PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS
OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1992
By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS
Election Year: 1992
Election Day Date: November 3, 1992
- William Clinton, Albert Gore Jr., Democratic 44,909,806 43.01% 370 68.8%
- George Bush, J. Danforth Quayle, Republican 39,104,550 37.45% 168 31.2%
- H. Ross Perot, James Stockdale, Independent 19,743,821 18.91% 0 0.0%
- Andre Marrou, Nancy Lord, Libertarian 290,087 0.28% 0 0.0%
- Other (+) – – 375,659 0.36% 0 0.0%
- Total VAP 189,044,500
- Total REG 133,648,039
- Total Vote 104,423,923
- %VAP 55.2%
- %REG 78.1%
Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:
Stumping, speeches, rallies; Television, interviews, talk show appearances; print and television ads; primary, Presidential, Vice Presidential debates
Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes:
Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day:
George Herbert Walker Bush, J. Danforth Quayle, Republican, 1989-1993
Population: 1992: 256,922,000
Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $6,342.3 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $8,287.1 GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%): 76.53 Population (in thousands): 256,922
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $24,686 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $32,255
Number of Daily Newspapers: 1,655 (1990)
Average Daily Circulation: 62,649,218 (1990)
- Radio: 91,100,000 (1990)
- Television: 92,100,000 (1990)
Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote (mostly General Ticket/Winner Take All)
Method of Choosing Nominees: Presidential preference primaries and caucuses
Central Issues (Nomination/Primaries):
- Economy, 1991 recession, U.S. Gross Domestic Product dropped, unemployment rate at over 6%; Bush’s budget deal Democratic Congress raised taxes; spending cuts; Bush broke his 1988 campaign pledge of “Read my Lips, No New Taxes.”
- Foreign policy success, end of Cold War; Berlin Wall fell; united East and West Germany; Military success in the Gulf War over Iraq
- March 1991 polls, President Bush had an 88% approval rating;
- Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein remained still in power after the Gulf War and defying US and United Nations orders
- Revealed that the Bush administration placated Hussein up until the invasion, under cut into the Gulf’s War success, Bush’s competency as a leader and in foreign policy
Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):
Republican Party candidates:
- George H. W. Bush, President of the United States from Texas
- Pat Buchanan, conservative columnist from Virginia
- Harold E. Stassen, Former Governor of Minnesota
Democratic Party candidates
- Larry Agran, former Mayor of Irvine, California
- Bill Clinton, Governor of Arkansas
- Jerry Brown, former Governor of California
- Paul Tsongas, former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
- Bob Kerrey, U.S. senator from Nebraska
- Tom Harkin, U.S. senator from Iowa
- Douglas Wilder, governor of Virginia
Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):
- In 1991, Bush’s popularity deterred Democrats from pursuing the nomination
- Economic recession, Bush’s laissez faire policy; economy worsened for middle class
Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):
- The use of Talk Shows to reach potential voters
Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries):
- Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, Governor William Clinton of Arkansas, Governor Douglas Wilder of Virginia, and former governor Jerry Brown of California
Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):
- Bill Clinton best organization among potential nominees
- Clinton took leading role in the Democratic Leadership Council used it to build party support for a candidacy, leader within the party
- In early 1992 a tabloid accused Clinton of infidelity; Clinton and his wife Hillary appeared on 60 Minutes to debunk the story;
- Paul Tsongas (Massachusetts) won New Hampshire primary, Clinton placed second;
- Accusations about Clinton dodging the draft, not serving in the Vietnam War
- Clinton proclaimed the “Comeback Kid” with runner-up finishing in New Hampshire after the scandal broke;
- On Super Tuesday, Clinton won all the primaries in the South
- Mid-March won Illinois and Michigan, demonstrated wider voter appeal
- In March, Paul Tsongas suspended his campaign, campaign faltered, out of money
- Jerry Brown remained in the campaign and won Connecticut, lead in the polls in New York and Wisconsin by made the mistake of announcing he would take Jesse Jackson as his running mate, although Jackson was widely dislike by New York’s Jewish community for his anti-Semitic remarks in the 1984 Presidential primaries race. Brown would lose the two races as a result
- Clinton won the remaining primaries and the nomination
- At first Bush took more interest in foreign affairs and his successes in foreign policy than the economy, his extremely high approval rating after the gulf war in 1991, where U.S. forces and United Nations pushed Iraq out of Kuwait after their invasion in 1990
- Took his reelection for granted, delayed announcing his reelection bid until early 1992, when discontent was rising over the economy, continuous problems with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein
- After approval rating plummeted; Bush’s advisers pushed him to commence a reelection immediately to catch up with Democrats already campaigning
- State of the Union (“Message: I care”), and launched his campaign determined to be “the Comeback Kid.”
