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United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1988

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Title: United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1988  
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Subject: Elections in South Carolina, South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1872, South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1868, South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1865, South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1874
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United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1988

United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1988

November 8, 1988

Nominee George H. W. Bush Michael Dukakis
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Massachusetts
Running mate Dan Quayle Lloyd Bentsen
Electoral vote 8 0
Popular vote 606,443 370,554
Percentage 61.50% 37.58%

County Results

President before election

Ronald Reagan

Elected President

George H. W. Bush

The 1988 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 8, 1988. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1988 United States presidential election. South Carolina voters chose 8 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the President and Vice President.

Texas, who was running against Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Bush ran with Indiana Senator Dan Quayle as Vice President, and Dukakis ran with Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen.

South Carolina weighed in for this election as 7% more Republican than the national average.

Partisan background

Bush's largely socially conservative rhetoric garnered him much support among social-conservatives nationwide. Seen here at campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska.
Bush delivering the now infamous "Read my lips..." line at the 1988 Republican National Convention.

The presidential election of 1988 was a very partisan election for South Carolina, with more than 99% of the electorate voting for either the Democratic or Republican parties, and only 4 candidates appearing on the ballot.[1] As can be seen in several states across the country during this election, the large population centers in South Carolina voted Republican, but several counties near-by the large population centers voted Democratic, suggesting the influence of suburban populations. A good example of this effect, is with the city of Columbia's Richland County, which voted Republican, while its less-populated neighbor, Fairfield County, voted Democratic. This geographic trend is opposite of what you would expect to see with these parties, and once again may suggest an element of influence from (for example) the city of Columbia's suburban districts.

Republican victory

Bush won the election in South Carolina with a solid 24 point sweep-out landslide. South Carolina has voted for the same candidate as its sister Southern States in every presidential election since 1968. Bush's easy win in the former Democratic bastion was reflective of a nationwide reconsolidation of base for the Republican Party, which took place through the 1980s. Through the passage of some very controversial economic programs, spearheaded by then President Ronald Reagan (called, collectively, "Reaganomics"), the mid-to-late 1980's saw a period of economic growth and stability. The hallmark for Reaganomics was, in part, the wide-scale deregulation of corporate interests, and tax cuts for the wealthy.[2]

Dukakis ran on a notably socially liberal agenda, and advocated for higher economic regulation and environmental protection. Bush, alternatively, ran on a campaign of continuing the social and economic policies of former President Reagan - which gained him much support with social conservatives and people living in rural areas, who largely associated the Republican Party with the economic growth of the 1980s. Additionally, while the economic programs passed under Reagan, and furthered under Bush and Clinton, may have boosted the economy for a brief period, they are criticized by many analysts as "setting the stage" for economic troubles in the United State after 2007, such as the Great Recession.[3]


United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1988
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican George H. W. Bush 606,443 61.50% 8
Democratic Michael Dukakis 370,554 37.58% 0
Libertarian Ron Paul 4,935 0.50% 0
New Alliance Party Lenora Fulani 4,077 0.41% 0
Totals 986,009 100.0% 8

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
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