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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderators: Torie, ON Progressive)
  Why did HW Bush underperform in California in 1988?
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Author Topic: Why did HW Bush underperform in California in 1988?  (Read 517 times)
Arbitrage1980
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« on: December 27, 2019, 06:57:50 pm »

Yes, California is Reagan's home state, but the drop from 1984 to 1988 was pretty significant. Was Dukakis a good fit for California or something else happened?
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TDAS04
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2019, 07:04:27 pm »

Did he?  The swing in California was only slightly larger than the swing in the PV nationwide. CA actually voted a little to the left of the nation in 1984, so 1988 just modestly continued the state’s long-term Democratic trend, which started in 1984.
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sg0508
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2019, 08:45:09 pm »

He lost only six points from Reagan. His national average loss was 5.5 points from '84 to '88.  That state was also going rapid political change.
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Hydera
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2019, 10:26:09 pm »

Reagan was a cali native and also the hispanic population in Cali was growing since the 1980s due to immigration from across the border. The biggest switches were the future super liberal region of the bay area.
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Arbitrage1980
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 01:08:10 am »
« Edited: December 28, 2019, 01:12:36 am by Arbitrage1980 »

Reagan was a cali native and also the hispanic population in Cali was growing since the 1980s due to immigration from across the border. The biggest switches were the future super liberal region of the bay area.

Yes, SF Bay Area and LA County turned decisively from Regan to Dukakis. Not sure if it was because Reagan was personally popular there or because Dukakis was a great cultural fit.

Demographics is destiny and the #1 reason why Dems have done well in presidential elections since 1992. Why do you think Dems want to import as many immigrans as freaking possible?
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tara gilesbie
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2019, 05:12:40 am »

Besides the mentioned demographics aspect, note also that while Northern California had already moved Republican through the 1980s, there was still a remnant rural Democratic vote until about 1994 as the "Timber Wars" hadn't happened yet. Imagine a Democrat hitting 40% in Tehama County today.
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A Brave Old Fuzzy Bear for a Brave New Atlas
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2019, 10:51:59 am »

California voted to the left of the nation when Democrats lost for years:


1972:  55-41 Nixon vs 60-38 Nixon nationwide

1984:  57-41 Reagan vs 59-40 Reagan nationwide

1988:  51-47 Bush vs  53-45 Bush nationwide

However, California ran to the right of the nation when Democrats won:

1960:  50-49 Nixon vs. 49-49 Kennedy nationwide

1964:  59-41 Johnson vs 61-39 Johnson nationwide

1976:  49-47 Ford vs 50-48 Carter nationwide

The only time California ran to the right of the nation in my lifetime was in 1968:

1968:  47-44 Nixon vs. 43-42 Nixon nationwide

One reason for these results is that from 1960 to 2008, California was THE battleground state.  There were many books that spoke of this.  As a kid interested in politics, I remember reading a book around 1971 from my public library that predicted that the Democrats would beat Nixon; it predicted that the Southern states would return to the Democratic fold, and that "California would be THE battleground for 1972"; it would be where the election would be decided.

Was any election "decided" by California?  One could argue that the 1968 Presidential election was.  Nixon carried California by a mere 3 points, and HHH was surging on Election Day.  A shift of 1.5% of the votes in California to HHH would have thrown the election into the Electoral College, where it would have become interesting.  That didn't happen, but what if it had?  I would state, however, that this was the ONLY time that California was, truly, a "tipping point" state of any kind.
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L.D. Smith
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2019, 12:37:57 pm »

He didn't. Dukakis seriously underperformed enough to lose what should've been a done deal for him.
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2019, 02:52:23 pm »

California voted to the left of the nation when Democrats lost for years:


1972:  55-41 Nixon vs 60-38 Nixon nationwide

1984:  57-41 Reagan vs 59-40 Reagan nationwide

1988:  51-47 Bush vs  53-45 Bush nationwide

However, California ran to the right of the nation when Democrats won:

1960:  50-49 Nixon vs. 49-49 Kennedy nationwide

1964:  59-41 Johnson vs 61-39 Johnson nationwide

1976:  49-47 Ford vs 50-48 Carter nationwide

The only time California ran to the right of the nation in my lifetime was in 1968:

1968:  47-44 Nixon vs. 43-42 Nixon nationwide

One reason for these results is that from 1960 to 2008, California was THE battleground state.  There were many books that spoke of this.  As a kid interested in politics, I remember reading a book around 1971 from my public library that predicted that the Democrats would beat Nixon; it predicted that the Southern states would return to the Democratic fold, and that "California would be THE battleground for 1972"; it would be where the election would be decided.