- Compared his campaign to Harry Truman’s in 1948, an embarrassment when he claimed Truman would vote Republican now if still alive, prompting Truman’s daughter, Margaret to “reject Bush’s suggestion with indignation and remind him that he was indeed no Harry Truman.”
- Patrick Buchanan, the conservative columnist, challenged Bush in the primaries
- Bush campaign nearly lost New Hampshire to Buchanan
- Buchanan unable to garner more than 30% support in any primary he entered
- Buchanan’s candidacy revealed Bush’s vulnerability on the economic issues, Bush had to move to the right to satisfy the disgruntled conservatives within the party
- “Because we Republicans, can no longer say it is all the liberals’ fault. It was not some liberal Democrat who said ‘Read my lips: no new taxes,’ then broke his word to cut a seedy backroom budget deal with the big spenders on Capitol Hill.” Pat Buchanan
- “I think the American people, at least people that have been married for a long time, know what it means and know the whole range of things that it can mean. . . . I have acknowledged wrongdoing, I have acknowledged causing pain in my marriage. I have said things to you tonight and to the American people from the beginning that no American politician ever has. I think most Americans who are watching this tonight, they’ll know what we’re saying. They’ll get it…. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You’re looking at two people who love each other. This is not an arrangement or understanding; this is a marriage.” Mrs. Clinton: “You know, I’m not sitting here as some little woman standing by my man, like Tammy Wynette. I’m sitting here because I love him and I respect him and I honor what he’s been through and what we’ve been through together. And, you know, if that’s not enough for people, then, heck, don’t vote for him.” Bill and Hillary Clinton on 60 Minutes
- Democratic 40 77.1% delegates
- Republican 39 67.8% delegates
Democratic Party: Jul 01, 1992
- Bill Clinton: 10,482,411, 51.99%
- Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr.: 4,071,232, 20.19%
- Paul Efthemios Tsongas: 3,656,010, 18.13%
- Unpledged: 750,873, 3.72%
- J. Robert “Bob” Kerrey: 318,457, 1.58%
- Tom Harkin: 280,304, 1.39%
- Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 154,599, 0.77%
- Eugene J. McCarthy: 108,678, 0.54%
- Charles Woods: 88,948, 0.44%
- Larry Agran: 58,611, 0.29%
Republican Party: Jul 01, 1992
- George Herbert Walker Bush(I): 9,199,463, 72.84%
- Patrick J. “Pat” Buchanan: 2,899,488, 22.96%
- Unpledged: 287,383, 2.28%
- David Duke: 119,115, 0.94%
Conventions (Dates & Locations):
- Democratic National Convention: July 13-16, 1992, Madison Square Garden; New York, Ann Richards (Texas), 1st ballot, William J. Clinton (Arkansas), Albert A. Gore, Jr. (Tennessee)
- Republican National Convention: August 17-20, 1992, Astrodome; Houston, 1st ballot, George H. W. Bush (Texas), Dan Quayle (Indiana)
Convention Turning Points:
Democratic National Convention:
- Clinton leader in delegate count, former California Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. and former Massachusetts Senator Paul E. Tsongas also appeared on the ballot
- Clinton won on the first ballot with 3,372 votes, and the nomination was approved by acclamation.
- Clinton chose another young Southerner, Tennessee Senator Albert Gore Jr. for his running mate
- Clinton-Gore ticket was the youngest in the 20th century, Clinton, age 45, and Gore, age 44.
- Clinton received a significant bounce in the polls after the convention
Republican National Convention:
- Convention themes; inclusion, moderation, and diversity, however, conservative platform
- Incumbent George H.W. Bush was renominated as was his running mate and Dan Quayle
- President Bush apologized and “admitted he had made a mistake in failing to keep his famous 1988 “no new taxes” pledge.”
