1996

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1996

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 1996

Election Day Date: November 5, 1996

Winning Ticket:

  • William Clinton, Albert Gore Jr., Democratic 47,400,125 49.23% 379 70.4%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Robert Dole, Jack Kemp, Republican 39,198,755 40.72% 159 29.6%
  • H. Ross Perot, Pat Choate, Reform 8,085,402 8.40% 0 0.0%
  • Ralph Nader, Winona LaDuke, Green 685,297 0.71% 0 0.0%
  • Harry Browne, Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian 485,798 0.50% 0 0.0%
  • Other (+) – – 420,024 0.44% 0 0.0%

Voter Turnout:

  • Total VAP 196,501,001
  • Total REG 145,085,478
  • Total Vote 96,275,401
  • %VAP 49.0%
  • %REG 66.4%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters:

Stumping, speeches, rallies; television, interviews, talk show appearances; print and television ads; primary, Presidential, Vice Presidential debates; press newspapers and magazines

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes:

  • In Colorado Republican Federal Campaigning Committee v. Federal Election Commission, the Court held that state and local parties cannot be limited in the amount of money spent on behalf of candidate, as long as that spending is not coordinated with the candidate. This extends to PACs and other equivalent groups.

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day:

William Jefferson Clinton, Albert Gore, Jr., Democratic, 1993-2001

Population: 1996: 269,714,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $7,838.5 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $9,433.9
GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%) 83.09 Population (in thousands): 269,714
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $29,062 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $34,977

Number of Daily Newspapers:

Average Daily Circulation:

Households with:

  • Radio
  • Television

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):

  • Clinton big government Democrat; liberal agenda in first two years of term; failure of health care reform under Hillary Clinton;
  • Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress in the 1994 mid-term election; Newt Gingrich leader and Speaker of the House;
  • Republican Congress overreached their mandate, confrontation about the budget in late 1995 and 1996 led to a shutdown of the federal government, public blamed the Republicans
  • Clinton presidential image and response to Oklahoma City federal building bombing
  • Leadership, sending troops to war-torn Bosnia

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Democratic candidates:

  • Bill Clinton, President of the United States (Arkansas)

Republican Candidates:

  • Bob Dole, U.S. senator from Kansas
  • Pat Buchanan, Conservative Columnist from Virginia
  • Steve Forbes, Newspaper and magazine publisher from New York
  • Lamar Alexander, former governor of Tennessee
  • Phil Gramm, U.S. Senator from Texas
  • Alan Keyes, former U.S. ECOSOC Ambassador from Maryland
  • Richard Lugar, U.S. Senator from Indiana
  • Bob Dornan, U.S. representative from California
  • Arlen Specter, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
  • Pete Wilson, governor of California
  • Morry Taylor, businessman from Ohio
  • Harold E. Stassen, Former Governor of Minnesota

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Clinton’s Centrist position, thriving economy, few foreign policies issues , formidable candidate

Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):

California changed the date of their primary from June to March

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries):

Patrick Buchanan; Steve Forbes

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

Democratic Party:

  • President Clinton deterred any opposition to his candidacy in the primaries
  • First time since 1964, Democrats had no contest in primaries

Republican Party:

  • Robert Dole, senate majority leader, Kansas, was front runner in the polls and fund-raising
  • Possible candidates who did not run included former vice-president Dan Quayle and Jack Kemp
  • Texas senator Phil Gramm, columnist Patrick Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Alan Keyes, Indiana senator Richard Lugar, California governor Pete Wilson (withdrew early), Congressman Robert Dornan, moderate Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter, Steve Forbes challenged Dole for the nomination
  • Steve Forbes, well-financed vanity candidacy; did not accept matching federal funds for his candidacy; consequently, and his spending was not limited by the caps imposed,
  • Forbes’s spent excessive amounts on negative attacks against Bob Dole
  • Pat Buchanan was able to benefit and won the New Hampshire primary,
  • Forbes candidacy deterred other more serious candidates from running, which also benefited Buchanan, but mostly Dole
  • On March 2, Dole won in South Carolina, superior organization, large campaign account, Dole won the remaining critical primaries, including winner-take-all primaries, and by the end of March Dole had amassed the necessary amount delegates needed
  • Dole’s weaknesses, age clear campaign theme and purpose; over spending reached pending limit under the federal campaign law in May, had no money to respond to Clinton’s negative advertising
  • Dole resigned from the Senate on May 15, 1996.

