The 1996 United States presidential election was the 53rd quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 5, 1996. Incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton defeated former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, the Republican nominee, and Ross Perot, the Reform Party nominee.
Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were re-nominated without incident by the Democratic Party. Numerous candidates entered the 1996 Republican primaries, with Dole considered the early front-runner. Dole clinched the nomination after defeating challenges by publisher Steve Forbes and paleoconservative leader Pat Buchanan. Dole's running mate was Jack Kemp, a former Congressman and football player who had served as the Housing Secretary under President George H. W. Bush. Ross Perot, who had won 18.9% of the popular vote as an independent candidate in the 1992 election, ran as the candidate of the Reform Party. Perot received less media attention in 1996 and was excluded from the presidential debates.
Clinton's chances of winning were initially considered slim in the middle of his term as his party had lost both the House of Representatives and the Senate in 1994 for the first time in decades. He was able to regain ground as the economy began to recover from the early 1990s recession with a relatively stable world stage. Clinton tied Dole to Newt Gingrich, the unpopular Republican Speaker of the House. Dole promised an across-the-board 15% reduction in federal income taxes and attacked Clinton as a member of the "spoiled" Baby Boomer generation. Dole's age was a persistent issue in the election, and gaffes by Dole exacerbated the issue for his campaign.
Clinton maintained a consistent polling edge over Dole, and he won re-election with a substantial margin in the popular vote and the Electoral College. Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win two straight presidential elections. Dole won 40.7% of the popular vote and 159 electoral votes, while Perot won 8.4% of the popular vote. Despite Dole's defeat, the Republican Party was able to maintain a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Turnout was registered at 49.0%, the lowest for a presidential election since 1924.
|1996 United States presidential election|
All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
|Turnout||49.0% 6.2 pp|
Presidential election results map. Blue denotes those won by Clinton/Gore, red denotes states won by Dole/Kemp. Numbers indicate electoral votes allotted to the winner of each state.
In 1995, the Republican Party was riding high on the significant gains made in the 1994 mid-term elections. In those races, the Republicans, led by whip Newt Gingrich, captured the majority of seats in the House for the first time in forty years and the majority of seats in the Senate for the first time in eight years. Gingrich became Speaker of the House, while Bob Dole elevated to Senate Majority leader.
The Republicans of the 104th Congress pursued an ambitious agenda, highlighted by their Contract with America, but were often forced to compromise with President Clinton, who wielded veto power. A budget impasse between Congress and the Clinton Administration eventually resulted in a government shutdown. Clinton, meanwhile, was praised for signing the GOP's welfare reform and other notable bills, but was forced to abandon his own health care plan.
|Democratic Party Ticket, 1996|
|Bill Clinton||Al Gore|
|for President||for Vice President|
President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
With the advantage of incumbency, Bill Clinton's path to renomination by the Democratic Party was uneventful. At the 1996 Democratic National Convention, Clinton and incumbent Vice President Al Gore were renominated with token opposition. Incarcerated fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche won a few Arkansas delegates who were barred from the convention. Jimmy Griffin, former Mayor of Buffalo, New York, mounted a brief campaign but withdrew after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. Former Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey contemplated a challenge to Clinton, but health problems forced Casey to abandon a bid.
Clinton easily won primaries nationwide, with margins consistently higher than 80%.
|Republican Party Ticket, 1996|
|Bob Dole||Jack Kemp|
|for President||for Vice President|
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
A number of Republican candidates entered the field to challenge the incumbent Democratic President, Bill Clinton.
The fragmented field of candidates 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.
Former Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin of Illinois, who served in the United States House of Representatives from Illinois's 16th District and was the 1990 Republican U.S. Senate nominee losing to incumbent Paul Simon conducted a bid for most of 1995, but withdrew before the Iowa caucuses as polls showed her languishing far behind. She participated in a number of primary Presidential debates before withdrawing. Martin's predecessor in Congress, John Anderson had made first a Republican then Independent Presidential bid in 1980. Also, Simon who defeated Martin for the U.S. Senate had run for President as a Democrat in 1988.