- Former President Reagan delivered his last Republican convention address
- Patrick Buchanan and televangelist Pat Robertson gave prime time addresses
- Buchanan called for a “culture war”; Republicans as a result appeared dogmatic and meanspirited
Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:
Republican Party nomination:
Presidential 1st ballot
- George H. W. Bush 2166
- Pat Buchanan 18
- former ambassador Alan Keyes 1
- Dan Quayle: renominated by voice vote
Democratic Party nomination:
Presidential 1st ballot
- Gov. Bill Clinton 3,372 (80.27%)
- Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, Jr. 596 (14.19%)
- Sen. Paul Efthemios Tsongas 209 (4.98%)
- Gov. Robert P. Casey Sr. 10 (0.24%)
- Rep. Patricia Schroeder 8 (0.19%)
- Larry Agran 3 (0.07%)
- Ron Daniels 1 (0.02%)
- Sen. Al Gore 1 (0.02%)
- Joe Simonetta 1 (0.02%)
Third Party Candidates and Nominations:
Ross Perot candidacy:
- Concern of the federal budget deficit; professional politicians; against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); internal and external national debt; volunteers collected enough signatures to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states
- On June 4, 1992 Perot led the national public opinion polls with support from 39% of the voters (versus 31% for Bush and 25% for Clinton)
- Perot damaged his credibility when he withdrew from the race in July, only to re-enter it in October. Compounded the issue, when he claimed the reason he withdrew was because Republican operatives were trying to ruin his daughter’s wedding
- Ralph Nader: New Hampshire primaries, urging members of both parties to write-in his name; several thousand Democrats and Republicans wrote-in Nader’s name; more votes from Republicans than Democrats
- Libertarian Party: Andre Marrou, former Alaska representative and the Party’s 1988 vice-presidential candidate, for President. Nancy Lord; Marrou/Lord ticket made the ballot in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and received 291,627 votes (0.28% of the popular vote).
- Populist Party: Bo Gritz, former United States Army Special Forces officer and Vietnam veteran; 106,152 votes nationwide (0.10% of the popular vote)
- New Alliance Party: Lenora Fulani Psychotherapist and political activist and 1988 presidential nominee; Maria Elizabeth Munoz received 73,622 votes (0.07% of the popular vote).
- U.S. Taxpayers Party: Howard Phillips, conservative political activist; Albion Knight, Jr. 43,369 votes (0.04% of the popular vote)
- Natural Law Party: President: John Hagelin, Scientist and researcher; Vice President: Mike Tompkins first presidential ticket, on the ballot in 32 states and drew 39,000 votes (0.04% of the popular vote)
- Independent: Drew Bradford, New Jersey: 4,749 votes, 12th overall (.14% of the popular vote in NJ, .01% nationwide).
- Delbert L. Ehlers, Iowa, 6th (home state), received more votes than Libertarian Andre Marrou in Iowa, finishing 18th nationwide (1,149 votes, .09% of the popular vote in Iowa
Convention Keynote Speaker:
Democratic National Convention: Three keynote addresses: Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Governor Zell Miller of Georgia and former Texas representative Barbara Jordan bipartisan keynote address.
Nominating Speech Speakers (President):
- Democratic: New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo, saluted Clinton as the “comeback kid”
Party Platform and Issues:
- The Democratic Party: New centrist philosophy, economic growth, military force overseas when necessary, two years limit in welfare benefits, states right to enact death penalty statutes
- Republican Party: Opposed increasing taxes, strengthening families, parental choice in school choice
General Election Controversies/Issues:
Character issue; “battle of the negatives”
Campaign Innovations (General Election):
- “The Larry King era” TV talk shows/call-in talk shows hosted by Larry King, Phil Donahue, Arsenio Hall, Oprah Winfrey: Informal setting; candidates could speak freely and conformably with friendly hosts, potential voters in the audience or on the telephone could speak/question the candidates
Major Personalities (General Election): James Carville; Larry King, Phil Donahue, Arsenio Hall, Oprah Winfrey
- Same negative tactics used in 1988
- Negative advertising; character issue; Bush’s tendency to “go ballistic” close to calling Clinton a “subversive”
- Accused Clinton of being a tax and spend liberal; lacked patriotism because of involvement in Vietnam War demonstrations activities; issue of Clinton’s 1969 trip to Moscow; called Clinton and Gore “bozos”
- President Bush although reluctant at first joined the talk-show circuit, for campaign for reelection.
- Young, moderate “New Democrats”
- Speeches, interviews, and talk show appearances
- Main theme and issue of the Clinton campaign was the economy “THE ECONOMY, STUPID!” disciplined; message of changed “We’ve got to change this country,” There must be “courage to change.”
- Immediately responded to every Bush allegation; President “deceptive” and “untrustworthy.”