Primaries:

  • Democratic 37, 81.4% delegates
  • Republican 40, 78.8% delegates

Primaries Results:

Democratic Party: Jul 01, 1996

  • Bill Clinton(I): 9,706,802, 88.94%
  • Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.: 596,422, 5.46%
  • Unpledged: 411,270, 3.77%

Republican Party: Jul 07, 1996

  • Robert J. “Bob” Dole: 9,024,742, 58.82%
  • Patrick J. “Pat” Buchanan: 3,184,943, 20.76%
  • M.S. “Steve” Forbes: 1,751,187, 11.41%
  • Lamar Alexander: 495,590, 3.23%
  • Alan L. Keyes: 471,716, 3.07%
  • Richard “Dick” Lugar: 127,111, 0.83%
  • Unpledged: 123,278, 0.80%
  • W. Philip “Phil” Gramm: 71,456, 0.47%
  • Robert “B-1 Bob” Dornan: 42,140, 0.27%
  • Maurice “Morry” Taylor: 21,1800.14%
  • Others: 18,261, 0.12%

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Democratic National Convention: August 26-29, 1996, United Center; Chicago, Acclamation, William J. Clinton (Arkansas), Albert A. Gore, Jr.(Tennessee)
  • Republican National Convention: August 12-15, 1996, San Diego Convention Center; San Diego, 1st ballot, Robert J. Dole, (Kansas), Jack Kemp (Maryland)

Convention Turning Points:

Democratic National Convention:

  • Bill Clinton was renominated unanimously and his running mate Al Gore was also renominated
  • Former Reagan press secretary James Brady Clinton’s control legislation
  • Christopher Reeve spoke on the first night calling for expanded research into diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, and AIDS.
  • Second Night theme, families First Lady Hillary Clinton spoke on family values
  • Third night, Vice President Al Gore spoke about the Democratic Party leading the nation into the 21st Century.
  • Fourth night President Clinton accepted the nomination and spoke of his first administration’s achievements

Republican National Convention:

  • Republican nominee Dole was the oldest man in United States history at seventy-three to run for president
  • Nominate on the first ballot 1,928 of the 1,990 votes
  • Convention theme: “compassion and conservatism.”
  • Chose for his running-mate former Representative Jack Kemp, conservative from New York, former NFL quarterback for the Buffalo Bills football team

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Democratic Party nomination:

Presidential 1st ballot

  • Pres. Bill Clinton (I) 4,277 (99.72%)
  • Abstaining 12 (0.28%)

Republican Party nomination:

Presidential 1st ballot

  • Majority Leader Robert J. “Bob” Dole 1,928 (97.62%)
  • Patrick J. “Pat” Buchanan 43 (2.18%)
  • Sen. W. Philip “Phil” Gramm 2 (0.10%)
  • Circuit Judge Robert H. Bork 1 (0.05%)
  • Alan L. Keyes 1 (0.05%)

Third Party Candidates & Nominations:

Reform Party:

  • Presidential: Ross Perot; Vice Presidential: Pat Choate
  • Ross Perot created a new party, the Reform Party
  • Perot did not want to name/nominate himself and therefore initiated a challenge with former Colorado governor Richard Lamm for the nomination
  • Two-weekend convention, had mail and electronic voting to determine the nomination
  • Based on his 1992 vote results, Perot was eligible for federal subsidy of $30 million, and could spend unlimited amounts of money as he did in 1992, not could pay for a nationally known running-mate
  • United States Green Party: Ralph Nader (Connecticut) was drafted and not formally by the Green Party USA, but by states Green parties, who would put his name on the ballot as an independent.
  • Socialist Party USA: Presidential, Mary Cal Hollis (Colorado); Vice Presidential,  Eric Chester (Massachusetts)
  • Libertarian Party: Presidential, Harry Browne (Tennessee); Vice Presidential, Jo Jorgensen (South Carolina)
  • Constitution Party (formerly U.S. Taxpayers Party): Presidential, Howard Phillips, Chairman of the American Conservative Union

Convention Keynote Speaker:

Nominating Speech Speakers (President):

Party Platform/Issues:

  • Democratic Party: ending deficit spending; balancing the federal budget; maintain Social Security and Medicare. national standards for primary and secondary schools; welfare; reduce those in need of public funds; protection of the National Parks; offshore drilling opposition
  • Republican Party: strictly conservative; abortion plank (part of debate the week prior to the convention) the rights of the unborn prevailed; “tax relief, balancing the budget, improving education, affordable health care, regulatory reform, rejecting statehood for the District of Columbia,” English as the nation’s language

