For the last 23 years the GOP has pointed to the 1992 three way race between Bill Clinton, George Bush and Ross Perot as proof all a third party effort would do is guarantee the democrats would win the election. They’ve used the strategy effectively to keep their conservative base from telling them to go to hell and forming a third party. For years it’s allowed them to lie to voters to get elected, then do whatever their big money contributors want, as soon as the votes are counted.
Think about it, the day after last years election, the current Speaker, John Boehner was already telling us he didn’t give a rat’s ass about his member’s campaign promises. Since then he’s funded Obamacare, legitimized Obama’s criminal rewriting of our immigration law and ignored dozens of Obama’s other extra constitutional and frequently illegal actions.
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about Donald Trump going third party, something he’s threatened if the GOP doesn’t treat him with the respect due a serious candidate… As I type this, there’s talk that the GOP Establishment’s going to block him from participating in the rest of the GOP debates. The excuses they’re using is he refused to pledge allegiance to the whoever ends up the GOP Nomination next year, and because of his so called sexist attitude toward FOX News Hostess Megyn Kelly..
Of course the establishment types are screaming that guarantees a win for Hillary.. (assuming she’s not in jail by then)
I’m not so sure.[pullquote]“If the American people knew what we have done, they would string us up from the lamp posts.” —George H.W. Bush[/pullquote]
I’ve believed for a long time Perot got a bum rap, and he complicated things for himself by dropping out of the race, then jumping back in just weeks before the election. When he got back into the race he said he’d dropped out because GOP operatives had been threatening his daughter, something that sounds more believable now than it did then.
But that was only part of it..
From the time he entered the race, he was attacked unmercifully by the media.. Short with big ears, he wasn’t an impressive figure standing between polished politicians like George Bush and Bill Clinton at the debates. No offence to anyone, but his East Texas twang probably didn’t help him a lot in the Northeast and West Coast population centers.
Over the last few days I’ve done digging.. What I found shoots a huge hole in the myth that Perot cost George H.W. Bush the election..
I’m not a fan of Salon Magazine, but sometimes you have to look at what the liberals are saying, and then figure out is there’s a shred of truth in what’s generally bull manure.
This is from Steve Kornacki Salon’s article Dan Quayle still pushing “Perot elected Clinton” nonsense.. Here’s a quote
It was then, as October arrived, that Perot jumped back in the race. But his re-emergence didn’t disproportionately hurt Bush — who, it cannot be emphasized enough, was already being drubbed by Clinton. In a CBS poll on the eve of Perot’s re-entry, Clinton led Bush by 13 points in a two-man race – and by 11 in a three-way race. In other words, Clinton’s lead actually declined (very slightly) with Perot back in the mix.
Any last-minute Bush momentum, though, was undermined on the Friday before the election when Iran-Contra independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh indicted Caspar Weinberger, Ronald Reagan’s old Defense secretary – and, in a statement released with the indictment, implicated Bush, who had been dogged for years by questions about his Iran-Contra involvement.
The following Tuesday, Clinton nabbed 43 percent of the vote, good for 370 electoral votes. Bush finished with 37 percent and 168 electoral votes. Perot tallied nearly 20 percent, and exit polls showed that his voters were roughly split evenly on whom their second choice would have been.
Read all of: Dan Quayle still pushing “Perot elected Clinton” nonsense.. (for Salon it’s actually a good read)
Okay, if you read the entire thing, you know we have a convincing sounding story, but it’s from Joan Walsh’s Salon.. I wasn’t sold, so I went looking for some more confirmation. Wikipedia has a lengthy article titled Ross Perot presidential campaign, 1992
From that we find:
After the Democratic Convention and Perot’s initial exit, Clinton opened up large leads against the President, polling near (and often above) 50 percent of the vote nationwide consistently, while Bush typically saw polling and approval numbers in the upper 30s. The campaign continued with a lopsided lead for Clinton through September, until Ross Perot decided to re-enter the race. Ross Perot’s re-entry in the race was welcome by the Bush campaign, as Fred Steeper, a poll taker for Bush, said, “He’ll be important if we accomplish our goal, which is to draw even with Clinton.” Initially, Perot’s return saw the Texas billionaire’s numbers stay low, until he was given the opportunity to participate in a trio of unprecedented three-man debates. The race narrowed, as Perot’s numbers significantly improved as Clinton’s numbers declined, while Bush’s numbers remained more or less the same from earlier in the race as Perot and Bush began to hammer at Clinton on character issues once again.
