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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderators: Torie, ON Progressive)
  Dukakis's 272 strategy.
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Author Topic: Dukakis's 272 strategy.  (Read 990 times)
538Electoral
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« on: December 16, 2019, 05:56:21 am »



272-266

I found an old article that explained how Dukakis planned to beat Bush in 1988.
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Georgia Swing
mollybecky
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 11:35:13 am »
« Edited: December 16, 2019, 11:40:58 am by North Fulton Swing »

This was part of Dukakis's "bring home the base strategy".  It was partially successful in that he was running 17 points behind in early October 1988, and he was able to cut the margin by half.

Of course, this would have fallen far short of his 272 (he wasn't close in Ohio and Michigan), but a 2 point swing would have given him California, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania--which would have made a more respectable EV showing.

I remember that Al Franken talked about this strategy on SNL before the 1988 election.  Smart analysis from a smart man--I am sorry he is gone from the Senate.  It turned out to work brilliantly for 1992 and largely remains the Democratic key to victory today (with a few exceptions).
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MarkD
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 04:19:05 pm »

Ah yes, I remember it well, .......

It was the first election that I paid close attention to, and the first general election in which I voted. And I remember that the first sign that Dukakis was in trouble was when he decided that he could not compete in Florida, so he wasn't going to try. First, he pulled out all campaign resources from Florida and just focused on the other 49 states. As the campaign wore on, he pulled out from several other states too, just concentrating on those that were winnable and which had at least 270 EC votes. But when he pulled out of Florida, I knew he was going to lose.

I voted for him anyway. I had the wrong reason to do so, and I've regretted it ever since.
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538Electoral
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2019, 07:57:32 am »

This was part of Dukakis's "bring home the base strategy".  It was partially successful in that he was running 17 points behind in early October 1988, and he was able to cut the margin by half.

Of course, this would have fallen far short of his 272 (he wasn't close in Ohio and Michigan), but a 2 point swing would have given him California, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania--which would have made a more respectable EV showing.

I remember that Al Franken talked about this strategy on SNL before the 1988 election.  Smart analysis from a smart man--I am sorry he is gone from the Senate.  It turned out to work brilliantly for 1992 and largely remains the Democratic key to victory today (with a few exceptions).

Dukakis would've been better off targeting CO, NM and MO than OH. Would've put him at 273.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2019, 12:00:13 pm »

For the record, a uniform swing to a Dukakis EC majority looks like this:

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Zyzz
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2019, 08:15:45 pm »

Yea, I have watched election night 1988, and the Dukakis campaigned talked about his 19 state path to a win.
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buritobr
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2019, 08:28:13 pm »

Having a texan running mate was not a part of this strategy
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Arbitrage1980
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2019, 04:03:00 am »

HW Bush 1988 outperformed in the EC compared to his national PV margin: 426 EV and 7.8% national PV margin. Obama 08 won the PV by 7.2% but got 365 EVs, as a point of comparison. This was due to Bush winning CA, IL, PA, MD, by under 4%.

Crime was one of the biggest issues of that campaign, and suburban whites in those states were terrified of Dukakis' weakness on crime. Maryland was particularly vulnerable because Willie Horton's rape during his prison furlough occurred there. Otherwise, Dukakis most certainly takes it, as the state went for Carter in 1980. The dramatic reduction of crime during the Clinton presidency was crucial in alleviating the fears of white suburban voters, allowing them to vote for Dems for President. The Left are overly harsh on Clinton and the 1994 crime bill, but without them, there would be no Obama presidency, and the Dems' electoral position would be significantly weaker.
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Arbitrage1980
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2019, 04:06:01 am »

This was part of Dukakis's "bring home the base strategy".  It was partially successful in that he was running 17 points behind in early October 1988, and he was able to cut the margin by half.

Of course, this would have fallen far short of his 272 (he wasn't close in Ohio and Michigan), but a 2 point swing would have given him California, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania--which would have made a more respectable EV showing.

I remember that Al Franken talked about this strategy on SNL before the 1988 election.  Smart analysis from a smart man--I am sorry he is gone from the Senate.  It turned out to work brilliantly for 1992 and largely remains the Democratic key to victory today (with a few exceptions).

Dukakis would've been better off targeting CO, NM and MO than OH. Would've put him at 273.

