Ad blocker interference detected!
Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers
Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.
Many candidates entered the race, thses included Moderate Republican U.S. Senator of Kansas and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was the front runner and was expected to win the nomination against underdog candidates such as the more conservative former Vicce President Dan Quayle and more centrist U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona.
This was expected as Democratic President Bill Clinton was very unpopular in his first two years in office, eventually leading to the Republican Revolution. Following these 1994midterm elections, many prominent candidates entered what would be a crowded field. However, as Clinton became more and more popular in his third year in office, many dropped out or decided not to run.
As early as 1994, there was much speculation over who would be the Republican nominee for the presidency in the 1996 election. National opinion polls showed the Republicans leading the Democrats in approval by 11 percentage points and Preisdent Clinton's approval ratings averaged at around 41-44%. Most political analyts predicted a very close election, possibly the closest since the 1960 Presidential Election. Riding off the momentum gained by the Republican take-over of Congress in 1994, the follwoing candidates announced their intentions to seek the Republican nomination by May of 1995:
- Former Vice President of the United States, Dan Quayle
- Senate Majority Leader, Bob Dole
- United States Senator from Arizona, John McCain
- Former United Nations Economic and Social Council ambassador, Alan Keyes
- Conservative Columnist, Pat Buchanan
- Former Governor of Tennessee, Lamar Alexander
- Governor of California, Pete Wilson
- Representative from California, Bob Dornan
- Businessman from Ohio, Morry Taylor
Former U.S. Army Gen. 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 Dick Cheney was touted by many as a possible candidate for the presidency, but he declared his intentions not to run in early 1995. Texas Governor George W. Bush was also urged by some party leaders to seek the Republican Party nomination, but opted against doing so.
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.
National opinion polls showed that Dole was the national frount-runner and McCain and Buchanan were going back in forth for second place. Dan Quayle's campaign was in trouble, mostly for financial reasons, but he managed to finish fourth of fifth in most polls. By many political insiders Quayle was not seen as an "electable" candidate, mostly because of his connection with the Bush administration and several high-profile gaffes (such as when he spelled the word "potato" like "potatoe"). The first candidate in to resign from the race was Alan Keyes, who had a strong following from African-Americans in the party but was not showing up in most national polls. Most experts prediciting that Keyes would endorse either Dole or McCain, the two front-runners. However, when he withdrew from the race on November 6, 1995 he endorsed Quayle and made the maximum donation to his campaign.
The endorsement gained notable media attention and put the Quayle campaign in the spotlight, which helped him gain much needed support. Between November 1 and November 30, donations to the Quayle campaigned increased by almost 260%. Sensing a possible challenge from Quayle, the Dole campaign began attacking him on the campaign trail, trying to associate him with the failures of the Bush administration. Three major candidates, Dole, Quayle, and Buchanan, campaigned heavily in Iowa; McCain did not campaign in Iowa and instead focused heavily in New Hampshire.
On February 12, the polls in the Iowa showed Dole and Quayle were neck-and-neck with Dole having outspent Quayle by almost a 2:1 margin. At 8:45 CST, the networks called the race for Quayle. The former Vice President and his family celebrated at victory with more than 500 hundred supporters. In his victory speech, Quayle said "The road back to decency in the White House begins here, tonight". The media was shocked by the caucus results, Dole had won the caucuses in 1988 and was expected to win in Iowa by a wide margin, Dole looked like an broken man when he gave his defeat speeeck in Iowa. After a Quayle's campaign meanwhile gained great momentum going in to New Hampshire. John McCain's forth-place finish was better than expected and the withdraw of Pete Wilson the next help his campaign greatly. After the caucuses Lamar Alexander withdrew from the race as well in support of Quayle.
In the 'Granite State' Quayle and John McCain fought it out for first place, In the end McCain's ability to pull Democrats into the GOP primary to vote for him won the day. After finising forth Dole withdrew from the race in favor of McCain. With Quayle's win in Iowa and McCain's in New Hampshire the two of them became the front-runners for the nomination.
On February 24, Quayle won in Delaware and prepaired for big showdown in South Carolina with McCain.
On February 27, Quayle won the Dakotas while McCain easily won his home state.
In South Carolina, Quayle and Buchanan battled for the conservative vote while McCain tried to united moderates and get Democrats to cross over. In the end, Quayle narrowly beat McCain by less than 2 points. After the Quayle was regarded as the front-runner.