Former U.S. Army General Colin 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. Former and future Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a presidential campaign exploratory committee, but declined to formally enter the race. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Secretary of Education William Bennett both flirted with bids, both even set up exploratory committees, for a number of months but both finally declared within days of each other they would not run either.
Ahead of the 1996 primary contest, Republican Leader of the United States Senate and former vice-presidential candidate Bob Dole was seen as the most likely winner. However, Steve Forbes finished first in Delaware and Arizona while paleoconservative firebrand Pat Buchanan managed early victories in Alaska and Louisiana, in addition to a strong second place in the Iowa caucuses and a surprising victory in the small but key New Hampshire primary. Buchanan's New Hampshire win alarmed the Republican "establishment" sufficiently as to provoke prominent Republicans to quickly coalesce around Dole, and Dole won every primary starting with North and South Dakota. Dole resigned his Senate seat on June 11 and the Republican National Convention formally nominated Dole on August 15, 1996 for President.
Popular primaries vote
Former Representative and Housing Secretary Jack Kemp was nominated by acclamation for Vice President, the following day. This was the only Republican ticket between 1976 and 2008 that did not include a member of the Bush family.
Parties in this section have obtained ballot access in enough states to theoretically obtain the minimum number of electoral votes needed to win the election. Individuals included in this section have completed one or more of the following actions: received, or formally announced their candidacy for, the presidential nomination of a third party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate and obtained enough ballot access to win the election; filed as a third party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Within each party, candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.
The United States Reform Party had great difficulty in finding a candidate willing to run in the general election. Lowell Weicker, Tim Penny, David Boren and Richard Lamm were among those who toyed with the notion of seeking its presidential nomination, though all but Lamm decided against it; Lamm had himself come close to withdrawing his name from consideration.
Ultimately, the Reform Party nominated its founder Ross Perot from Texas in its first election as an official political party. Although Perot easily won the nomination, his victory at the party's national convention led to a schism as supporters of Lamm accused him of rigging the vote to prevent them from casting their ballots. This faction walked out of the national convention and eventually formed their own group, the American Reform Party, and attempted to convince Lamm to run as an Independent in the general election; Lamm declined, pointing out a promise he made before running that he would respect the Party's final decision.
The Libertarian Party nominated free-market writer and investment analyst, Harry Browne from Tennessee, and selected Jo Jorgensen from South Carolina as his running-mate. Browne and Jorgensen drew 485,798 votes (0.5% of the popular vote).
|Douglas J. Ohmen||20|
Natural Law candidate:
The Natural Law Party for a second time nominated scientist and researcher John Hagelin for President and Mike Tompkins for Vice President. The party platform included preventive health care, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy technologies. During his campaigns, Hagelin favored abortion rights without public financing, campaign finance law reform, improved gun control, a flat tax, the eradication of PACs, a ban on soft money contributions, and school vouchers.
Hagelin and Tompkins drew 113,671 votes (0.1% of the popular vote).
U.S. Taxpayers' candidates
The U.S. Taxpayers Party had run its first presidential ticket in 1992, it being head by Howard Phillips who had failed to find any prominent conservative willing to take the mantle. In 1996 the situation ultimately proved the same, though Pat Buchanan for a time was widely speculated to be planning on bolting to the Taxpayers' Party should the expected Republican nominee, Senator Bob Dole, name a Pro-Choice running-mate. When Jack Kemp, who is Pro-Life, was tapped for the position Buchanan agreed to endorse the Republican ticket. Again, Phillips found himself at a temporary post that was made permanent, with Herbert Titus being nominated for the Vice Presidency.
Phillips and Titus drew 182,820 votes (0.2% of the popular vote).
