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United States presidential election, 1996


The United States presidential election of
United States presidential election, 1996
1996 was the 53rd quadrennial presidential
election. It was held on Tuesday, November 5,
1996.[2] Incumbent Democratic President Bill
Clinton defeated Senate Majority Leader Bob
November 5, 1996
Dole, the Republican nominee.

Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were re- All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College

nominated without incident by the Democratic 270 electoral votes needed to win
Party. Numerous candidates entered the 1996 Turnout 49.0%[1] 6.2 pp
Republican primaries, with Dole considered the
early front-runner. Dole clinched the
nomination after defeating challenges by
publisher Steve Forbes and paleoconservative
leader Pat Buchanan. Dole's running mate was
Jack Kemp, a former Congressman and football
player who had served as the Housing
Secretary under President George H. W. Bush.
Ross Perot, who had won 18.9% of the popular
vote as an independent candidate in the 1992
Nominee Bill Clinton Bob Dole Ross Perot
election, ran as the candidate of the Reform Party Democratic Republican Reform
Party. Perot received less media attention in Home state Arkansas Kansas Texas
1996 and was excluded from the presidential Running mate Al Gore Jack Kemp Pat Choate
debates.
Electoral vote 379 159 0
Clinton's chances of winning were initially States carried 31 + DC 19 0
considered slim in the middle of his term as his Popular vote 47,401,185 39,197,469 8,085,294
party had lost both the House of
Percentage 49.2% 40.7% 8.4%
Representatives and the Senate in 1994 for the
first time in decades. He was able to regain
ground as the economy began to recover from
the early 1990s recession with a relatively
stable world stage. Clinton tied Dole to Newt
Gingrich, the unpopular Republican Speaker of
the House. Dole promised an across-the-board
15% reduction in federal income taxes and
attacked Clinton as a member of the "spoiled"
Baby Boomer generation. Dole's age was a
persistent issue in the election, and gaffes by
Dole exacerbated the issue for his campaign. Presidential election results map. Blue denotes those won by Clinton/Gore,
red denotes states won by Dole/Kemp. Numbers indicate electoral votes
Clinton maintained a consistent polling edge
allotted to the winner of each state.
over Dole, and he won re-election with a
substantial margin in the popular vote and the
President before election Elected President
Electoral College. Clinton became the first
Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win Bill Clinton Bill Clinton
two straight presidential elections. Dole won Democratic Democratic

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40.7% of the popular vote and 159 electoral


votes, while Perot won 8.4% of the popular vote. Despite Dole's defeat, the Republican Party was able to maintain a majority in both
the House of Representatives and the Senate. Turnout was registered at 49.0%, the lowest for a presidential election since 1924.

Contents
Background
Democratic Party nomination
Candidates gallery
Republican Party nomination
Candidates gallery
Primaries and convention
Major third parties
Reform Party nomination
Libertarian Party nomination
Natural Law Party nomination
U.S. Taxpayers' Party nomination
General election
Campaign
Campaign donations controversy
Results
Results by state
Close states
Voter demographics
Polling controversy
See also
References
Notes
Further reading
Books
Journals
Web references
External links

Background
In 1995, the Republican Party was riding high on the significant gains made in the 1994 mid-term elections. In those races, the
Republicans, led by whip Newt Gingrich, captured the majority of seats in the House for the first time in forty years and the majority
of seats in the Senate for the first time in eight years. Gingrich became Speaker of the House, while Bob Dole elevated to Senate
Majority leader.

The Republicans of the 104th Congress pursued an ambitious agenda, highlighted by their Contract with America, but were often
forced to compromise with President Clinton, who wielded veto power. A budget impasse between Congress and the Clinton
Administration eventually resulted in a government shutdown. Clinton, meanwhile, was praised for signing the GOP's welfare reform
and other notable bills, but was forced to abandon his own health care plan.