Dukakis lost OH by 10.9% despite his strength with rural whites. But 1988 was the polar opposite of 2016: Dukakis did well in eastern industrial Ohio but got destroyed in Hamilton and Franklin counties, which are now solid blue. Dukakis lost OH by a larger margin than MO, MT, SD, CO.
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tara gilesbie
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2019, 11:15:38 pm »

For the record, a uniform swing to a Dukakis EC majority looks like this:



Aside from Ohio it looks like a modern Farmer-Labor Party.
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morgankingsley
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2019, 12:26:54 am »

For the record, a uniform swing to a Dukakis EC majority looks like this:



This might be the last time we will ever see Montana be involved in a minimum democrat victory
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sg0508
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2019, 08:19:06 pm »

CBS "the 18 state strategy".  The problem was, once OH was gone (and they mentioned this was the biggest concern early), there was practically no way to make up for those chunk of EVs if Bentsen didn't somehow help them to take TX.
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sg0508
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2019, 08:19:56 pm »

Ironically, and many forget this, but Dukakis came VERY close to making '88 a horse race in the Electoral College. Had he taken CA, PA, IL and MD, he was right there.
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morgankingsley
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2019, 08:26:18 pm »

Ironically, and many forget this, but Dukakis came VERY close to making '88 a horse race in the Electoral College. Had he taken CA, PA, IL and MD, he was right there.

Even PA and IL, which he came very close to winning, would have already made the race much closer than many give it credit to being. The closeness of several states is like Carter in his second election in that regard
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sg0508
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2019, 08:47:03 pm »

Ironically, and many forget this, but Dukakis came VERY close to making '88 a horse race in the Electoral College. Had he taken CA, PA, IL and MD, he was right there.

Even PA and IL, which he came very close to winning, would have already made the race much closer than many give it credit to being. The closeness of several states is like Carter in his second election in that regard
And those were likely four "Willie Horton" states that he threw away as a result of the furlough disaster.  Maybe not CA since that was the "final gift from Reagan", but definitely the other three.
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morgankingsley
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2019, 09:35:39 pm »

Ironically, and many forget this, but Dukakis came VERY close to making '88 a horse race in the Electoral College. Had he taken CA, PA, IL and MD, he was right there.

Even PA and IL, which he came very close to winning, would have already made the race much closer than many give it credit to being. The closeness of several states is like Carter in his second election in that regard
And those were likely four "Willie Horton" states that he threw away as a result of the furlough disaster.  Maybe not CA since that was the "final gift from Reagan", but definitely the other three.

Even with CA he only lost it by three points. So even with a popular incumbent, Bush barley won it. Take away Reagan, and Dukakis would have easily won it in my mind
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sg0508
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2019, 09:43:54 pm »

Ironically, and many forget this, but Dukakis came VERY close to making '88 a horse race in the Electoral College. Had he taken CA, PA, IL and MD, he was right there.
Two big unknowns (assuming Reagan wasn't a lame duck from the state) - 1) The impact of the law & order vote in the suburbs that propelled Bush in many states 2) The "no show" effect since the race was over by the time CA was called.  Who didn't bother showing and in what #s? It's very hard to tell.

Even PA and IL, which he came very close to winning, would have already made the race much closer than many give it credit to being. The closeness of several states is like Carter in his second election in that regard
And those were likely four "Willie Horton" states that he threw away as a result of the furlough disaster.  Maybe not CA since that was the "final gift from Reagan", but definitely the other three.

Even with CA he only lost it by three points. So even with a popular incumbent, Bush barley won it. Take away Reagan, and Dukakis would have easily won it in my mind
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538Electoral
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2019, 10:41:16 pm »

Dukakis would have gotten 229 if he had won the largest 5 Bush states he won by less than 5%. (CA, PA, IL, MO, MD)



From there, Michigan's 20 = 249 and Ohio's 23 = 272. Very similar to the actual strategy but trading VT and CT for MO.
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tara gilesbie
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2019, 11:32:33 pm »

For the record, a uniform swing to a Dukakis EC majority looks like this:



This might be the last time we will ever see Montana be involved in a minimum democrat victory

Montana was only a lean R state before the Clinton-era "War on the West" environmental battles over timber and mining, two of the most unionized rural resource industries at the time. Both in the 1972 and 1984 landslides Montana was roughly within the national average. JFK and LBJ were only slightly below national average as well. Carter was weak, but he was weak in every Western state.

In addition, while I hate to drip into RINOTOM-ism, it must be noted Montana's WWII/older Silent voters were quite Democratic. In 1996, 48% of over 65 Montanans voted for Bill Clinton and were most likely to do so versus only 38 percent among Gen X. They were also most likely to vote for Max Baucus that year.

https://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/1998/states/MT/polls/MT96PH.html
https://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/1998/states/MT/polls/MT96SH.html
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