Without meaningful primary opposition, Clinton was able to focus on the general election early, while Dole was forced to move to the right and spend his campaign reserves fighting off challengers. Political adviser Dick Morris urged Clinton to raise huge sums of campaign funds via soft money for an unprecedented early TV blitz of swing states promoting Clinton's agenda and record. As a result, Clinton could run a campaign through the summer defining his opponent as an aged conservative far from the mainstream before Dole was in a position to respond. Compared to the 50-year-old Clinton, then 73-year-old Dole appeared especially old and frail, as illustrated by an embarrassing fall off a stage during a campaign event in Chico, California. Dole further enhanced this contrast on September 18 when he made a reference to a no-hitter thrown the day before by Hideo Nomo of the "Brooklyn Dodgers", a team that had left Brooklyn for Los Angeles 38 years earlier. A few days later Dole would make a joke about the remark by saying, "And I'd like to congratulate the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the N.L. Central. Notice I said the St. Louis Cardinals, not the St. Louis Browns." (The Browns had left St. Louis after the 1954 season to become the Baltimore Orioles.)
Dole chose to focus on Clinton as being "part of the spoiled baby boomer generation" and stating, "My generation won [World War II], and we may need to be called to service one last time." Although his message won appeal with older voters, surveys found that his age was widely held as a liability and his frequent allusions to WWII and the Great Depression in speeches and campaign ads "unappealing" to younger voters. To prove that he was still healthy and active, Dole released all of his medical records to the public and published photographs of himself running on a treadmill. After the falling incident in California, he joked that he "was trying to do that new Democratic dance, the Macarena".
The Clinton campaign avoided mentioning Dole's age directly, instead choosing to confront it in more subtle ways such as the campaign slogan "Building Bridges to the Future" in contrast to the Republican candidate's frequent remarks that he was a "bridge to the past", before the social upheavals of the 1960s. Clinton, without actually calling Dole old, questioned the age of his ideas.
With respect to the issues, Dole promised a 15% across-the-board reduction in income tax rates and made former Congressman and supply side advocate Jack Kemp his running mate. Bill Clinton framed the narrative against Dole early, painting him as a mere clone of unpopular House Speaker Newt Gingrich, warning America that Bob Dole would work in concert with the Republican Congress to slash popular social programs, like Medicare and Social Security, dubbed by Clinton as "Dole-Gingrich". Bob Dole's tax-cut plan found itself under attack from the White House, who said it would "blow a hole in the deficit," which had been cut nearly in half during his opponent's term.
Throughout the run-up to the general election, Clinton maintained comfortable leads in the polls over Dole and Perot. The televised debates featured only Dole and Clinton, locking out Perot and the other minor candidates from the discussion. Perot, who had been allowed to participate in the 1992 debates, would eventually take his case to court, seeking damages from not being in the debate, as well as citing unfair coverage from the major media outlets.
Throughout this campaign, Clinton was always leading in the polls, generally by large margins. In October, Republican National Committee "operatives urg[ed] their party's Congressional candidates to cut loose from Bob Dole and press voters to maintain a Republican majority" and spent $4 million on advertising in targeted districts.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced two debates:
|P1||Sunday, October 6, 1996||Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts||Hartford, Connecticut||Jim Lehrer||President Bill Clinton||46.1|
|VP||Wednesday, October 9, 1996||Mahaffey Theater||St. Petersburg, Florida||Jim Lehrer||Vice President Al Gore||26.6|
|P2||Wednesday, October 16, 1996||University of San Diego||San Diego, California||Jim Lehrer||President Bill Clinton||36.6|
In late September 1995, questions arose regarding the Democratic National Committee's fund-raising practices. In February the following year, China's alleged role in the campaign finance controversy first gained public attention after the Washington Post published a story stating that a U.S. Department of Justice investigation had discovered evidence that agents of China sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the DNC before the 1996 presidential campaign. The paper wrote that intelligence information had showed the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. was used for coordinating contributions to the DNC in violation of U.S. law forbidding non-American citizens from giving monetary donations to U.S. politicians and political parties. Seventeen people were eventually convicted for fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the U.S. elections.