- Rejected Reagan-Bush years “trickledown” economy policy (benefits coming from government aid to business would eventually trickle down to the general populace); Government action to help the economy, reform policies: national health care system; rebuild infrastructure; tuition loans to college students. reducing unemployment by public works?; campaign finance reform; replacing welfare “workfare.” Clinton, New Democrat, centrist position, reinvigoration of the American economy helps everyone (“forgotten middle class”), blacks and Latinos; lower the deficit.
- Bill Clinton appeared on Arsenio Hall and played the saxophone.
- Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire announced his candidacy on Larry King Live
- Perot announced he would run for the presidency if volunteers got his name on the ballot in all 50 states, they did.
- Campaign theme focus, the expanding federal deficit national debt $1 trillion to $4 trillion during the Reagan-Bush years
- “Infomercials,” paid TV advertisements, half hour or more, discussed the issues “I’m just going to sit down, and talk to the American people.”
- His United We Stand, America ran his campaign, Perot only started to appear personally at rallies for him nine days before the end of the campaign
- Great Simplifier; forthright
- “Perotxysms” homonymics: “The Yellow Ross of Texas.”; “Perotnoia”; “he would offer economists . . . a new Perotdigm. Even if his Latin American policy made him sound like a Perotnista, his concern for global nuclear safety would remain Perotmount. In terms of domestic policy, he would surely be attentive to Perotchial schools. His concern for the handicapped would extend to Perotplegics and his health care reform would have to cover Perotinitis and Perotdontia. But his opponents can be depended on, before long, to ridicule any claim he’s a Perotgon of virtue who could lead America to political Perotdise. They are more likely to prefer a sentence of life without Perotle, while the rest of us wish for, at least, no more name puns. While there’s life there’s hope, Caesar might have said. Dum spiro sperot.” New York Times, Editorial, June 9, 1992
- Perot and his running mate included in the debates
- All Presidential candidates performed well
- October 11, 1992 Presidential Debate in St. Louis: Perot star of debate, simple solutions to difficult problems the country was facing
- October 15, 1992 Presidential Debate, Virginia University of Richmond, Virginia moderated by Carole Simpson of ABC News, town hall debate, the moderator relayed questions about the issues directly from the audience of undecided voters; Clinton adeptness with electronic media
- October 19, 1992 Presidential Debate in East Lansing, Michigan
- October 13, 1992 Vice-Presidential Debate in Atlanta: Vice-President Dan Quayle taunted Albert Gore annoyed and turned off the viewers/voters
Turning Points (General Election):
- Perot campaign damaged by both Perot’s indeciveness, exiting and rentering the campaign and vice-presidential candidate James Stockdale poor performance at the Vice Presidential Debate
- Going into the election, the Republican candidate and incumbent president, George H. W. Bush, hoped the GATT talks would result in a free trade deal. This would have given Bush an advantage over Democratic candidate Bill Clinton.
- The Friday before the 1992 election, former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger, who served in the Reagan administration, was indicted by independent counsel Lawrence Walsh in connection with the Iran-contra affair. The indictment distracted Bush’s campaign and suggested to some that Bush, who had claimed he was “out of the loop,” had possibly not been honest about his own role in the scandal. Bush actually attended a meeting he originally claimed he had not attended
Popular Campaign Slogans:
- Democratic: Bill Clinton “It’s the Economy, Stupid”; “A New Covenant To Make America Work Again!”; “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow,” “It’s Time to Change America”; “Putting People First”; “Change vs. more of the same;” “Don’t forget health care”; Putting People First… For a Change.”
