1996 Republican Party presidential primaries

The 1996 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1996 U.S. presidential election. Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, former Senate Majority Leader was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1996 Republican National Convention held from August 12 to August 15, 1996, in San Diego, California.

Republican Party presidential primaries, 1996

January 29 to June 4, 1996
  Bob Dole, PCCWW photo portrait Patrickjbuchanan Steve Forbes
Candidate Bob Dole Pat Buchanan Steve Forbes
Home state Kansas Virginia New York
Contests won 46 4 2
Popular vote 9,024,742 3,184,943 1,751,187
Percentage 58.8% 20.8% 11.4%

1996RepublicanPresidentialPrimaries
Gold denotes a state won by Pat Buchanan. Green denotes a state won by Steve Forbes. Purple denotes a state won by Bob Dole. Grey denotes a territory that did not hold a primary.

Previous Republican nominee

George H. W. Bush

Republican nominee

Bob Dole

Background

Following the 1994 midterm elections, many prominent candidates entered what would be a crowded field. This was expected as Democratic President Bill Clinton was unpopular in his first two years in office, eventually leading to the Republican Revolution. However, as Clinton became increasingly popular in his third year in office, several withdrew from the race or decided not to run. Former U.S. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell was widely courted as a potential Republican nominee. However, on November 8, 1995, Powell announced that he would not seek the nomination. Former Secretary of Defense and future Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney was touted by many as a possible candidate for the presidency, but he declared his intentions not to run in early 1995. Then-Texas Governor George W. Bush was also urged by some party leaders to seek the Republican Party nomination, but opted against doing so.

Primary race overview

Going into the 1996 primary contest, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was widely seen as the front runner. Dole had significant name recognition, as he was a two time presidential candidate - in 1980 and 1988, and Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1976. He was expected to win the nomination against underdog candidates such as the more conservative U.S. Senator Phil Gramm of Texas and more centrist U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. The fragmented field of candidates, which also included journalist and 1992 presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and magazine publisher Steve Forbes, debated issues such as a flat tax and other tax cut proposals, and a return to supply-side economic policies popularized by Ronald Reagan. More attention was drawn to the race by the budget stalemate in 1995 between the Congress and the President, which caused temporary shutdowns and slowdowns in many areas of federal government service.

On January 29, Buchanan won a non-binding straw poll in Alaska. Most pundits dismissed Buchanan's showing as insignificant.[1] On February 6, Buchanan won the Louisiana caucus. Buchanan and Gramm had made several trips to the state to campaign. Gramm was expected to win, due to being from neighboring Texas and having the support of many of the Louisiana party regulars.[2]

Dole won the Iowa Caucus with 26% of the vote, a considerably smaller margin of victory than was expected.

Gramm's poor showing in Louisiana plus placing 5th in Iowa's caucuses resulted in his withdrawal from the contest on the Sunday before the New Hampshire primary.

In the New Hampshire Primary, Buchanan recorded a surprising victory over Dole, who finished in second place.

Buchanan's early victories and Forbes' victories in Delaware and Arizona put Dole's expected front runner status in doubt during the formative months of the primary season. Dole won every primary after including North and South Dakota; this eventually gave him enough delegate commitments to claim status as the GOP presidential presumptive nominee.

Having collected only 21 percent of the total votes in Republican primaries and won 4 states, Buchanan suspended his campaign in March. He declared however that, if Dole were to choose a pro-choice running mate, he would run as the US Taxpayers Party (now Constitution Party) candidate.[3] Forbes also withdrew in March having won only two states.[4]

Dole resigned his Senate seat on June 11 in order to focus more intently on his presidential campaign.

Candidates

Nominee

Withdrew during convention

Patrickjbuchanan

Former presidential advisor Pat Buchanan of Virginia

Withdrew during primaries

RobertDornan

U.S. Congressman Bob Dornan of California

Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes of New York, an owner and publisher (March 14, 1996)

PhilGramm (1)

U.S. Senator Phil Gramm of Texas (February 14, 1996)

Alan Keyes (1)

Former diplomat Alan Keyes of Maryland

Dick Lugar official photo

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana (March 6, 1996)

No image

Titan International President Morry Taylor of Michigan (March 9, 1996)

