1988 United States presidential election

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.


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