- Republican Party: ‘Stand by the President 1992”; “Let’s Re-Elect our Desert Storm Commander in Chief in ‘92”
- Independent: Ross Perot “Ross for Boss”
- Democratic: Bill Clinton: Don’t Stop (Fleetwood Mac)
- Independent: Ross Perot: Crazy (Patsy Cline)
Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:
- “pot-smoking, philandering draft-dodger”
Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):
Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):
- “That’s why we need a new approach to government, a government that offers more empowerment and less entitlement…. A government that is leaner, not meaner; a government that expands opportunity, not bureaucracy; a government that understands that jobs must come from growth in a vibrant and vital system of free enterprise. I call this approach a New Covenant, a solemn agreement between the people and their government based not simply on what each of us can take but what all of us must give to our Nation. Bill Clinton 1992 Acceptance Speech to 1992 Democratic National Convention (“A Place Called Hope”)
- “We offer our people a new choice based on old values. We offer opportunity. We demand responsibility. We will build an American community again. The choice we offer is not conservative or liberal. In many ways, it is not even Republican or Democratic. It is different. It is new. And it will work. It will work because it is rooted in the vision and the values of the American people.” Bill Clinton 1992 Acceptance Speech to 1992 Democratic National Convention (“A Place Called Hope”)
Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate):
- “Now let me say this: When it comes to taxes, I’ve learned the hard way. There’s an old saying, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” Two years ago, I made a bad call on the Democrats tax increase. I underestimated Congress’ addiction to taxes. With my back against the wall, I agreed to a hard bargain: One tax increase one time in return for the toughest spending limits ever. Well, it was a mistake to go along with the Democratic tax increase, and I admit it. But here’s the question for the American people. Who do you trust in this election? The candidate who’s raised taxes one time and regrets it, or the other candidate who raised taxes and fees 128 times and enjoyed it every time?” George H. W. Bush, Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Houston
August 20, 1992
- “Well, they’ve got a point, I don’t have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes any responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else. I don’t have any experience in creating the worst public school system in the industrialized world, the most violent, crime-ridden society in the industrialized world. But I do have a lot of experience in getting things done. . . . I’ve got a lot of experience in not taking ten years to solve a ten-minute problem.” Ross Perot, First Presidential Debate, St. Louis, Missouri\
- “I can solve the problem of the national debt without working up a sweat. It’s just that simple.” Ross Perot to TV Audiences
- “Campaigns are never fun, It’s like war. It’s miserable. Running for office isn’t fun. Winning is fun…. The only time the presidency is fun is the day you get inaugurated and the day you dedicate your library. If you’re going to do what you’re setting out to do, it isn’t going to be fun.” Republican Political Consultant in response to Ross Perot’s questions on the campaigning and the Presidency as fun
- James Ceaser and Andrew Busch, Upside Down and Inside Out: The 1992 Elections and American Politics, Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1993.
- Defrank, Thomas M.; et al. (1994), Quest for the Presidency, 1992, College Station: Texas A&M University Press,
Lasting Legacy of Campaign:
- All three major candidates were from the South, and two were from Texas (Bush and Perot)
- The Democratic Party’s ticket were both from Southern states, where as usually the ticket would be balanced, one candidate from the north, one from the South
- Independent candidate, H. Ross Perot made all the decision for the campaign (self-nominated, self-organized, self-promoted, self-scheduled, self-advertised, and self-financed) (Perot’s own timing entered in February, dropped out in July, offended by media attacks, and then continued in October)
- June 4, 1989: Massacre at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. “The People’s Liberation Army, the military arm of the Chinese government, uses tanks and armored cars to suppress a burgeoning pro-democracy movement that had encamped in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Estimates on the number of demonstrators killed vary between 700 and 2,700.”
- June 5, 1989: “In the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacres, President Bush announces a number of condemnatory actions, including the suspension of the sale of American weapons to China.”
- August 9, 1989: “President Bush signs into law the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, a compromise with Congress on the bail-out of savings and loans.”
- November 9, 1989: End of Cold War: “The Berlin Wall falls, marking the symbolic end of Communist rule in Eastern Europe.”
- June 1, 1990: “At a summit meeting in Washington, D.C., President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sign the broadest arms reduction agreement in two decades. The agreement stipulates that the United States and the Soviet Union scrap 25 percent and 40 percent of their respective nuclear stockpiles.”
- June 26, 1990: “President Bush, in a written statement released to the press, reneges on his “no new taxes” pledge from the 1988 presidential campaign by stating that in order to solve the deficit problem, tax increases might be necessary for the 1991 fiscal year.”
- August 2, 1990: “Iraq invades Kuwait. President Bush strongly condemns Iraq’s actions, setting the stage for an American response.”
- October 3, 1990: “Seven months after East Germans overwhelmingly approve reunification, the two German states are formally reunited.” Berlin Wall fell; unites East and West Germany;
- November 5, 1990: “President Bush signs a budget law intended to reduce the federal budget by almost $500 billion over the next five years. The law includes $140 billion dollars in new taxes.” Bush’s budget deal Democratic Congress raises taxes; spending cuts; Bush brakes his 1988 campaign pledge of “Read my Lips, No New Taxes.”
