Cuomo vs. Bush; 1988 or 1992

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  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Election What-ifs?
  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderator: Dereich)
  Cuomo vs. Bush; 1988 or 1992
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Author Topic: Cuomo vs. Bush; 1988 or 1992  (Read 2791 times)
pragmatic liberal
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« on: December 30, 2006, 02:04:51 AM »

In 1988, historical trends should have favored the Democrats. And indeed, the hapless Michael Dukakis even lead George H. W. Bush by 17 points late in the summer before the election.

Was George H. W. Bush beatable? I would think he was; although issues like crime and taxation favored the Republicans, Bush was hardly the strongest candidate around.

Could Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York have won in 1988? My feeling is he may have. 1988 was a winnable race for the Democrats. A more energetic campaign could have won. And in the charisma department, Cuomo easily outshone Bush.

On the other hand, on crime and welfare issues, he'd have been even more easily slimed than Dukakis. Would he have responded better?

How about 1992, when he nearly did run? Perhaps his chance at victory would have been even stronger. Bush's low approval ratings could very easily have lead to a Cuomo victory, in spite of what the Republicans called "the New York Nightmare." Of course, New York seemed in much worse shape in 1992 than in 1988 (so that argues for Cuomo having a better chance in '88).

What do you guys think?

I'm gonna say that in '88, Cuomo could have eked out a narrow victory over Bush. Perhaps we'd get a Mario Cuomo/Bob Kerrey ticket. 51-48 in the popular vote and 283-255 in the electoral college

If he ran in 1992, with Perot in the race, it'd be much closer. Maybe something like Cuomo 39, Bush 38, Perot 21.

I imagine that Cuomo would have had a much more favorable environment in an '89-93 term than in a '93 through '97 term, though. He'd likely face a huge Republican landslide in '94 (due in part to pro-Republican redistricting and an anti-Dem backlash in the South) and it's hard to imagine him getting reelected in '96, even if the economy had picked up somewhat.
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