election in Missouri1988 United States presidential election in Arkansas1988 United States presidential election in Louisiana1988 United States presidential election in Wisconsin1988 United States presidential election in Illinois1988 United States presidential election in Michigan1988 United States presidential election in Indiana1988 United States presidential election in Ohio1988 United States presidential election in Kentucky1988 United States presidential election in Tennessee1988 United States presidential election in Mississippi1988 United States presidential election in Alabama1988 United States presidential election in Georgia1988 United States presidential election in Florida1988 United States presidential election in South Carolina1988 United States presidential election in North Carolina1988 United States presidential election in Virginia1988 United States presidential election in West Virginia1988 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1988 United States presidential election in Maryland1988 United States presidential election in Delaware1988 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania1988 United States presidential election in New Jersey1988 United States presidential election in New York1988 United States presidential election in Connecticut1988 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1988 United States presidential election in Vermont1988 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1988 United States presidential election in Maine1988 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1988 United States presidential election in Hawaii1988 United States presidential election in Alaska1988 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1988 United States presidential election in Maryland1988 United States presidential election in Delaware1988 United States presidential election in New Jersey1988 United States presidential election in Connecticut1988 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1988 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1988 United States presidential election in Vermont1988 United States presidential election in New HampshireElectoralCollege1988.svg
About this image
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Bush/Quayle and blue denotes those won by Dukakis/Bentsen. Light blue is the electoral vote for Bentsen/Dukakis by a West Virginia faithless elector. Numbers indicate electoral votes cast by each state and the District of Columbia.

President before election

Ronald Reagan
Republican

Elected President

George H. W. Bush
Republican

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The incumbent in 1988, Ronald Reagan. His second term expired at noon on January 20, 1989.

The 1988 United States presidential election was the 51st quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 1988. The Republican nominee, incumbent Vice President George H. W. Bush, defeated the Democratic nominee, Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts. This was the first presidential election since 1948, and the most recent to date, in which a party won a third presidential term. This also remains the most recent election in which a candidate won over 400 electoral votes.

Incumbent president Ronald Reagan was ineligible to seek a third term. Bush entered the Republican primaries as the front-runner, defeating U.S. Senator Bob Dole and televangelist Pat Robertson to win the nomination. He selected U.S. Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana as his running mate. Dukakis won the Democratic primaries after Democratic leaders such as Gary Hart and Ted Kennedy withdrew or declined to run. He selected U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his running mate.

Bush ran an aggressive campaign concentrated on the economy, reducing urban crime, and continuing Reagan's policies. He attacked Dukakis as an elitist "Massachusetts liberal," and Dukakis appeared to fail to respond effectively to Bush's criticism. Despite Dukakis's initial lead in polls, Bush pulled ahead after the Republican National Convention and extended his lead after a strong performance in two debates. As of 2021, no candidate of either party has since equaled or surpassed Bush's share of the electoral or popular vote, only Bush's son George W. Bush in 2004 has won the popular vote in a presidential election for the Republicans since, and no Republican candidate has since won California, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine, Delaware, or Vermont. Bush became the first sitting vice president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836.

  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  2. ^ A faithless Democratic elector voted for Bentsen for president and Dukakis for vice president

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