General Election Controversies/Issues:

  • Age issue; future vs. past; 21st century

Campaign Innovations (General Election): 

Major Personalities (General Election): Al Gore; John Huang; Maria Hsia; Newt Gingrich

Campaign Tactics:

Democratic Party:

  • Negative advertising, continuous media spending;
  • Clinton raised the maximum allowed for primary, but was unopposed and could save it to attack the presumptive Republican candidate prior to the real commencement of the general election;
  • Democratic National Committee soft money used for “issue advocacy” ads in battleground states
  • Retain Presidential image, “New Democrat”; no real direct attacks on his opponent
  • Labeled Dole the “Dole-Gingrich”, for planning to cut social programs

Republican Party:

  • Did not directly attack Clinton, to alienate female voters, where Dole had been polling poorly
  • Labeled Clinton the ”Me Too” President, because his adoption of Republican positions
  • Late in campaign determined that Clinton’s lack of character would be a good theme, although the public agreed, Clinton’s performance as president out weighed the character issue in importance

Debates:

  • October 6, 1996 Presidential Debate in Hartford
  • October 9, 1996 Vice-Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg
  • October 16, 1996 Presidential Debate in San Diego

Turning Points (General Election):

  • In the Summer, Clinton used ads to depict Dole as “an aged conservative far from the mainstream,” link Dole to Newt Gingrich, cuts in Medicare, education, environment; Clinton maintained an advantage, because Dole had reached the spending limit and could not respond or attack back
  • Tabloid revealed Dick Morris, Clinton campaign advisor was having an affair with a Washington prostitute; forced to resign from the campaign
  • Perot could not effect the campaign as he did in 1992, was not even allowed to be included in the debates, because the Commission on Presidential Debates concluded Perot did not have a “realistic chance of election.”
  • Age Issue: At 72 years old, Bob Dole was the oldest candidate running for a first term as President. He appeared old and frail and although he tried to dress down, he could not connect with the younger voters. His age became more of an issue when he fell off a stage at a rally on September 19, in Chico, California; a railing he was leaning over gave way. And on September 18, he mistakenly referenced the “Brooklyn Dodgers”, the team had left Brooklyn four decades prior, to make light of the gaffe, a few days later Dole joked “And I’d like to congratulate the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the N.L. Central. Notice I said the St. Louis Cardinals not the St. Louis Browns.” (the Browns left in 1954, becoming the Baltimore Orioles). Doles also referenced the Soviet Union as though, it still existed, showing Dole was out of place with the times.
  • President Bill Clinton, the incumbent Democratic candidate looked to create his own October Surprise in his re-election bid against Republican candidate Bob Dole. In June, Clinton met with top FBI and CIA aides in hope of organizing a successful sting against the Russian Mafia, which had been rumored to be interested in selling a nuclear missile. The operation failed to become a real October Surprise.
  • Clinton also hoped he might be able to broker a last-minute deal between the Palestinians and Israelis. The two sides however only agreed to more talks.
  • Dole gained momentum when in late September 1995the press uncovered the National Democrats might be engaging in questionable fund-raising practices, and accepting donations from foreign countries, tax exempt religious institutions which was strictly prohibited
  • February 1996: The Washington Post published a story that a U.S. Department of Justice investigation uncovered that Chinese agents were donating money to the Democratic National Committee through the Chinese Embassy in Washington.  It is illegal for non-American citizens from donating to U.S. politicians and parties. Seventeen were convicted in connection
  • Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California had a fundraising event for the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign, in which Al Gore was involved. DNC fund-raisers John Huang and Maria Hsia organized the event although it is illegal for religious institutions as non-profit organizations to contribute to political campaigns, candidates or parties. Hsia was convicted in March 2000, and the funds were returned to the Temple’s monks and nuns

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • Democratic: Bill Clinton “Building a bridge to the 21st century”
  • Republican: Bob Dole “The Better Man for a Better America”

Campaign Song:

  • Republican: Bob Dole: “Dole Man” (Sam and Dave)

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

  • Green Party USA: Ralph Nader promised to spend only $5,000. He did not want to be obligated to file an FEC financial statement

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “Tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask all of our fellow citizens to join me and to join you in building that bridge to the 21st century. Four years from now, just 4 years from now – think of it – we begin a new century, full of enormous possibilities. We have to give the American people the tools they need to make the most of their God-given potential. We must make the basic bargain of opportunity and responsibility available to all Americans, not just a few. That is the promise of the Democratic Party. That is the promise of America.” Bill Clinton, Remarks Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, August 29, 1996

Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate):

  • “I will seek the presidency with nothing to fall back on but the judgment of the people and nowhere to go but the White House or home…and I will then stand before you without office or authority, a private citizen, a Kansan, an American, just a man. For little has come to me except in the hard way, which is good because we have a hard task ahead of us.” Robert Dole, Announcing his Senate Resignation to Jump Start Flagging Bid for White House as of June 11, 1996
  • Why? Because some genius in the Clinton administration took the money to fund yet another theory, yet another program and yet another bureaucracy. Are they taking care of you, or are they taking care of themselves? I have asked myself that question. And I say, let the people be free. Free to keep. Let the people be free to keep as much of what they earn as the government can strain with all its might not to take, not the other way around…. And it must be said because of misguided priorities there have been massive cuts in funding for our national security. I believe President Clinton has failed to adequately provide for our defense. And for whatever reason the neglect, it is irresponsible. Robert Dole Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, August 15, 1996

Campaign Quotations:

  • “On the most obvious level, the placid waters of the 1996 Presidential campaign suggest a nation at peace with its politics. Many voters may simply choose to stay home. The economy is good, the country is not at war and President Clinton has rebounded from the depths of his unpopularity just two years before.” Adam Nagourney, New York Times, November 3, 1996
  • ”When you’re an incumbent, and the economy is doing well boring is good.” George Stephanopoulos, Clinton senior aid and strategist, November 3, 1996

Significant books about the campaign:

  • Ceaser, James W.; Andrew E. Busch. Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics.  (1997).
  • Pomper, Gerald M.; et al. The Election of 1996: Reports and Interpretations. (1997).

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • Lowest voter turnout since 1924
  • One of the most dullest campaigns in recent history

