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United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1988


United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1988

United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1988

November 8, 1988

Nominee Michael Dukakis George H. W. Bush
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Massachusetts Texas
Running mate Lloyd Bentsen Dan Quayle
Electoral vote 5 0
Popular vote 341,016 310,065
Percentage 52.20% 47.46%

County Results

President before election

Ronald Reagan

Elected President

George H. W. Bush

The 1988 United States presidential election in West Virginia took place on November 8, 1988. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were part of the 1988 United States presidential election. West Virginia voters chose 6 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the President and Vice President.

Texas. Dukakis ran with Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen as Vice President, and Bush ran with Indiana Senator Dan Quayle.

West Virginia weighed in for this election as 7% more Democratic than the national average.

Partisan background

The presidential election of 1988 was a very partisan election for West Virginia, with over 99% of the electorate voting for either the Republican or Democratic parties, and only three candidates appearing on the ballot.[1]

Republican national victory

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.

Dukakis won the election in West Virginia with a 5 point margin. The relatively narrow election results in West Virginia are 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 his campaign 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, 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]

Faithless Elector

A rare event in any United States presidential election, West Virginia was home to a faithless elector in the election of 1988. During the assembly of the electoral college, one elector from West Virginia cast her vote for Democratic vice presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen as president, and Dukakis as the vice president. It is unclear as to whether this was intentional.


United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1988
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Michael Dukakis 341,016 52.20% 5
Republican George H. W. Bush 310,065 47.46% 0
New Alliance Party Lenora Fulani 2,230 0.34% 0
West Virginia Faithless Elector Lloyd Bentsen 0 0.00% 1
Totals 653,311 100.0% 6

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
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