One of the more notable events learned involved Vice President Al Gore and a fund-raising event held at Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California. The Temple event was organized by DNC fund-raisers John Huang and Maria Hsia. It is illegal under U.S. law for religious organizations to donate money to politicians or political groups due to their tax-exempt status. The U.S. Justice Department alleged Hsia facilitated $100,000 in illegal contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign through her efforts at the Temple. Hsia was eventually convicted by a jury in March 2000. The DNC eventually returned the money donated by the Temple's monks and nuns. Twelve nuns and employees of the Temple refused to answer questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment when they were subpoenaed to testify before Congress in 1997.
On election day, President Clinton won a decisive victory over Dole, becoming the first Democrat to win two consecutive presidential elections since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, 1940, and 1944. In the popular vote, he out-polled Dole by over 8.2 million votes. The Electoral College map did not change much from the previous election, with the Democratic incumbent winning 379 votes to the Republican ticket's 159. In the West, Dole managed to narrowly win Colorado and Montana (both had voted for Clinton four years earlier), while Clinton became the first Democrat to win the state of Arizona since Harry Truman in 1948. In the South, Clinton took Florida – a state he had failed to win in 1992 – from the Republicans in exchange for the less electoral-vote-rich Georgia. The election helped to cement Democratic presidential control in California, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut; all went on to vote Democratic in every subsequent residential election after having voted Republican in the five prior to 1992. 1996 marked the first time that Vermont voted for a Democrat in two successive elections. Pennsylvania and Michigan both voted Democratic, and would remain in the Democratic presidential fold until 2016. Although President Clinton had won a victory in the popular vote that was slightly greater than that achieved of his previous rival President H.W. Bush he had won less Electoral states due to under-performance in rural counties nationwide – a precursor of the trend where future Democratic contenders for the Presidency perform well in populated metropolitan areas but vastly underperform in rural counties.
Reform Party nominee Ross Perot won approximately 8% of the popular vote. His vote total was less than half of his performance in 1992. The 1996 national exit poll showed that just as in 1992, Perot drew supporters from Clinton and Dole equally. In polls directed at Perot voters as to who would be a second choice, Clinton consistently held substantial leads. Perot's best showing was in states that tended to strongly favor either Clinton (such as Maine) or Dole (particularly Montana, though the margin of victory there was much closer). Perot once again received his lowest amount of support in the South.
Although Clinton is a native of Arkansas, and his running mate hailed from Tennessee, the Democratic ticket again carried just four of the eleven states of the American South. This tied Clinton's 1992 run for the weakest performance by a winning Democratic presidential candidate in the region before 2000 (in terms of states won). Clinton's performance seems to have been part of a broader decline in support for the Democratic Party in the South. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, the Democrats would fail to carry even one of the former Confederate states, contributing to their defeat both times. This completed the Republican takeover of the American South, a region in which Democrats had held a near monopoly from 1880 to 1948. However, in 2008, the Democrats were able to win three former Confederate states, but that was still worse than Clinton's performances in both 1992 and 1996. Since 1984, no winning presidential candidate has surpassed Bill Clinton's 8.5 percentage popular vote margin, or his 220 electoral vote margin since 1988. Also note that no Democratic presidential candidate has surpassed Clinton's electoral vote margin since 1964 and except Lyndon B. Johnson in that election no Democratic presidential candidate has surpassed his 8.5 percentage popular vote margin since 1940.
The election was also notable for the fact that for the first time in U.S. history the winner was elected without winning the male vote and the third time in U.S. history that a candidate was elected President twice without receiving an absolute majority of the popular vote in either election (Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson are the others, although all three won pluralities [i.e. the most votes]).