CHRONOLOGY

  • January 25, 1993: “President Clinton announces that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will head the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The President hopes to reform the nation’s health care system so that all Americans have health insurance, ensuring what is called “universal coverage,” and to control the sky-rocketing costs of health care.”
  • February 26, 1993: “Six people are killed and more than a thousand suffer injuries after a bomb planted under the World Trade Center in New York City explodes. The bomb marks the beginning of a string of threats against the United States made during the Clinton administration by both foreign and domestic terrorists.”
  • August 10, 1993: “President Clinton signs the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The legislation, which passes both houses of Congress by slim majorities, lays out a plan to reduce the budget deficit by $496 billion through 1998, using a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.”
  • September 22, 1993: “President Clinton unveils a plan for universal health care that would fix what he called a “badly broken” system. Clinton emphasizes that under his plan, all Americans would have high quality health care and would be able to choose their physicians.”
  • December 8, 1993: After a hard-fought battle in Congress, President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), eliminating nearly every trade barrier between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, creating the world’s largest free trade zone.
  • January 10-11, 1994: President Clinton attends the NATO summit meeting in Brussels, Belgium, at which he announces that the United States will maintain at least 100,000 troops in Europe. He also introduces the “Partnership for Peace” program aimed at building closer ties between NATO and former Warsaw Pact states.
  • June 14, 1994: “President Clinton unveils his welfare reform initiatives. Clinton had campaigned in 1992 on the issue, promising to “end welfare as we know it.””
  • August 26, 1994: “The White House and congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), announce that Clinton’s ambitious plan for health care reform will not be acted upon in 1994. Clinton’s initiatives fail to find support in Congress.”
  • October 9, 1994: “The Clinton administration announces plans to send more than 35,000 troops to the Persian Gulf to deter an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Less than three days after the announcement, Iraqi troops pull back from the Iraq-Kuwait border.”
  • November 8, 1994: “In mid-term congressional elections, the Republican Party wins control of both houses of Congress for the first time in more than 40 years. It now holds a 53 to 47 advantage in the Senate and a 230 to 214 to 1 lead in the House.”
  • December 1, 1994: “The Senate votes to approve the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that 117 nations, including the United States, agree to in December 1993. (The agreement cuts tariffs by more than a third on a wide-range of products and creates a freer international market for goods.)”
  • December 5, 1994: “President Clinton, along with the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine, signs the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) in Budapest, Hungary. The treaty eliminates more than 9,000 warheads.”
  • April 19, 1995: “In an act of domestic terrorism, a bomb planted in a truck parked in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, kills 168 people and causes massive structural damage. In the days following the tragedy, Clinton, in widely-praised efforts, speaks with victims and to the country about how to recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually from the attack.”
  • July 1, 1995: Prohibition Party Convention nominates Earl F. Dodge Jr. fpr President.
  • October 9, 1995: Socialist Party Convention nominates Mary Cal Hollis for President.
  • November – December, 1995: “President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress, led by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA), engage in a political death struggle over how to balance the budget by 2002. Failure to reach an agreement leads to the shut-down of certain parts of the federal government, furloughing more than a quarter of a million government workers.”
  • December 3, 1995: World Workers Party Convention nominates Monica Moorehead for President.
  • President Clinton deters any opposition to his candidacy in the primaries and the first time since 1964, Democrats had no contest in primaries
  • January 11, 1996: Ohio Democratic caucuses
  • January 25, 1996: Hawaii Republican caucuses (through January 31)
  • January 27, 1996: Alaska Republican caucuses (through January 29)
  • February 6, 1996: Louisiana Republican caucuses (21 delegates)
  • February 12, 1996: Iowa caucuses (both parties) Iowa Caucus Bob Dole 26% Pat Buchanan 23% Steve Forbes 10% Lamar Alexander 18% Alan Keyes 7% Richard Lugar 4% Phil Gramm 9% Morry Taylor 1% –