Withdrew before primary elections

Arlen Specter official portrait

U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania

Pete Wilson meeting with Les Aspin, Feb 3, 1993 - cropped to Wilson.JPEG

Governor and former U.S. Senator Pete Wilson of California

Other Minor Candidates

Jack Fellure (cropped)

Retired engineer Jack Fellure of West Virginia

Declined to run

Results

Statewide

1996 Republican primary and caucus results[5]
Bob Dole Pat Buchanan Steve Forbes Lamar Alexander Alan Keyes Richard Lugar Phil Gramm Morry Taylor Bob Dornan
January 29 Alaska (caucus) 17% 32% 31% 1% 10% - 9% - -
February 6 Louisiana (caucus) - 44% - - 4% - 42% - -
February 12 Iowa Caucus 26% 23% 10% 18% 7% 4% 9% 1% -
February 20 New Hampshire primary 26% 27% 12% 22% 2% 5% - 2% -
February 24 Delaware (primary) 27% 19% 33% 13% 5% 5% 2% - -
February 27 Arizona (primary) 30% 27% 33% 7% 1% 1% - - -
February 27 North Dakota (primary) 42% 18% 20% 6% 3% 1% 9% - -
February 27 South Dakota (primary) 45% 29% 13% 9% 4% - - - -
March 2 South Carolina (primary) 45% 29% 13% 10% 2% - - - -
March 2 Wyoming (caucus) 40% 18% 17% 7% 7% - - - -
March 3 Puerto Rico (primary) 98% - - - - - - - -
March 5 Colorado (primary) 43% 21% 21% 10% 4% 1% - - -
March 5 Connecticut (primary) 54% 15% 20% 5% 2% 1% - - -
March 5 Georgia (primary) 41% 29% 13% 14% 3% - - - -
March 5 Maine (primary) 46% 24% 15% 7% 2% 3% - - -
March 5 Maryland (primary) 53% 21% 13% 6% 5% 1% - - -
March 5 Massachusetts (primary) 48% 25% 14% 8% 2% 2% - - -
March 5 Minnesota (caucus) 41% 33% 10% 5% 10% - - - -
March 5 Rhode Island (primary) 64% 3% 1% 19% - 3% - 1% -
March 5 Vermont (primary) 40% 17% 16% 11% - 14% 1% - -
March 7 New York (primary) 55% 15% 30% - - - - - -
March 9 Missouri (caucus) 28% 36% 1% - 9% - - - -
March 12 Florida (primary) 57% 18% 20% 1% 2% 2% - - 1%
March 12 Louisiana (primary) 48% 33% 12% 2% 3% - - 1% -
March 12 Mississippi (primary) 60% 26% 8% 2% 2% - - - 2%
March 12 Oklahoma (primary) 59% 22% 14% 1% 2% - - - -
March 12 Oregon (primary) 51% 21% 13% 7% 4% 1% - - -
March 12 Tennessee (primary) 51% 25% 8% 11% 3% - - - -
March 12 Texas (primary) 56% 21% 13% 2% 4% - 2% - -
March 19 Illinois (primary) 65% 23% 5% 1% 4% 1% 1% - -
March 19 Michigan (primary) 51% 34% 5% 1% 3% - - - -
March 19 Ohio (primary) 66% 22% 6% 3% 2% 1% - - -
March 19 Wisconsin (primary) 53% 34% 6% 2% 3% - - - -
March 26 California (primary) 66% 18% 7% 2% 4% 1% 1% - 1%
March 26 Nevada (primary) 52% 15% 19% 2% 1% - - - -
March 26 Washington (primary) 63% 21% 9% 1% 5% - - - -
April 23 Pennsylvania (primary) 64% 18% 8% - 6% 5% - - -
May 7 Washington D.C. (primary) 75% 9% - - - - - - -
May 7 Indiana (primary) 71% 19% 10% - - - - - -
May 7 North Carolina (primary) 71% 13% 4% 2% 4% 1% - - -
May 14 Nebraska (primary) 76% 10% 6% 3% 3% - - - -
May 14 West Virginia (primary) 69% 16% 5% 3% 4% 1% 2% - -
May 21 Arkansas (primary) 76% 23% - - - - - - -
May 28 Idaho (primary) 66% 22% - - 5% - - - -
May 28 Kentucky (primary) 48% 33% 13% 2% 3% - - 0.63% -
June 1 Virginia (caucus) Unknown - - - - - - - -
June 4 Alabama (primary) 76% 16% - - 3% - - - -
June 4 Montana (primary) 61% 24% 7% - - - - - -
June 4 New Jersey (primary) 82% 11% - - 7% - - - -
June 4 New Mexico (primary) 76% 8% 6% 4% 3% - - - 1%

