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Weird but true, Bill Clinton less popular than Kerry

  1. Mar 23, 2005 #1
    I was looking around at the site http://www.uselectionatlas.org/, and it's weird but true that in many states which John Kerry lost, he got a higher % of the vote than Bill Clinton did when he ran the first time around.

    For isntance, these are all states Kerry lost

    '92: Clinton 40% (W)
    '04: Kerry 49%

    '92: Clinton 39% (L)
    '04: Kerry 47%

    '92: Clinton 40% (W)
    '04: Kerry 47%

    North Carolina
    '92: Clinton 42.5% (L)
    '04: Kerry 43.5%

    '88: Dukakis 43% (WTF?!)
    '92: Clinton 37% (L)
    '04: Kerry 38%

    So what the hell? Did Clinton's Clintonesque qualities actually have nothing at all to do with the fact that he won? States like Louisiana and Kentucky went for Clinton in higher percentages than Kerry obviously, but people in places like Colorado and Ohio seemingly liked Kerry ALOT more than Clinton, or at least hated Bush II alot more than Bush I...

    Could it be, that in American politics, being Clintonian doesn't much matter unless you happen to have 2 viable opponents, and that people in places like Ohio infact aren't turned off as badly by North-eastern Liberals, and don't like traditional Southern values Democrats quite as much?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2005 #2


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    That's an easy one: 1992 was the year Ross Perot got 19% of the vote: so not only did Kerry get a higher percentage than Clinton in those few states, he got a significantly higher percentage overall: 6 percentage points (49% to 43%). Ross Perot is the reason some Republicans claim (quite reasonably, but its a moot hypothetical) that no Democratic President has had a clear mandate in 25 years: had it not been for Perot, Clinton probably never would have been President. Bush SR would have won by a landslide in 1992 and with the internet boom in full swing by '96, he wouldn't have had a chance then either (against Dole or McCain, probably).
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2005
  4. Mar 24, 2005 #3
    Ok, I accept that Dole definately helped Clinton win, but still, how is it that Clinton was a LESS attractive Candidate than John Kerry? I mean, you may not like Clinton cause he lied abuot getting a BJ, but if you had to choose between Clinton and Kerry, the choice would be Clinton, right?
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  5. Mar 24, 2005 #4


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    I'm not so sure some of it is reliable, like say, Florida... :wink:
  6. Mar 24, 2005 #5
    I think it is more the latter.
  7. Mar 24, 2005 #6


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    1992 was before Lewinsky. But people didn't like Clinton for the same reason: he was a slimy womanizer.

    And it was Perot who helped Clinton win.
  8. Mar 24, 2005 #7


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    Dearly Missed

    But actually Clinton's popularity went up during and after the Monica scandal. This confirms my theory that the people have cognitive dissonance about the presidency and go into denial of unpleasant facts, projecting their negative affect onto the opponents.
  9. Mar 24, 2005 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps. I'm sure the internet boom had something to do with it too, though.

    Interestingly, my father voted for him both times and my mother neither time. My mother practically screamed 'but he's a slimeball!' My father knew it, but didn't really care.

    In any case, doesn't that make Clinton both the most and least popular President we've ever had in peacetime?
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  10. Mar 24, 2005 #9


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    Why would the choice be Clinton? Because he can play the sax and had the persona of a talk show host?

    Clinton, Gore, and Bush Jr are just about the weakest three candidates I've ever seen win a nomination.
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