Following the 2016 election, 1996 remains the last time the following states voted Democratic: Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia. Clinton also remains the last presidential candidate of either party to win at least one county in every state[a] and the last Democrat to win a majority or plurality in Spokane County, Washington, Pinal and Gila Counties, Arizona, Washington County, Arkansas, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Oneida County, New York and Anoka County, Minnesota. Clinton was also the last Democrat to win Florida, Nevada and Ohio until 2008. This election also constitutes the last time that a Democrat won the presidency without winning Colorado and Virginia.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote||Electoral
|Count||Percentage||Vice-presidential candidate||Home state||Electoral vote|
|William Jefferson Clinton (Incumbent)||Democratic[b]||Arkansas||47,401,185||49.24%||379||Albert Arnold Gore, Jr.||Tennessee||379|
|Robert Joseph Dole||Republican[c]||Kansas||39,197,469||40.71%||159||Jack French Kemp||New York||159|
|Henry Ross Perot||Reform[d]||Texas||8,085,294||8.40%||0||Patrick Choate[e]||Washington, D.C.||0|
|Ralph Nader||Green||Connecticut||685,297||0.71%||0||Winona LaDuke[f]||California||0|
|Harry Browne||Libertarian||Tennessee||485,759||0.50%||0||Jo Jorgensen||South Carolina||0|
|Howard Phillips||Taxpayers||Virginia||184,656||0.19%||0||Herbert Titus||Oregon||0|
|John Hagelin||Natural Law||Iowa||113,670||0.12%||0||Mike Tompkins||Massachusetts||0|
|Needed to win||270||270|
Official Source (Popular Vote): 1996 Official Presidential General Election Results
Source (popular and electoral vote): Federal Elections Commission Electoral and Popular Vote Summary unofficial Secondary Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. "1996 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved August 7, 2005.
Voting age population: 196,498,000
Percent of voting age population casting a vote for President: 49.00%
|States/districts won by Clinton/Gore|
|States/districts won by Dole/Kemp|
State where the margin of victory was under 1% (8 electoral votes):
States where the margin of victory was under 5% (109 electoral votes):
States where the margin of victory was between 5% and 10% (143 electoral votes):
|The Presidential vote in social groups (percentages)|
|Social group||Clinton||Dole||Perot||% of|
|Party and ideology|
|Gender and marital status|
|White Religious Right?|
|White Religious Right||26||65||8||17|
|18–29 years old||53||34||10||17|
|30–44 years old||48||41||9||33|
|45–59 years old||48||41||9||26|
|60 and older||48||44||7||24|
|First time voter?|
|First time voter||54||34||11||9|
|Gay, lesbian, or bisexual||66||23||7||5|
|Not a high school graduate||59||28||11||6|
|High school graduate||51||35||13||24|
|Some college education||48||40||10||27|
|Population over 500,000||68||25||6||10|
|Population 50,000 to 500,000||50||39||8||21|
|Rural areas, towns||45||44||10||30|
Some post-election debate focused on the alleged flaws in the pre-election polls, almost all of which overstated Clinton's lead over Dole, some by a substantial margin. For example, a CBS/New York Times poll overstated Clinton's lead by 10 points despite having an error margin of 2.4%. The odds against this sort of error occurring were 15,000:1. A less extreme example was a Pew poll that overstated Clinton's lead by 5 points, the chances of this happening were 10:1 against. Gerald Wasserman, having examined eight pre-election polls, argued that pure chance would produce such a skewed result in favor of Clinton only once in 4,900 elections. However, because Clinton won the election by a comfortable margin, there was no major reaction towards the inaccuracy of the polls. The polls were also less inaccurate than the overwhelming majority of those taken in 1948, which predicted that losing candidate Thomas Dewey would beat President Harry Truman by a comfortable margin, and in 1980, which predicted that Ronald Reagan would win by a smaller margin than he did.
It's the age of his ideas that I question
Jack Kemp, whose home state of New York saw an even stronger anti-Republican swing in 1996
The 1996 United States presidential election in Alaska took place on November 7, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Alaska was won by Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Dole winning 50.80% to 33.27% over President Bill Clinton (D) by a margin of 17.53%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform-TX) finished in third, with 10.9% of the popular vote.