- January 17, 1991: Gulf War commences over Iraq where U.S. forces and United Nations pushes Iraq out of Kuwait “The Persian Gulf War, code-named Operation Desert Storm, begins with a massive, American-led air attack on Iraq.”
- February 24, 1991: “Ground troops, including a large contingent of American soldiers, begin operations in Operation Desert Storm.:
- February 27, 1991: “After liberating Kuwait, coalition troops advance rapidly into Iraqi territory, encountering no resistance. President Bush, deciding that the war’s objectives had been met, calls off the ground offensive.:
- March 1991: President Bush has an 88% approval rating in the polls
- 1991: Bush’s popularity deters Democrats from pursuing the nomination
- 1991: Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein remains in power after the Gulf War and and continues to defy US and United Nations orders
- June 26, 1991: Prohibition Convention nominates Earl F. Dodge Jr. for President.
- July 31, 1991: “President Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev meet in Moscow to sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty (START-I) which calls for both nations to make significant reductions in the number of nuclear warheads in their respective arsenals.”
- August 31, 1991: Libertarian Party Convention nominates Andre Marrou for President.
- 1991: Economic recession, U.S. Gross Domestic Product drops, unemployment rate at over 6%;
- September 1, 1991: Socialist Party Convention nominates J. Quinn Brisben for President.
- November 1, 1991: Socialist Workers Party Convention nominates James Warren for President.
- It is revealed that the Bush administration has placated Hussein up until the invasion. The revelation under cut into the Gulf’s War success, and Bush’s competency as a leader and in foreign policy
- Bill Clinton takes a leading role in the Democratic Leadership Council, and uses it to build party support for a candidacy, and to become a leader within the party.
- December 31, 1991: “The constituent republics of the Soviet Union dissolve the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.”
- January 10, 1992: “The Labor Department announces that the unemployment rose to 7.1 percent in December 1991, the highest mark in over five years.”
- January 24, 1992: A tabloid accuses Clinton of infidelity.
- January 1992: Accusations surface about Clinton dodging the draft, not serving in the Vietnam War
- 1992: After Bush’s approval rating plummets; his advisers push him to commence a reelection campaign immediately to catch up with the Democrats already campaigning
- January 26, 1992: Clinton and his wife Hillary appear on 60 Minutes to debunk claims of Clinton’s infidelity
- January 28, 1992: George H. W. Bush’s State of the Union (“Message: I care”), and launched his campaign determined to be “the Comeback Kid.”
- January (late): Hawaii Republican precinct caucuses
- January – March: North Dakota Republican precinct caucuses
- January – May: Virginia Republican local meetings
- February 1, 1992: “At the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, President Bush and Russian president Boris Yeltsin meet to discuss U.S.-Russian relations and officially declare the end of the Cold War.”
- February 2-29-, 1992: Nevada Republican caucuses
- February 10, 1992: Iowa caucuses (both parties)
- February 18, 1992: New Hampshire primary.
- Republican, Bush campaign nearly loses New Hampshire to Pat Buchanan. “President Bush wins the New Hampshire primary but faces a strong challenge from conservative media personality Patrick Buchanan. The conservative wing of the Republican Party supports Buchanan, revealing a division within the party.” Patrick Buchanan, the conservative columnist, challenges Bush in the primaries, but is unable to garner more than 30% support in any primary he enters. Buchanan reveals Bush’s vulnerability on the economic issues, Bush has to move to the right to satisfy the disgruntled conservatives within the party
- Democrats, Paul Tsongas (Massachusetts) wins, Clinton places second. Clinton is proclaimed the “Comeback Kid” with his runner-up finish in New Hampshire after the scandal broke.
- February 23, 1992: Maine caucuses (both parties)
- February 25, 1992: South Dakota primary
- February 1992: Ross Perot, a Texas billionaire announces his candidacy on Larry King Live; Perot announces he will run for the presidency if volunteers got his name on the ballot in all 50 states.