Rest of the Primaries, Quayle won eveywere except New England (McCain won there). On March 13, Buchanan dropped out and on the 16th McCain did the same.
The following table shows the results of the primaries in detail:
|Dan Quayle||John McCain||Pat Buchanan||Bob Dole||Pete Wilson||Morry Taylor||Bob Dornan||Lamar Alexander|
|February 12||Iowa Caucus||26%||14%||18%||24%||10%||3%||1%||4%|
|February 20||New Hampshire Primary||26%||34%||18%||16%||2%||2%||1%||1%|
|February 24||Delaware (primary)||41%||32%||15%||6%||1%||4%||1%||-|
|February 27||Arizona (primary)||11%||61%||21%||2%||2%||1%||2%||-|
|February 27||North Dakota (primary)||35%||28%||29%||6%||-||1%||1%||-|
|February 27||South Dakota (primary)||39%||29%||23%||7%||-||1%||1%||-|
|March 2||South Carolina (primary)||41%||39%||14%||2%||1%||0%||1%||2%|
|March 3||Puerto Rico (primary)||-||75%||25%||-||-||-||-||-|
|March 5||Colorado (primary)||43%||42%||12%||1%||-||-||1%||1%|
|March 5||Connecticut (primary)||37%||51%||10%||2%||-||-||-||-|
|March 5||Georgia (primary)||42%||39%||16%||1%||-||-||1%||1%|
|March 5||Maine (primary)||38%||49%||11%||2%||-||-||-||-|
|March 5||Maryland (primary)||42%||41%||13%||3%||-||-||-||1%|
|March 5||Massachusetts (primary)||35%||45%||12%||3%||-||-||-||-|
|March 5||Rhode Island (primary)||27%||53%||7%||9%||-||1%||1%||-|
|March 5||Vermont (primary)||38%||41%||16%||5%||-||-||-||-|
|March 7||New York (primary)||45%||44%||11%||-||-||-||-||-|
|March 12||Florida (primary)||47%||36%||15%||1%||1%||-||-||-|
|March 12||Louisiana (primary)||46%||39%||12%||2%||-||-||1%||-|
|March 12||Mississippi (primary)||54%||31%||14%||1%||-||-||-||-|
|March 12||Oklahoma (primary)||52%||35%||11%||1%||1%||-||-||-|
|March 12||Oregon (primary)||45%||38%||13%||2%||2%||-||-||-|
|March 12||Tennessee (primary)||53%||34%||12%||1%||-||-||-||-|
|March 12||Texas (primary)||52%||30%||13%||2%||2%||-||1%||-|
|March 19||Illinois (primary)||70%||23%||5%||1%||1%||-||-||-|
|March 19||Michigan (primary)||60%||34%||5%||1%||-||-||-||-|
|March 19||Ohio (primary)||66%||24%||7%||3%||-||-||-||-|
|March 19||Wisconsin (primary)||73%||17%||6%||2%||1%||-||1%||-|
|March 26||California (primary)||66%||18%||7%||3%||5%||-||1%||-|
|March 26||Nevada (primary)||71%||17%||9%||2%||1%||-||-||-|
|March 26||Washington (primary)||64%||26%||9%||1%||-||-||-||-|
|April 23||Pennsylvania (primary)||74%||16%||8%||-||2%||-||-||-|
|May 7||Washington D.C. (primary)||87%||13%||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|May 7||Indiana (primary)||84%||12%||4%||-||-||-||-||-|
|May 7||North Carolina (primary)||82%||14%||4%||1%||1%||-||-||-|
|May 14||Nebraska (primary)||86%||9%||3%||1%||1%||-||-||-|
|May 14||West Virginia (primary)||76%||16%||5%||1%||1%||-||1%||-|
|May 21||Arkansas (primary)||76%||13%||10%||-||-||-||1%||-|
|May 28||Idaho (primary)||72%||22%||5%||-||1%||-||-||-|
|June 4||Alabama (primary)||76%||17%||4%||-||3%||-||-||-|
|June 4||Montana (primary)||69%||14%||17%||-||-||-||-||-|
|June 4||New Jersey (primary)||82%||11%||7%||-||-||-||-||-|
|June 4||New Mexico (primary)||79%||12%||6%||2%||1%||-||-||-|