With 50.8% of the popular vote, Alaska proved to be Dole's fifth strongest state in the 1996 election after Utah, Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho.1996 United States presidential election in California
The 1996 United States presidential election in California took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 54 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
California, was won by Incumbent President Bill Clinton (D) over Senator Bob Dole (R), with Clinton winning 51.1% to 38.21% by a margin of 12.89%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party) finished in third, with 6.96% of the popular vote.California is one of thirteen states where on the election ballot, James Campbell of California, Perot's former boss at IBM, was listed as a stand-in Vice-Presidential candidate.1996 United States presidential election in Delaware
The 1996 United States presidential election in Delaware took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 3 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Delaware was won by President Bill Clinton (D) over Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Clinton winning 51.82% to 36.58% by a margin of 15.24%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 10.60% of the popular vote. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Sussex County voted for the Democratic candidate.1996 United States presidential election in Illinois
The 1996 United States presidential election in Illinois took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 22 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Illinois was won by President Bill Clinton (D) over Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Clinton winning 54.32% to 36.81% by a margin of 17.51%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 8.03% of the popular vote. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Jersey County, Randolph County, Williamson County, Marion County, Jefferson County, Clinton County, Christian County, Saline County, Shelby County, Fayette County, Hancock County, Union County, Bond County, Lawrence County, Piatt County, Pike County, Moultrie County, White County, Greene County, Clay County, Marshall County, Hamilton County, Pope County, and Hardin County voted for the Democratic candidate.1996 United States presidential election in Maryland
The 1996 United States presidential election in Maryland took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose ten representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Maryland was won by incumbent President Bill Clinton (D-Arkansas) with 54.25% of the popular vote over Senator Bob Dole (R-Kansas) with 38.27%. Businessman Ross Perot (Reform-Texas) finished in third, with 6.50% of the popular vote. Clinton ultimately won the national vote, defeating both challengers and becoming re-elected to a second term as U.S. President. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Dorchester County voted for the Democratic candidate. Conversely, this is also the last time Charles County voted for the Republican candidate.1996 United States presidential election in Massachusetts
The 1996 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose twelve representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
A solidly blue state, Massachusetts was won by incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton in a landslide. Clinton took 61.47% of the popular vote over Republican challenger Bob Dole, who took 28.09%, a victory margin of 33.39%. Reform Party candidate Ross Perot finished in third, with 8.89% of the popular vote.Like New England as a whole, Massachusetts is a largely secular and liberal society in the modern era, and thus it rejected an increasingly conservative Republican Party dominated by Evangelical Christians.
Clinton's landslide victory was indicative of a long-term trend in Massachusetts back toward being the overwhelmingly Democratic stronghold it had been in the 1960s, after having trended somewhat toward the GOP in the 1970s and 1980s. Clinton's 61.47% was the highest percentage a presidential candidate had received in Massachusetts since 1968, and his 33.39% victory margin was the widest margin by which any candidate won the state since the massive Democratic landslide of 1964.
Massachusetts was the only state in the union where Clinton broke 60% of the vote in 1996, with only the District of Columbia voting more Democratic. Massachusetts registered as a whopping 25% more Democratic than the national average, making it the most Democratic state in the 1996 election.1996 United States presidential election in Minnesota
The 1996 United States presidential election in Minnesota took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose ten representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
A Democratic-leaning state, Minnesota was comfortably won by incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton. Clinton took 51.10% of the popular vote over Republican challenger Bob Dole, who took 34.96%, a victory margin of 16.14%. Reform Party candidate Ross Perot finished in third, with 11.75% of the popular vote.As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Le Sueur County, Benton County, Clearwater County, Todd County, Hubbard County, Martin County, Cass County, Kandiyohi County, Lyon County, Scott County, McLeod County, Becker County, Nobles County, Morrison County, Meeker County, Kanabec County, Renville County, Lake of the Woods County, Stearns County, Waseca County, Sibley County, Isanti County, Anoka County, Wright County, Sherburne County, Crow Wing County, Chisago County, Goodhue County, Steele County, Mille Lacs County, Wabasha County, Dodge County, Faribault County, Cottonwood County, and Jackson County voted for the Democratic candidate.1996 United States presidential election in Missouri
