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|‹ 1992 2000 ›|
|Republic of Superior Presidential Election, 1996|
|November 5, 1996|
|Nominee||Joseph O'Hara||Robert P. Griffin||Dennis Kucinich|
|Running mate||Stan Gruszynski||Randy Sarick||Arlen Tompkins|
|Presidential election results map. Blue states are those that voted for Griffin. Red states are those that voted for O'Hara.|
President before election
The 1996 Presidential Election in the Republic of Superior was the fourth held in its history, with the major opponents being Joseph O'Hara, the Liberal Democratic President, for the Liberal Democratic Party, and Congressman Robert P. Griffin of Schoolcraft, Former Speaker of the House and House Minority Leader, for the Conservative Party. Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Mackinaw, Socialist House Leader, and a former Liberal Democratic Congressman, ran for the Socialists. O'Hara's victory was never really in question, as he led for the entire campaign, riding the goodwill he had gained following the admission of Mackinaw to the union, while that same event hurt Griffin in several areas and hindered the Socialists, for the Liberal Democrats were seen as responsible for its admission by its residents, despite the Socialists having campaigned for its admission for years.
Liberal Democratic Nomination
- President Joseph R. O’Hara, Delta
- Vice-President Stan Gruszynski, Menominee
The convention was held from August 28th-30th, 1996, in Mackinaw.
Both candidates received their nominations unanimously, as the only person likely to oppose them, Dennis Kucinich, had left the party after 1992 and joined the Socialists.
- Congressman Robert P. Griffin, Schoolcraft, Former Speaker of the House and House Minority Leader
- Governor Randy Sarick, Marquette
- Congressman Leroy S. Atlas, Menominee, 1984 VP Candidate
- Senator Horatio Weston, Ontonagon
- Retired General Lewis Poulat, Ontonagon, 1992 Presidential Candidate
The Conservative party in the lead-up to the election found itself divided into two wings: those who supported the admission of Mackinaw, and those who had opposed it. While its admission largely rendered the dispute a moot point, it turned into a conflict over immigration and the direction of the nation, one view wanting expansion and the other frowning on the idea.
Those in opposition to the annexation were led by House Minority Leader Robert P. Griffin, who had attempted a filibuster against the annexation, while those in favor were led by Randy Sarick, Governor of Marquette.
In a hard-fought primary season, it became quickly apparent that Griffin was the only real candidate that had been against the annexation, easy beating the discredited Poulat, and that a slim majority of Conservatives agreed with his views. Those in favor of the annexation were divided between several candidates. All told, this led to Griffin holding a majority of delegates going into the convention.
At the convention, Griffin easily gained the nomination. In an effort to even out the ticket, and to satisfy his primary opponents, he made it known that he wanted, despite his own personal misgivings and the platform they would be running under, one of the pro-annexation candidates to be the vice-presidential nominee. Governor Sarick easily defeated the other pro-annexation candidates for the position, with the thought that it would establish him for the 2000 elections.
The convention was held from August 19th-21st, 1996, in Marquette.
|Presidential Ballot||Vice-Presidential Ballot|
|Robert P. Griffin||306||Randy Sarick||364|
|Randy Sarick||187||Horatio Weston||112|
|Leroy S. Atlas||28||Terrance Newman||70|
- Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Mackinaw, Socialist House Leader
- Mayor Arlen Tompkins, Escanaba, 1992 VP Candidate
- State Commissioner Peter Denley, Chippewa
- Congressman Mike Prusi, Marquette
In 1996, the Socialist Party found itself with nearly the same choices as in 1992. For the first time, they ran primary elections in each state and territory as well, all done by proportional representation. As promised to then-Councillor Tompkins, the convention was held in Escanaba too. About the only major difference between 1996 and 1992 was that Congressman Kucinich had formally joined the party and gotten elected, and was running rather than now-Congressman Strom.
Riding a wave of support following the admission of Mackinaw to the union, something which he had been one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of, Kucinich achieved a narrow majority of delegates in the primaries on the backs of territorial, Mackinawin and ex-refugee members of the party. He also had the support of the party leadership, who believed that Kucinich, well-known throughout the republic, would allow them to increase their vote drastically, though they would eventually prove to be mistaken.
At the convention, Kucinich was nominated on the first ballot. After three ballots, now-Mayor Tompkins was named the vice-presidential candidate over Congressman Prusi, riding his support among the locals to victory.
The convention was held from July 8th-10th, 1996, in Escanaba.
|Presidential Ballot||Vice-Presidential Ballot|
|Dennis Kucinich||201||Arlen Tompkins||246|
|Arlen Tompkins||89||Mike Prusi||141|
Campaign, and the Election
By and large, O'Hara had the election sewn up the whole time, and rode a wave of support and popularity to victory. Overall, however, the election was considered by both pundits and the voters to be what amounted to a referendum on the admission of Mackinaw to the union, even though now that it had been admitted, it could not be taken out. It also showed that, while a slim majority of Republicans opposed the admission, a large majority of the overall population supported it and what it meant, leading to a change of the guard in the Conservative Party.
Perhaps the biggest issues were the ongoing fighting in Madison, and what the Republic should do about it, and the question of expansion, and how it should be done. The Socialists opposed intervention, the Conservatives desired it, and the Liberal Democrats were split. And with regards to the issue of how to expand, the Liberal Democrats and Socialists stood by the Dunn-King-Theriualt Act, while the Conservatives sought to modify it with regards to refugees and gaining citizenship.
In the end, the predicted result occurred: O'Hara won the election by about six points. The Socialist Party dropped one point, however - while Kucinich was indeed well-known, so was the President, and the voters considered him, not Kucinich, to be responsible for admitting Mackinaw to the Union. However, their net total still increased, in a good sign for the party. Out of a total estimated voting population of 456,051, 88.41%, or 403,196 people, voted, buoyed by very high returns in Mackinaw.
|Presidential Candidate||Political Party||Home State||Popular Vote Count||%||Electoral Vote Count||Running Mate||Home State|
|Joseph O'Hara||Liberal Democrat||Delta||203,654||50.51%||80||Stan Gruszynski||Menominee|
|Robert P. Griffin||Conservative||Schoolcraft||178,172||44.19%||58||Randy Sarick||Marquette|
|Dennis Kucinich||Socialist||Mackinaw||21,370||5.3%||0||Arlen Tompkins||Delta|