1992 United States elections

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1992 United States elections
Presidential election year
Election dayNovember 3
Incumbent presidentGeorge H. W. Bush (Republican)
Next Congress103rd
Presidential election
Partisan controlDemocratic Gain
Popular vote marginDemocratic +5.6%
Electoral vote
Bill Clinton (D)370
George H. W. Bush (R)168
1992 United States presidential election in California1992 United States presidential election in Oregon1992 United States presidential election in Washington (state)1992 United States presidential election in Idaho1992 United States presidential election in Nevada1992 United States presidential election in Utah1992 United States presidential election in Arizona1992 United States presidential election in Montana1992 United States presidential election in Wyoming1992 United States presidential election in Colorado1992 United States presidential election in New Mexico1992 United States presidential election in North Dakota1992 United States presidential election in South Dakota1992 United States presidential election in Nebraska1992 United States presidential election in Kansas1992 United States presidential election in Oklahoma1992 United States presidential election in Texas1992 United States presidential election in Minnesota1992 United States presidential election in Iowa1992 United States presidential election in Missouri1992 United States presidential election in Arkansas1992 United States presidential election in Louisiana1992 United States presidential election in Wisconsin1992 United States presidential election in Illinois1992 United States presidential election in Michigan1992 United States presidential election in Indiana1992 United States presidential election in Ohio1992 United States presidential election in Kentucky1992 United States presidential election in Tennessee1992 United States presidential election in Mississippi1992 United States presidential election in Alabama1992 United States presidential election in Georgia1992 United States presidential election in Florida1992 United States presidential election in South Carolina1992 United States presidential election in North Carolina1992 United States presidential election in Virginia1992 United States presidential election in West Virginia1992 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1992 United States presidential election in Maryland1992 United States presidential election in Delaware1992 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania1992 United States presidential election in New Jersey1992 United States presidential election in New York1992 United States presidential election in Connecticut1992 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1992 United States presidential election in Vermont1992 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1992 United States presidential election in Maine1992 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1992 United States presidential election in Hawaii1992 United States presidential election in Alaska1992 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1992 United States presidential election in Maryland1992 United States presidential election in Delaware1992 United States presidential election in New Jersey1992 United States presidential election in Connecticut1992 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1992 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1992 United States presidential election in Vermont1992 United States presidential election in New HampshireElectoralCollege1992.svg
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1992 presidential election results. Red denotes states won by Bush, blue denotes states won by Clinton. Numbers indicate the electoral votes won by each candidate.
Senate elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contested36 of 100 seats
(34 Class 3 seats + 2 special elections)
Net seat changeEven[1]
1992 Senate election map.svg
1992 Senate results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

House elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contestedAll 435 voting members
Popular vote marginDemocratic +5%
Net seat changeRepublican +9
1992 House Elections in the United States.png
1992 House of Representatives results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold
  Independent hold

Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested14 (12 states, 2 territories)
Net seat changeDemocratic +2
1992 Gubernatorial election map.svg
1992 gubernatorial election results
Territorial races not shown

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

The 1992 United States elections elected state governors, the national president, and members of the 103rd United States Congress. The election took place after the redistricting that resulted from the 1990 Census. Democrats won control of the presidency and both chambers of Congress for the first time since the Republican victory in the 1980 elections.

In the presidential election, Democratic Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas defeated Republican incumbent President George H. W. Bush and Texas businessman Ross Perot. Clinton easily won the electoral college with 370 electoral votes, but took just 43 percent of the popular vote, the fourth-lowest share of any victorious presidential candidate. Perot's independent candidacy won the largest share of the popular vote of any third party or independent candidate since Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 candidacy. Clinton defeated former California Governor Jerry Brown and former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas to take the Democratic nomination. Bush defeated a primary challenge from commentator, and former Reagan White House Director of Communications Pat Buchanan to earn re-nomination as the Republican candidate.[2]

A small number of seats changed hands in the Senate, but Democrats retained a comfortable majority.[3] Democrats won the national popular vote for the House of Representatives by a margin of five percentage points, but Republicans won a net gain of nine seats. In the gubernatorial elections, the Democratic Party won a net gain of two states.

Issues[edit]

What was initially viewed as an easy win for the incumbent, George H. W. Bush, turned out quite differently. His famous Read my lips: no new taxes quip was used effectively by his primary challenger Pat Buchannon and later by Governor Bill Clinton. One of the first indicators of Bush's re-election challenge was a poll showing him losing to Texas billionaire Ross Perot in May.[4]

Federal Elections[edit]

Presidential election[edit]

Bush had alienated many of the conservatives in his party by breaking his 1988 campaign pledge against raising taxes, but he fended off a primary challenge from conservative commentator Pat Buchanan. Bush's popularity after his success in the Gulf War dissuaded high-profile Democratic candidates like Mario Cuomo from entering the 1992 Democratic primaries. Clinton, a leader of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, established himself as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination by sweeping the Super Tuesday primaries. He defeated former & future Governor of California Jerry Brown, former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, and other candidates to win his party's nomination, and chose Senator Al Gore as his running mate. Billionaire Ross Perot launched an independent campaign, emphasizing his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement and his plan to reduce the national debt.

The economy was in recession and Bush's greatest strength, foreign policy, was regarded as much less important following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War and the relatively peaceful climate in the Middle East after the Gulf War. Perot led in several polls taken in June 1992, but severely damaged his candidacy by temporarily dropping out of the race in July. The Bush campaign criticized Clinton's character and emphasized Bush's foreign policy successes, while Clinton focused on the economy.

Clinton won a plurality in the popular vote and a majority of the electoral vote, breaking a streak of three straight Republican victories. Clinton swept the Northeastern United States, marking the start of Democratic dominance in the region in presidential elections, while also performing well in the Midwest and the West. Along with Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, Bush is one of three incumbent presidents since World War II to be defeated in the general election. Perot won 18.9% of the popular vote, the highest share of the vote won by a candidate outside of the two major parties since 1912. Although he failed to win any electoral votes, Perot found support in every state, and Clinton's home state of Arkansas was the lone state to give a majority of its vote to any candidate.

Senate Elections[edit]

The 34 Seats in the Senate Class III were up for election. Democratic victories over Republicans John F. Seymour (in the special California race) and Bob Kasten (of Wisconsin) were cancelled out by the defeats of Democrats Wyche Fowler (of Georgia) and Terry Sanford (of North Carolina). The election of four new Democratic women to the Senate was notable (referred to in the press as the "Year of the Woman"). California became the first state to have elected women to occupy both of its Senate seats due to the victories of Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Democrat Carol Moseley Braun (of Illinois), became the first African-American woman in the United States Senate.

House Elections[edit]

Though they won the national popular vote for the House of Representatives by a margin of five percentage points,[5] Democrats lost a net of nine seats in the House to the Republicans, in part due to redistricting following the 1990 Census. The redrawn districts were notable for the increase in majority-minority districts, drawn as mandated by the Voting Rights Act. While the redistricting after the 1980 Census had resulted in 17 majority-black districts and 10 majority-Hispanic districts, 32 and 19 such districts, respectively, were drawn after the 1990 Census.

State Elections[edit]

Democrats and Republicans each defended gubernatorial positions in six states in 1992. Democrats won a net gain of two gubernatorial seats in the 1992 elections.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Republicans picked up one seat in the regularly-scheduled elections, while Democrats picked up one seat in a special election.
  2. ^ "1992 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present". United States Senate. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  4. ^ Survey shows perot leading both bush and clinton in texas race. (1992, Apr 22)New York Times (1923-Current File) .
  5. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 3, 1992" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 10 April 2017.