  • February 20, 1996: New Hampshire primary: Pat Buchanan wins the New Hampshire primary benefits from Steve Forbes negative ads against candidate Robert Dole. Bob Dole, senate majority leader from Kansas is the front runner in the polls and fund-raising. Steve Forbes’ well-financed vanity candidacy does not accept matching federal funds for his candidacy; consequently, the caps imposed do not limit his spending.  Forbes’s spent excessive amounts on negative attacks against Bob Dole. New Hampshire Primary Bob Dole 26% Pat Buchanan 27% Steve Forbes 12% Lamar Alexander 22% Alan Keyes 2% Richard Lugar 5% – Morry Taylor 2% –
  • February 23, 1996: American Independent Party Convention nominates Diane Beall Templin
  • February 24, 1996: Delaware primary Bob Dole 27% Pat Buchanan 19% Steve Forbes 33% Lamar Alexander 13% Alan Keyes 5% Richard Lugar 5% Phil Gramm 2% – –
  • February 27, 1996: Arizona primary (Republicans only), North Dakota primary (Republicans only), South Dakota primary (Republicans only)
    • Arizona (primary) Bob Dole 30% Pat Buchanan 27% Steve Forbes 33% Lamar Alexander 7% Alan Keyes 1% Richard Lugar 1% – – –
    • North Dakota (primary) Bob Dole 42% Pat Buchanan 18% Steve Forbes 20% Lamar Alexander 6% Alan Keyes 3% Richard Lugar 1% Phil Gramm 9% – –
    • South Dakota (primary) Bob Dole 45% Pat Buchanan 29% Steve Forbes 13% Lamar Alexander 9% Alan Keyes 4% – – – –
  • March, 1996: Virginia Republican caucuses
  • March 2, 1996: South Carolina primary (Republicans only — party-run), Wyoming Republican caucuses, Dole wins South Carolina with superior organization and a large campaign account. Bob Dole 45% Pat Buchanan 29% Steve Forbes 13% Lamar Alexander 10% Alan Keyes 2% – – – –
  • March 3 Puerto Rico (primary) Bob Dole 98% – – – – – – – –
  • March 5, 1996: Colorado primary, Connecticut primary, Georgia primary, Idaho Democratic caucuses, Maine primary, Maryland primary, Massachusetts primary, Minnesota caucuses (both parties), Rhode Island primary, South Carolina Democratic caucuses, Vermont primary, Washington caucuses (both parties)
    • Colorado (primary) Bob Dole 43% Pat Buchanan 21% Steve Forbes 21% Lamar Alexander 10% Alan Keyes 4% Phil Gramm 1% – – –
    • Connecticut (primary) Bob Dole 54% Pat Buchanan 15% Steve Forbes 20% Lamar Alexander 5% Alan Keyes 2% Richard Lugar 1% – – –
    • Georgia (primary) Bob Dole 41% Pat Buchanan 29% Steve Forbes 13% Lamar Alexander 14% Alan Keyes 3% – – – –
    • Maine (primary) Bob Dole 46% Pat Buchanan 24% Steve Forbes 15% Lamar Alexander 7% Alan Keyes 2% Richard Lugar 3% – – –
    • Maryland (primary) Bob Dole 53% Pat Buchanan 21% Steve Forbes 13% Lamar Alexander 6% Alan Keyes 5% Richard Lugar 1% – – –
    • Massachusetts (primary) Bob Dole 48% Pat Buchanan 25% Steve Forbes 14% Lamar Alexander 8% Alan Keyes 2% Richard Lugar 2% – – –
    • Rhode Island (primary) Bob Dole 64% Pat Buchanan 3% Steve Forbes 1% Lamar Alexander 19% – Richard Lugar 3% – Morry Taylor 1% –
    • Vermont (primary) Bob Dole 40% Pat Buchanan 17% Steve Forbes 16% Lamar Alexander 11% – Richard Lugar 14% Phil Gramm 1% – –
  • March 7, 1996: Missouri Democratic caucuses, New York primary. New York (primary) Bob Dole 55% Pat Buchanan 15% Steve Forbes 30% – – – – – –
  • March 9, 1996: Alaska Democratic caucuses, Arizona Democratic caucuses, Missouri Republican caucuses, South Dakota Democratic caucuses
  • March 10: Nevada Democratic caucuses
  • March 12, 1996: Florida primary, Hawaii Democratic caucuses, Louisiana primary (both parties — 9 GOP delegates), Mississippi primary, Oklahoma primary, Oregon primary, Tennessee primary, Texas primary (both parties and Democratic caucuses) Dole sweeps Southern primaries; seals the Republican nomination. Dole wins the remaining critical primaries, including winner-take-all primaries; Dole amasses the necessary amount of delegates needed for the Republican Presidential nomination.
    • Florida (primary) Bob Dole 57% Pat Buchanan 18% Steve Forbes 20% Lamar Alexander 1% Alan Keyes 2% Richard Lugar 2% – – 1%
    • Louisiana (primary) Bob Dole 48% Pat Buchanan 33% Steve Forbes 12% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 3% – – Morry Taylor 1% –
    • Mississippi (primary) Bob Dole 60% Pat Buchanan 26% Steve Forbes 8% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 2% – – – 2%
    • Oklahoma (primary) Bob Dole 59% Pat Buchanan 22% Steve Forbes 14% Lamar Alexander 1% Alan Keyes 2% – – – –
    • Oregon (primary) Bob Dole 51% Pat Buchanan 21% Steve Forbes 13% Lamar Alexander 7% Alan Keyes 4% Richard Lugar 1% – – –
    • Tennessee (primary) Bob Dole 51% Pat Buchanan 25% Steve Forbes 8% Lamar Alexander 11% Alan Keyes 3% – – – –
    • Texas (primary) Bob Dole 56% Pat Buchanan 21% Steve Forbes 13% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 4% – Phil Gramm 2% – –
  • March 16, 1996: Michigan Democratic caucuses
  • March 19, 1996: Illinois primary, Michigan primary (Republicans only), Ohio primary (Republicans only), Wisconsin primary
    • Illinois (primary) Bob Dole 65% Pat Buchanan 23% Steve Forbes 5% Lamar Alexander 1% Alan Keyes 4% Richard Lugar 1% Phil Gramm 1% – –