- March 2, 1992: Alaska Republican caucuses
- March 3, 1992: Colorado primary, Georgia primary, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Maryland primary, Minnesota Democratic caucuses, Utah Democratic caucuses, Washington Democratic caucuses
- March 5, 1992: North Dakota Democratic caucuses (through March 19)
- March 7, 1992: Arizona caucuses (Both parties, but the GOP caucuses had no presidential preference. Those delegates selected at those caucuses went to the state convention), South Carolina primary (party-run), Wyoming caucuses (Both parties, but Republicans meet through March 11)
- March 8, 1992: Nevada Democratic caucuses
- March 10, 1992: Super Tuesday, Clinton wins all the primaries in the South “back from the dead.” Bush compares his campaign to Harry Truman’s in 1948, and Bush claims Truman would vote Republican now if he were still alive, prompting Truman’s daughter, Margaret to “reject Bush’s suggestion with indignation and remind him that he was indeed no Harry Truman.” Delaware Democratic caucuses, Florida primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Louisiana primary, Massachusetts primary, Mississippi primary, Missouri Democratic caucuses, Oklahoma primary, Rhode Island primary, Tennessee primary, Texas primary (& Democratic caucuses)
- March 17, 1992: Illinois primary, Michigan primary. Clinton wins Illinois and Michigan primaries, demonstrates wider voter appeal; Brown receives a strong third-place in the Illinois primary and places second in the Michigan primary. Paul Tsongas suspends his campaign. His campaign falters, out of money.
- March 24, 1992: Connecticut primary. Democrat Jerry Brown remains in the campaign and wins
- March 31, 1992: Vermont caucuses (both parties)
- April – May, 1992: Hawaii Republican regional caucuses
- April 2, 1992: Alaska Democratic caucuses, North Dakota Republican convention (through April 5)
- April 7, 1992: Kansas primary, Minnesota primary (Republicans only), New York primary (Republicans had no presidential preference on ballot; just delegates), Wisconsin primary. Clinton wins Wisconsin Primary (37-34) over Brown, and New York Primary (41-26) over Brown. Clinton wins the remaining primaries and the Democratic Presidential nomination.
- April 11, 13, 1992: Virginia Democratic caucuses
- April 14, 1992: Missouri Republican caucuses
- April 22-23, 1992: George H. W. Bush, hopes the GATT talks would result in a free trade deal and give him an advantage over Democratic candidate Bill Clinton.
- April 27, 1992: Utah Republican caucuses
- April 28, 1992: Pennsylvania primary
- May 3, 1992: Populist Party Convention nominates James “Bo” Gritz for President.
- May 5, 1992: Indiana primary, North Carolina primary
- May 9, 1992: Delaware Republican convention
- May 10, 1992: Arizona Republican convention, national convention delegate allocation takes place.
- May 12, 1992: Nebraska primary, West Virginia primary
- May 19, 1992: Oregon primary, Washington primary (Republicans only)
- May 26, 1992: Arkansas primary, Idaho primary (Republicans only), Kentucky primary
- May 29, 1992: Virginia Republican convention (through May 30, no formal process
- June 2, 1992: Alabama primary, California primary, Montana primary (Democrats only), New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary, Ohio primary
- June 4, 1992: American Independent Party Convention nominates Robert J. Smith for President.
- June 4, 1992: Perot leads the national public opinion polls with support from 39% of the voters (versus 31% for Bush and 25% for Clinton).
- June 4, 1992: Bill Clinton appears on Arsenio Hall and plays the saxophone, and discusses that he wanted to inhale marijuana, but didn’t know how. Clinton also tapes an installment of Larry King Live.
- June 24, 1992: Bush calls Clinton and Gore “bozos”
- June 9, 1992: North Dakota primary (beauty contest for both parties)
- July 9-11, 1992: Montana Republican convention (no formal process)
- July 13-16, 1992: Democratic National Convention convenes at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ann Richards (Texas) serves as chairperson. The convention nominates on the 1st ballot, William J. Clinton (Arkansas) for President, and Albert A. Gore, Jr. (Tennessee) for Vice President. Clinton is the leader in the delegate count, former California Governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. and former Massachusetts Senator Paul E. Tsongas also appear on the ballot. Clinton wins on the first ballot with 3,372 votes, and the nomination is approved by acclamation.
- July 16, 1992: William J. Clinton gives an address accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in New York.
- July 17, 1992: Ross Perot ends his presidential run.
- July 17, 1992: Clinton chooses another young Southerner, Tennessee Senator Albert Gore Jr. for his running mate; Clinton-Gore ticket is the youngest in the 20th century, Clinton, age 45, and Gore, age 44.
- July 18, 1992: Clinton receives a significant bounce in the polls after the convention
- August 12, 1992: “”Bush Angrily Denounces Report of Extramarital Affair as ‘a Lie'” Staff member Donna Brazile resigns after she claimed Bush was involved in an extramarital affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald (his secretary, 1970s).” (Washington Post)
- August 17, 1992: California state Peace and Freedom Party Convention convenes in San Diego and nominates Ron Daniels for President.