Nationwide

Overall popular primaries vote[6]

Convention tally:

Notable endorsements

Bob Dole

Pat Buchanan

Steve Forbes

Lamar Alexander

Phil Gramm

Pete Wilson

Convention and VP Selection

The delegates at the Republican National Convention formally nominated Dole on August 15, 1996 as the GOP presidential candidate for the general election. Dole was the oldest first-time presidential nominee at the age of 73 years, 1 month (Ronald Reagan was 73 years, 6 months in 1984, for his second presidential nomination).

Former Congressman and Cabinet secretary Jack Kemp was nominated by acclamation as Dole's running mate the following day. Republican Party of Texas convention delegates informally nominated Alan Keyes as their preference for Vice President.

Other politicians mentioned as possible GOP V.P. nominees before Kemp was selected included:

John Kasich

U.S. Congressman John Kasich of Ohio[12]

Dick Lugar official photo

U.S. Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana[12]

Conniemackiii

U.S. Senator Connie Mack III of Florida[12]

John McCain

U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona[12]

See also

References

  1. ^ Anchorage Daily News. Jan. 31, 1996. p. 1b
  2. ^ The Advocate [Baton Rouge]. Feb.7, 1996. p. A1
  3. ^ Porteous, Skipp (April 1996), "Howard Phillips on Pat Buchanan", Freedom Writer, Public Eye.
  4. ^ AllPolitics - Steve Forbes
  5. ^ 1996 Republican Primary Election Events Timeline
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "US President – R Primaries Race – July 07, 1996". Our Campaigns.com. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  7. ^ "AZ US President – R Primary Race – Feb 27, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  8. ^ "DE US President – R Primary Race – Feb 24, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  9. ^ "Candidate – George Corley Wallace". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  10. ^ "LA US President – R Primary Race – Mar 12, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  11. ^ "Dole wins both Dakotas, but is lagging in Arizona." Toledo Blade. February 28, 1996. Accessed December 2, 2009. Final paragraph: Mr. Mecham is supporting Buchanan "all the way," and he still has an effective organization in the state.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Dole's VP `short list' includes McCain - Tucson Citizen Morgue, Part 2 (1993-2009)". tucsoncitizen.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  13. ^ "The Time I Tried To Persuade Antonin Scalia To Run For Vice President". IJR - Independent Journal Review. 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
Jack Kemp

Jack French Kemp (July 13, 1935 – May 2, 2009) was an American politician and a professional player in both American football and Canadian football. A member of the Republican Party from New York, he served as Housing Secretary in the administration of President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, having previously served nine terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1989. He was the Republican Party's nominee for Vice President in the 1996 election, where he was the running mate of presidential nominee Bob Dole. Kemp had previously contended for the presidential nomination in the 1988 Republican primaries.

Before entering politics, Kemp was a professional quarterback for 13 years. He played briefly in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL), but became a star in the American Football League (AFL). He served as captain of both the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills and earned the AFL Most Valuable Player award in 1965 after leading the Bills to a second consecutive championship. He played in the AFL for all 10 years of its existence, appeared in its All-Star game seven times, played in its championship game five times, and set many of the league's career passing records. Kemp also co-founded the AFL Players Association, for which he served five terms as president. During the early part of his football career, he served in the United States Army Reserve.

As an economic conservative, Kemp advocated low taxes and supply-side policies during his political career. His positions spanned the social spectrum, ranging from his conservative opposition to abortion to his more libertarian stances advocating immigration reform. As a proponent of both Chicago school and supply-side economics, he is notable as an influence upon the Reagan agenda and the architect of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which is known as the Kemp–Roth tax cut.

After his days in political office, Kemp remained active as a political advocate and commentator; he served on corporate and nonprofit organization boards. He also authored, co-authored, and edited several books. He promoted American football and advocated for retired professional football players. Kemp was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barack Obama.

Election timelines
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State polling
Fundraising
Debates and forums
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