The 1996 United States presidential election in Missouri took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 11 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Missouri was won by President Bill Clinton (D) over Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Clinton winning 47.54% to 41.24% by a margin of 6.3%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 10.06% of the popular vote. Since 1904, this state has been carried by the winner of the presidential election, with the exceptions of the elections of 1956, 2008, and 2012 (as of November 2016). This election is the most recent in which Missouri voted for the Democrat as well as the last time that Hickory County, Benton County, Mercer County, Caldwell County, Grundy County, Crawford County, Carroll County, Franklin County, St. Clair County, Livingston County, DeKalb County, Lafayette County, St. Francois County, Daviess County, Bates County, Madison County, Montgomery County, Sullivan County, Clark County, Nodaway County, Henry County, Vernon County, Gentry County, Macon County, Knox County, Wayne County, Ripley County, Clinton County, Monroe County, Ralls County, Randolph County, Dunklin County, Reynolds County, Oregon County, Howard County, Shannon County, Shelby County, Callaway County, Scott County, Lincoln County, Audrain County, Pike County, Marion County, Lewis County, Scotland County, Schuyler County, Chariton County, Worth County, and Linn County voted for the Democratic candidate.1996 United States presidential election in Montana
The 1996 United States presidential election in Montana took place on November 5, 1996. Voters chose 3 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Montana voted for Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole over President Bill Clinton by a slim margin of 2.88%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 13.56% of the popular vote in Montana. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Sheridan County, Dawson County, and Mineral County voted for the Democratic candidate.
With 13.56% of the popular vote, Montana would prove to be Ross Perot's second strongest state in the 1996 election after Maine.1996 United States presidential election in Nebraska
The 1996 United States presidential election in Nebraska took place on November 5, 1996. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Nebraska voters chose 5 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
Nebraska was won by Kansas Senator Bob Dole, who was running against incumbent United States President Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Clinton ran a second time with former Tennessee Senator and Al Gore as Vice President, and Dole ran with former New York Congressman Jack Kemp.Nebraska weighed in for this election as 3% more third-party than the national average.1996 United States presidential election in North Carolina
The 1996 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on 5 November 1996 as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters in North Carolina chose 14 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
North Carolina was narrowly won by the Republican nominee, Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, defeating incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Dole won with a plurality of 48.73 percent of the vote to Clinton's 44.04 percent, a margin of 4.69 percent. The Reform Party candidate, billionaire businessman Ross Perot, came in a distant third, with 6.68 percent.
As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which the following counties have voted for a Democratic presidential candidate: Camden, Duplin, Franklin, Haywood, Jones, Madison, Montgomery, Perquimans and Swain.1996 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania
The 1996 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania took place on November 5, 1996. Voters chose 23 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Pennsylvania was won by President Bill Clinton by a margin of 9.2 percentage points. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 9.56% of the popular vote in Pennsylvania.In Pennsylvania, Bill Clinton received 49.2 percent of the vote, the same percentage as the national vote (when rounded to the nearest tenth). As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which the following counties voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate: Warren, Clinton, Westmoreland, Schuylkill, Armstrong, Columbia, Forest, and Indiana.1996 United States presidential election in Rhode Island
The 1996 United States presidential election in Rhode Island took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 4 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Rhode Island was won by President Bill Clinton (D) over Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Clinton winning 59.71% to 26.82% by a margin of 32.89%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 11.20% of the popular vote.1996 United States presidential election in South Dakota
The 1996 United States presidential election in South Dakota took place on November 5, 1996. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1996 United States presidential election. South Dakota voters chose 3 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
South Dakota was won by Kansas Senator Bob Dole, who was running against incumbent United States President Bill Clinton of Arkansas. Clinton ran a second time with former Tennessee Senator Al Gore as Vice President, and Dole ran with former New York Congressman Jack Kemp.South Dakota weighed in for this election as 12% more Republican than the national average.1996 United States presidential election in Vermont
The 1996 United States presidential election in Vermont took place on November 7, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 3 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Vermont was won by incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton over Republican Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, with Clinton winning 53.35% to Dole's 31.09%, a margin of 22.26%. The Reform Party candidate, billionaire businessman Ross Perot, finished in third, with 12.00% of the popular vote.Although Clinton had carried the state comfortably in 1992, prior to that point Vermont had been one of the most reliably Republican states in the nation, voting Republican in every election from 1856 to 1988 except for the 1964 nationwide Democratic landslide. However Vermont had always favored a liberal, secular, Northeastern brand of Republicanism, and by the 1990s, the Republican Party had become increasingly dominated by conservative, Southern, and Evangelical Christian interests. Consequently, Vermont trended increasingly toward the Democratic Party, and Clinton was able to win an even bigger victory in the state in 1996 than he had in 1992, again sweeping every county in the state.