- August 17-20, 1992: Republican National Convention convenes in the Astrodome, Houston, renominates on the 1st ballot George H. W. Bush (Texas) for President, and Dan Quayle (Indiana) for Vice President. Former President Reagan delivers his last Republican convention address. Patrick Buchanan and televangelist Pat Robertson give prime time addresses. Buchanan calls for a “culture war” and the Republicans appear dogmatic and mean spirited as a result.
- August 20, 1992: George H. W. Bush accepts the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Houston. President Bush apologizes for breaking his promise of not raising taxes, “Now let me say this: When it comes to taxes, I’ve learned the hard way. There’s an old saying, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” Two years ago, I made a bad call on the Democrats tax increase. I underestimated Congress’ addiction to taxes. With my back against the wall, I agreed to a hard bargain: One tax increase one time in return for the toughest spending limits ever.”
- August 19, 1992: “Gov. Bill Clinton, the Democratic Presidential nominee, offered a stinging criticism of President Bush and the Republican Party today, saying their attacks on his wife were an effort to demonize her just as they used the Willie Horton story to depict Michael S. Dukakis as soft on crime. “What they’re trying to do is kind of make it a Willie Horton thing against all independent working women, trying to run against them in a way that I think is really lamentable,” he said.” (NYT)
- August 20, 1992: George H. W. Bush gives remarks accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Houston.
- August 30, 1992: American Independent Party Convention nominates Howard Phillips for President.
- September 5, 1992: U.S. Taxpayers Party Convention nominates Howard Phillips for President.
- September 23, 1992: “Hillary Clinton seems to be riding a heady backlash from the Republican convention. Her crowds are big, her portrait on the cover of Time magazine this month was downright beatific, and months of careful maneuvering to recast her image may be finally paying off.” (NYT)
- October 7, 1992: Bush makes an issue of Clinton’s 1969 trip to Moscow, and accuses Clinton of lack of patriotism because of involvement in Vietnam War demonstrations activities. “President Bush accuses Gov. Bill Clinton on Larry King Live of not telling the truth about his visit to Moscow as a student in the late 1960’s and sharply criticized the Democratic nominee for demonstrating against the Vietnam War while he was studying in England.” (NYT)
- October 9, 1992: Bush softens somewhat a tactic that an aide said had backfired. “If that is what he’s said and that is the whole truth, sure; I accept that,” Mr. Bush said in an interview on the ABC program “Good Morning America.” “If he’s told all there is to tell on Moscow, fine. I’m not suggesting anything unpatriotic about that. A lot of people went to Moscow. That’s the end of that one as far as I’m concerned.” (NYT)
- October 11, 1992: First Presidential Debate in St. Louis: Perot is the star of debate with his simple solutions to the difficult problems the country was facing
- October 13, 1992: Vice-Presidential Debate in Atlanta: Vice-President Dan Quayle taunts Albert Gore and annoys the public, turning off the viewers/voters.
- October 15, 1992: Second Presidential Debate, Virginia University of Richmond, Virginia is moderated by Carole Simpson of ABC News, town hall debate, Clinton shows adeptness with electronic media
- October 19, 1992: Third Presidential Debate in East Lansing, Michigan
- October 1, 1992: Ross Perot resumes his Presidential run. Compounded the issue, when he claimed the reason he withdrew was because Republican operatives were trying to ruin his daughter’s wedding.
- October 1992: Ross Perot’s United We Stand, America ran his campaign, Perot only starts to appear personally at rallies for him nine days before the end of the campaign
- October 25, 1992: Ross Perot reenters the Presidential race. “Ross Perot says he had withdrawn after hearing that President Bush’s campaign was scheming to smear his daughter with a computer-altered photograph and to disrupt her wedding.” (NYT)
- October 31, 1992: Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh indicts former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger of the Reagan administration, for his involvement in the Iran-contra affair. The indictment distracts Bush’s campaign and suggests to some that Bush, who had claimed he was “out of the loop,” had possibly not been honest about his own role in the scandal. Bush actually attended a meeting he originally claimed he had not attended.
- November 3, 1992: Election Day; Democrats Bill Clinton is elected President and Al Gore is elected Vice President.
- December 14, 1992: Presidential Electors cast the electoral votes in their state capitals.