    • Michigan (primary) Bob Dole 51% Pat Buchanan 34% Steve Forbes 5% Lamar Alexander 1% Alan Keyes 3% – – – –
    • Ohio (primary) Bob Dole 66% Pat Buchanan 22% Steve Forbes 6% Lamar Alexander 3% Alan Keyes 2% Richard Lugar 1% – – –
    • Wisconsin (primary) Bob Dole 53% Pat Buchanan 34% Steve Forbes 6% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 3% – – – –
  • March 23, 1996: Wyoming Democratic caucuses
  • March 25, 1996: Utah caucuses (both parties)
  • March 25, 1996: Socialist Workers Party Campaign nominee James E. Harris
  • March 26, 1996: California primary, Nevada primary (Republicans only), Washington primary (Republicans only)
    • California (primary) Bob Dole 66% Pat Buchanan 18% Steve Forbes 7% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 4% Richard Lugar 1% Phil Gramm 1% – Bob Dornan 1%
    • Nevada (primary) Bob Dole 52% Pat Buchanan 15% Steve Forbes 19% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 1% – – – –
    • Washington (primary) Bob Dole 63% Pat Buchanan 21% Steve Forbes 9% Lamar Alexander 1% Alan Keyes 5% – – – –
  • March 29, 1996: North Dakota Democratic caucuses
  • April 2, 1996: Kansas primary (canceled — Republican State Committee chose delegates)
  • April 9, 1996: “President Clinton signs a bill giving him the power of the “line-item veto,” which had been requested by Presidents Reagan and Bush. With this new power, Clinton can veto specific items in spending and tax bills without vetoing the entire measure.”
  • April 13, 1996: Virginia Democratic caucuses (and April 15)
  • April 23, 1996: Pennsylvania primary, Bob Dole 64% Pat Buchanan 18% Steve Forbes 8% – Lamar Alexander 6% Alan Keyes 5% – – –
  • April 29, 1996: Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California fundraising event with Al Gore as the keynote speaker. DNC fund-raisers John Huang and Maria Hsia organize the event although it is illegal for religious institutions as non-profit organizations to contribute to political campaigns, candidates or parties. Hsia was convicted in March 2000, and the funds were returned to the Temple’s monks and nuns. (“Vice President Al Gore attends a Democratic National Committee fund-raising event at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles. Gore and the DNC raise more than $60,000, but so through questionable interpretations of several campaign finance laws. The Clinton administration comes under increasing criticism in its second term for these alleged violations.”)
  • May 1996: Dole reaches over spending limit under the federal campaign law, had no money to respond to Clinton’s negative advertising
  • May 4, 1996: Grassroots Party Convention nominates Dennis Peron for President.
  • May 7, 1996: Indiana primary, North Carolina primary
    • Washington D.C. (primary) Bob Dole 75% Pat Buchanan 9% – – – – – – –
    • Indiana (primary) Bob Dole 71% Pat Buchanan 19% Steve Forbes 10% – – – – – –
    • North Carolina (primary) Bob Dole 71% Pat Buchanan 13% Steve Forbes 4% Lamar Alexander 2% Alan Keyes 4% Richard Lugar 1% – – –
  • May 14, 1996: Nebraska primary, West Virginia primary
    • Nebraska (primary) Bob Dole 76% Pat Buchanan 10% Steve Forbes 6% Lamar Alexander 3% Alan Keyes 3% – – – –
    • West Virginia (primary) Bob Dole 69% Pat Buchanan 16% Steve Forbes 5% Lamar Alexander 3% Alan Keyes 4% Richard Lugar 1% Phil Gramm 2% – –
  • May 15, 1996, 1996: “President Clinton announces that American troops will likely remain in Bosnia as the major component of an international peacekeeping force for an additional eighteen months.”
  • May 15, 1996: Dole resigns from the Senate.
  • May 21, 1996: Arkansas primary Bob Dole 76% Pat Buchanan 23% – – – – – – –
  • May 28, 1996: Idaho primary (Republicans only), Kentucky primary Idaho (primary) Bob Dole 66% Pat Buchanan 22% – – Alan Keyes 5% – – – –
  • May 28, 1996: “In the first trial to result from the Whitewater investigation, Jim and Susan McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker-Clinton’s friends and former business partners in the Whitewater affair are convicted of fraud.”
  • June 1992: Clinton meets with top FBI and CIA aides in hope of organizing a successful sting against the Russian Mafia, which had been rumored to be interested in selling a nuclear missile. The operation fails.
  • June 4, 1996: Alabama primary, Montana primary (Democrats only, Republican beauty contest — no delegates at stake), New Jersey primary, New Mexico primary
    • Alabama (primary) Bob Dole 76% Pat Buchanan 16% Alan Keyes 3%
    • Montana (primary) Bob Dole 61% Pat Buchanan 24% Steve Forbes 7% – –
    • New Jersey (primary) Bob Dole 82% Pat Buchanan 11% – – Alan Keyes 7%
    • New Mexico (primary) Bob Dole 76% Pat Buchanan 8% Steve Forbes 6% Lamar Alexander 4% Alan Keyes 3% Bob Dornan 1%
  • June 5-13, 1996: Montana Republican caucuses
  • July 1, 1996: American First Campaign nominee Ralph Forbes for President.
  • July 4, 1996: Libertarian Party Convention nominates Harry Browne for President.
  • July 25, 1996: Right to Life Convention nominates Howard Phillips for President.
  • July 25, 1996: Peace & Freedom Party Convention nominates party leader Marsha Feinland for President.
  • July 25, 1996: C.U.R.E. “Constitutionally Unified Republic for Everyone”  Convention nominates Charles E. Collins. Former Arizona Governor Evan Mecham backs the party.
  • Dole Chooses for his running-mate former Representative Jack Kemp, conservative from New York, former NFL quarterback for the Buffalo Bills football team
  • August 12-15, 1996: Republican National Convention convenes in the San Diego Convention Center; San Diego nominates on the 1st ballot, Robert J. Dole  (Kansas) for President, Jack Kemp (Maryland) Convention theme: “compassion and conservatism.” Republican Party nominates Dole on the first ballot 1,928 of the 1,990 votes
  • August 18, 1996: Reform Party Convention nominates H. Ross Perot
  • August 18, 1996: U.S. Taxpayers Party National Convention convenes in San Diego and nominates Howard Phillips for President and Herbert W. Titus (Virginia) for Vice President.
  • August 19, 1996: Green Party National Convention convenes in Los Angeles, California, and nominates Ralph Nader for President and Winona LaDuke for Vice President.
  • August 24, 1996: Natural Law Party Convention nominates John Hagelin for President.
  • August 26-29, 1996: Democratic National Convention convenes at United Center in Chicago, Illinois, and renominates by acclamation, William J. Clinton (Arkansas) for President, and Albert A. Gore, Jr. (Tennessee) for Vice President.
  • August 26, 1996: Christopher Reeve spoke on the first night calling for expanded research into diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, and AIDS.
  • August 27, 1996: Second Night theme is families; First Lady Hillary Clinton speaks on family values
  • August 28, 1996: Third night, Vice President Al Gore speaks about the Democratic Party leading the nation into the 21st Century.
  • August 29, 1996: Fourth night Bill Clinton accepts the “Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago”; President Clinton speaks of his first administration’s achievements.
  • Summer 1996: Clinton uses ads to depict Dole as “an aged conservative far from the mainstream,” link Dole to Newt Gingrich, cuts in Medicare, education, environment.
  • Clinton maintains an advantage, because Dole has reached his funding spending limit for the primaries and can not respond or attack back.
  • August 28, 1996: Dick Morris, Clinton’s campaign advisor is alerted the Star tabloid magazine is intending to run a story that he was having an year long affair with a Washington prostitute.
  • August 29, 1996: Morris is forced to resign from the campaign. Morris delivers his resignation in the morning. ”I will not dignify such journalism with a reply or an answer. I never will.”
  • August 29, 1996: “White House Takes Swift Action to Distance Itself From Political Aide. President Clinton’s advisers moved today to contain the damage from the resignation of Dick Morris by refusing to confirm a tabloid report that he had a yearlong affair with a prostitute and by seeking to create a fire wall between him and Mr. Clinton.” (NYT)
  • September 19, 1996: The Commission on Presidential Debates concludes Perot does not have a “realistic chance of election” and therefore would not be allowed to participate in the President debates.
  • Clinton hopes to broker a last-minute deal between the Palestinians and Israelis. The two sides however only agreed to more talks.
  • September 1995: Dole gains momentum when the press uncovers the National Democrats might be engaging in questionable fund-raising practices, and accepting donations from foreign countries, tax exempt religious institutions which is strictly prohibited
  • October 6, 1996: First Presidential Debate in Hartford
  • October 9, 1996: Vice-Presidential Debate in St. Petersburg
  • October 16, 1996: Second Presidential Debate in San Diego
  • September 19, 1996: Bob Dole falls off a stage at a rally on in Chico, California; a railing he leans over gives way.
  • September 18, 1996: Dole mistakenly references the “Brooklyn Dodgers”, the team had left Brooklyn four decades prior, a few days later to make light of the gaffe, Dole jokes “And I’d like to congratulate the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the N.L. Central. Notice I said the St. Louis Cardinals not the St. Louis Browns.” (the Browns left in 1954, becoming the Baltimore Orioles).
  • Doles references the Soviet Union as though it still existed, shows Dole is out of place with the times.
  • November 5, 1996: Election Day; Democrats Bill Clinton is reelected President and Al Gore reelected Vice President.
  • December 16, 1996: Presidential Electors cast the electoral in their state capitols.
  • February 13, 1997: The Washington Post publishes a story that a U.S. Department of Justice investigation uncovers that Chinese agents were donating money to the Democratic National Committee through the Chinese Embassy in Washington.  “Chinese Embassy Role In Contributions Probed” It is illegal for non-American citizens from donating to U.S. politicians and parties. Seventeen were convicted in connection.
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