Clinton's win in 1996 marked the first time in history that Vermont had voted Democratic in two consecutive presidential elections, signifying a long-term realignment of the state away from the GOP. It was also the first time since 1964 that a Democratic candidate won a majority of the popular vote (Clinton won the state four years prior, but with only a plurality of 46.11%). Since then Vermont has become regarded as one of the safest of blue states; it has remained Democratic in every election that has followed, often by landslide margins.1996 United States presidential election in Washington (state)
The 1996 United States presidential election in Washington took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose eleven representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Washington State was won by President Bill Clinton (D–AR) over Senator Bob Dole (R–KS), with Clinton winning 49.84 percent to 37.30 percent for a margin of 12.54 percent. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform–TX) finished in third, with 8.92 percent of the popular vote. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Spokane County, Kittitas County, Pend Oreille County, Ferry County, and Asotin County voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.1996 United States presidential election in West Virginia
The 1996 United States presidential election in West Virginia took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 4 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
West Virginia was won by President Bill Clinton (D-AR) over Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Clinton winning 51.51% to 36.76% by a margin of 14.75%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform-TX) finished in third, with 11.26% of the popular vote.
As of the 2016 presidential election, this was the last time that West Virginia voted Democratic, as Republican George W. Bush would narrowly win the state four years later, and 20 years later, Hillary Clinton lost the state by more than 40 points without carrying a single county. This marked the last election in which West Virginia was carried by the Democratic presidential candidate whilst neighbouring Virginia was carried by the Republican presidential candidate. This was also the last election in which Mason County, Cabell County, Roane County, Ohio County, Jackson County, Pendleton County, Mercer County, Pleasants County, Monroe County, Lewis County, Hardy County, Raleigh County, Wayne County, Greenbrier County, Marshall County, Hancock County, Randolph County, Nicholas County, Taylor County, Barbour County, Wetzel County, Summers County, Calhoun County, Clay County, Gilmer County, Pocahontas County, Tucker County, and Tyler County voted for the Democratic candidate. This is also the last election in which the 1st and 2nd congressional districts voted for a Democrat and which any district voted Democratic by double digits.1996 United States presidential election in Wisconsin
The 1996 United States presidential election in Wisconsin took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 11 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Wisconsin was won by President Bill Clinton (D) over Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Clinton winning by 48.81 percent to 38.48 percent, or a margin of 10.33 percent. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 10.35 percent of the popular vote. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which the following counties have voted for a Democratic presidential candidate: Polk, St. Croix, Sheboygan, and Taylor.1996 United States presidential election in Wyoming
The 1996 United States presidential election in Wyoming took place on November 5, 1996, as part of the 1996 United States presidential election. Voters chose 9 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Wyoming was won by Senator Bob Dole (R-KS), with Dole winning 49.81% to 36.84% over President Bill Clinton (D) by a margin of 12.97%. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot (Reform Party of the United States of America-TX) finished in third, with 12.25% of the popular vote. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Sweetwater County voted for the Democratic candidate.
With 12.25% of the popular vote, Wyoming would prove to be Ross Perot's fourth strongest state in the 1996 election after Maine, Montana and Idaho.
State results of the 1996 U.S. presidential election
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and Popular vote
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