Was any election "decided" by California?  One could argue that the 1968 Presidential election was.  Nixon carried California by a mere 3 points, and HHH was surging on Election Day.  A shift of 1.5% of the votes in California to HHH would have thrown the election into the Electoral College, where it would have become interesting.  That didn't happen, but what if it had?  I would state, however, that this was the ONLY time that California was, truly, a "tipping point" state of any kind.



Not true it voted significantly to the right of the nation in 1980



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A Brave Old Fuzzy Bear for a Brave New Atlas
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2019, 03:11:42 pm »

California voted to the left of the nation when Democrats lost for years:


1972:  55-41 Nixon vs 60-38 Nixon nationwide

1984:  57-41 Reagan vs 59-40 Reagan nationwide

1988:  51-47 Bush vs  53-45 Bush nationwide

However, California ran to the right of the nation when Democrats won:

1960:  50-49 Nixon vs. 49-49 Kennedy nationwide

1964:  59-41 Johnson vs 61-39 Johnson nationwide

1976:  49-47 Ford vs 50-48 Carter nationwide

The only time California ran to the right of the nation in my lifetime was in 1968:

1968:  47-44 Nixon vs. 43-42 Nixon nationwide

One reason for these results is that from 1960 to 2008, California was THE battleground state.  There were many books that spoke of this.  As a kid interested in politics, I remember reading a book around 1971 from my public library that predicted that the Democrats would beat Nixon; it predicted that the Southern states would return to the Democratic fold, and that "California would be THE battleground for 1972"; it would be where the election would be decided.

Was any election "decided" by California?  One could argue that the 1968 Presidential election was.  Nixon carried California by a mere 3 points, and HHH was surging on Election Day.  A shift of 1.5% of the votes in California to HHH would have thrown the election into the Electoral College, where it would have become interesting.  That didn't happen, but what if it had?  I would state, however, that this was the ONLY time that California was, truly, a "tipping point" state of any kind.



Not true it voted significantly to the right of the nation in 1980


Yes, that was an exception, but there are several big qualifiers here:

1.  Reagan only ran 2% ahead in CA than he did nationwide.

2.  Reagan was identified with CA in a way that Nixon wasn't.  Nixon was a national figure from 1952, onward.

3.  In Congressional races, the Democrats did rather well.   Democrat Alan Cranston was re-elected to the Senate.  In the House, only three (3) CA Democratic incumbents lost.   All three were old and had been hanging on for some time. 
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Jamison5
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2019, 07:14:34 pm »

California voted to the left of the nation when Democrats lost for years:


1972:  55-41 Nixon vs 60-38 Nixon nationwide

1984:  57-41 Reagan vs 59-40 Reagan nationwide

1988:  51-47 Bush vs  53-45 Bush nationwide

However, California ran to the right of the nation when Democrats won:

1960:  50-49 Nixon vs. 49-49 Kennedy nationwide

1964:  59-41 Johnson vs 61-39 Johnson nationwide

1976:  49-47 Ford vs 50-48 Carter nationwide

The only time California ran to the right of the nation in my lifetime was in 1968:

1968:  47-44 Nixon vs. 43-42 Nixon nationwide

One reason for these results is that from 1960 to 2008, California was THE battleground state.  There were many books that spoke of this.  As a kid interested in politics, I remember reading a book around 1971 from my public library that predicted that the Democrats would beat Nixon; it predicted that the Southern states would return to the Democratic fold, and that "California would be THE battleground for 1972"; it would be where the election would be decided.

Was any election "decided" by California?  One could argue that the 1968 Presidential election was.  Nixon carried California by a mere 3 points, and HHH was surging on Election Day.  A shift of 1.5% of the votes in California to HHH would have thrown the election into the Electoral College, where it would have become interesting.  That didn't happen, but what if it had?  I would state, however, that this was the ONLY time that California was, truly, a "tipping point" state of any kind.


California was the tipping point state in 1916, which Wilson won by 3,773 votes. It was not the tipping point in 1968, though I suppose it did have the potential to be if a few other states like Illinois and Ohio had not been closer than California.
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Liberalrocks
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2019, 08:49:17 pm »

I dont think that he did. California was a swing state at the time and could have and needed to have been in the Dukakis column for a win. Dukakis did invest time and money here and came up short in a state that was winnable with or without the presence of the Gipper at the time.
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