And farther down it get’s more interesting:
The effect of Ross Perot‘s candidacy has been a contentious point of debate for many years. In the ensuing months after the election, various Republicans asserted that Perot had acted as a spoiler, enough to the detriment of Bush to lose him the election. While many disaffected conservatives may have voted for Ross Perot to protest Bush’s tax increase, further examination of the Perot vote in the Election Night exit polls not only showed that Perot siphoned votes nearly equally among Bush and Clinton….
Click the length to read all of.. Ross Perot presidential campaign, 1992
So he siphoned off votes nearly equally form both Clinton and Bush. Interesting. It’s also interesting that the Wikipedia article seems to confirm everything Steve Kornacki wrote in his Salon article..
But we still don’t have a lot of proof either article’s accurate.. Fortunately Gallup still has charts showing the results of their 1992 election season polling available on the Internet.
As you see, when Perot dropped out, he was tied with Bush. More importantly, you can see see that when Perot exited the race, it was Clinton, not Bush who got the biggest bounce.. 30 points over two weeks. Bush jumped about 15 points when Perot dropped out of the race, and then lost 14 of them the next week. Virtually everyone who had been supporting Perot switched to Clinton when Perot dropped out. Except for two weeks October, from the time Perot exited, Clinton stayed well ahead of Bush, regardless of whether or not Perot was running..
More importantly, if as both articles say, Perot pulled from both candidates equally, then without him in the race, the only difference would have been Bush might have ended up with 47% of the vote and Clinton the remaining 53%.
In 1992 the American People were Bushed, just as they were in 2008..
There’s no way of saying for sure, but if Perot hadn’t decided to quit in the middle of the race it’s highly likely it would have been a tight three-way race, and Perot might have ended up as President. There’s no way of saying if Trump can manage to created a viable third party in the 14 months between now and November 2016, or if he will.
It took the GOP six years, (from 1854 to 1860) to go from an angry mob in Wisconsin, to the political party that put Lincoln in the White House and the Whig Party in the History Books. In the 1850’s they didn’t even have telephones, a letter could easily take a week or more to get from New York to Missouri, and the only mass communication was controlled by the few people who owned printing presses.
Today the Internet Changes all of that. It’s possible to reach millions of people in a matter of minutes.
The GOP leadership is painfully aware of the Party’s history.. they know a viable third party could easily put them in the history books. That’s why they’re so terrified of the possibility.
Right now, Donald Trump is saying things the American People want to hear, look at Congresses approval ratings, American’s are disgusted, more disgusted than they were when Perot ran for president. There’s no question Trump could pull a substantial number of voters from both political parties. The polls prove the non establishment Republicans are doing much better as a group than the establishment republicans..
Worse for the GOP, a full third of the parties registered voters, have gone independent since 2010. They have good reason to be terrified of a third party, but it’s not the reason they like to spin.
The democrats are falling apart as well, Hillary Clinton long believed to have a lock on the nomination before the first vote was cast, is facing some very serious legal problems. She’s tanking in the polls. Bernie Sanders, a small c Communist, is pulling enough votes away from her to become a serious threat to a woman with more baggage than the baggage car on an old passenger train. There’s still a lot of older democrats that won’t vote for a communist, small c or otherwise..
If Trump gives it a try, and wins, one or both of the current political parties might very well be history a year from now.
************************Thank you for stopping by Grumpy Opinions and while you are here, please SUBSCRIBE to our Grumpy Opinions newsletter to receive our emails. You can also subscribe to Grumpy Opinions’ in our right sidebar or if you have a WordPress.com account, in our WordPress.com READER in the admin panel on the top left. Social media accounts: