Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics

By James W. Ceaser; Andrew E. Busch | Go to book overview

shire, Dole relied on Governor Steve Merrill and parts of the state organization. Although Dole lost the primary, it is a safe bet that without the help of Merrill Dole would have finished below Alexander. In South Carolina, which became the decisive primary where Dole defeated both Alexander and Buchanan, it was once again remnants of the official party under Governor David Beasley that spelled the difference. It is no exaggeration to say that the party man, Bob Dole, was saved in the end by the party organization.

Finally, the message is important. A strong message lifted Pat Buchanan to prominence without a large amount of money. And in the end Dole too won mostly because of his message. Republicans decided they did not want a candidate from the far right, and when the choice came between Buchanan and Dole, it was Dole's message—faintly articulated though it was—that proved decisive.


Notes
1.
For a careful analysis of the invisible primary, which neither overstates nor understates its significance, see Emmet H. Buell, Jr., "The Invisible Primary," in William G. Mayer, ed., In Pursuit of the White House ( Chatham, N.J.: Chatham House Publisher, 1996).
2.
Actually, Hawaii and Alaska have held rounds of their caucuses even earlier, and this year Hawaii started on January 25 and Alaska held its first round from January 27-29. Alaska conducted a straw poll of the candidate preferences of the participants that received some national coverage and that reflected some of the national sentiments of the time. Buchanan won with 33 percent, Forbes had 31 percent, and Dole trailed far behind in third place with 17 percent.
3.
Kevin Sack, "Why Dixie Was Buchanan's Waterloo," New York Times, March 14, 1996, B10.
4.
David Frum, Dead Right ( New York: Basic Books, 1994), 183.
5.
T. R. Reid, "Ill-Starred, Stumbling, Ever Gutsy," Washington Post, June 4, 1980, A1.
6.
Declaration speech, April 19, 1995 ( Indianapolis). Lugar Web home page.
7.
Declaration speech, April 19, 1995 ( Indianapolis). Lugar Web home page.
8.
Dole presidential announcement speech ( Topeka), April 10, 1995. Dole Home Page.
9.
David Talbot and Joe Sciacca, "Dole Hits N.E. Trail as Foes Battle in the South," Boston Herald, March 2, 1996, 1.
10.
Boston Globe, Monday, March 4, 1996.

-86-

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Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Losing to Win *
  • To Mindy and Blaire *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1 - Greater Dooms Win Greater Destinies 1
  • Notes 24
  • Chapter 2 - The Two Clinton Presidencies 27
  • Notes 53
  • Chapter 3 - The Republican Nomination 57
  • Notes 86
  • Chapter 4 - In the Doledrums: the Interregnum from March to September 89
  • Notes 115
  • Chapter 5 - The Congressional Elections 119
  • Notes 145
  • Chapter 6 - The Presidential Election and the New Era of Coalitional Partnership 149
  • Notes 172
  • Appendix 1 - Presidential Vote by State, 1996 175
  • Index 177
  • About the Authors *
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