Democratic Party nomination


Democratic Candidates

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Bill Clinton, President of the United States


Lyndon LaRouche, Activist from Virginia
Jimmy Griffin, Former Mayor of Buffalo from New York

Democratic Party Ticket, 1996

Bill Clinton Al Gore


for President for Vice President

45th
42nd
Vice President of the United
President of the United States
States
(1993–2001)
(1993–2001)

Campaign

Candidates gallery

President Activist Former Mayor of


Bill Clinton Lyndon LaRouche Buffalo
from Virginia Jimmy Griffin
from New York

With the advantage of incumbency, Bill Clinton's path to renomination by the Democratic Party was uneventful. At the 1996
Democratic National Convention, Clinton and incumbent Vice President Al Gore were renominated with token opposition.
Incarcerated fringe candidate Lyndon LaRouche won a few Arkansas delegates who were barred from the convention. Jimmy Griffin,
former Mayor of Buffalo, New York, mounted a brief campaign but withdrew after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary.
Former Pennsylvania governor Bob Casey contemplated a challenge to Clinton, but health problems forced Casey to abandon a
bid.[3][4]

Clinton easily won primaries nationwide, with margins consistently higher than 80%.[5]

Bill Clinton (inc.) – 9,706,802 (88.98%)

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Lyndon LaRouche – 596,422 (5.47%)


Unpledged – 411,270 (3.77%)

Republican Party nomination


Republican Candidates

Bob Dole, U.S. Senator from Kansas and Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1976
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, CEO from Michigan

Republican Party Ticket, 1996

Bob Dole Jack Kemp


for President for Vice President

9th
U.S. Senator
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban
from Kansas
Development
(1969–1996)
(1989–1993)

Campaign

Candidates gallery

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Senator Conservative Newspaper and Former Governor Former U.S. ECOSOC


Bob Dole columnist magazine publisher Lamar Alexander Ambassador
from Kansas Pat Buchanan Steve Forbes of Tennessee Alan Keyes, from
from Virginia from New York Maryland

Senator Senator Representative Senator Governor


Richard Lugar Phil Gramm Bob Dornan Arlen Specter Pete Wilson
from Indiana from Texas from California from Pennsylvania of California

A number of Republican candidates entered the field to challenge the incumbent Democratic President, Bill Clinton.

The fragmented field of candidates debated issues such as a flat tax and other tax cut proposals, and a return to supply-side economic
policies popularized by Ronald Reagan. More attention was drawn to the race by the budget stalemate in 1995 between the Congress
and the President, which caused temporary shutdowns and slowdowns in many areas of federal government service.

Former Secretary of Labor Lynn Martin of Illinois, who served in the United States House of Representatives from Illinois's 16th
District and was the 1990 Republican U.S. Senate nominee losing to incumbent Paul Simon conducted a bid for most of 1995, but
withdrew before the Iowa Caucuses as polls showed her languishing far behind. She participated in a number of primary Presidential
debates before withdrawing.[6] Ironically, Martin's predecessor in Congress, John Anderson had made first a Republican then
Independent Presidential bid in 1980. Also, Simon who defeated Martin for the U.S. Senate had run for President as a Democrat in
1988.

Former U.S. Army General Colin Powell was widely courted as a potential Republican nominee. However, on November 8, 1995,
Powell announced that he would not seek the nomination. Former Secretary of Defense and future Vice President of the United States
Dick Cheney was touted by many as a possible candidate for the presidency, but he declared his intentions not to run in early 1995.
Former and future Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a presidential campaign exploratory committee, but declined to
formally enter the race. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Secretary of Education William Bennett both flirted
with bids, both even set up exploratory committees, for a number of months but both finally declared within days of each other they
wouldn't run either.[7]

Primaries and convention


Ahead of the 1996 primary contest, Republican Leader of the United States Senate and former vice-presidential candidate Bob Dole
was seen as the most likely winner, nearly 20 years after losing the Vice Presidency to Democrat Walter Mondale. However, Steve
Forbes finished first in Delaware and Arizona while paleoconservative firebrand Pat Buchanan managed early victories in Alaska and
Louisiana, in addition to a strong second place in the Iowa caucuses and a surprising victory in the small but key New Hampshire
primary. Buchanan's New Hampshire win alarmed the Republican "establishment" sufficiently as to provoke prominent Republicans
to quickly coalesce around Dole,[8] and Dole won every primary starting with North and South Dakota. Dole resigned his Senate seat
on June 11 and the Republican National Convention formally nominated Dole on August 15, 1996 for President.

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Popular primaries vote[9]

Bob Dole – 9,024,742 (58.82%)


Pat Buchanan – 3,184,943 (20.76%)
Steve Forbes – 1,751,187 (11.41%)
Lamar Alexander – 495,590 (3.23%)
Alan Keyes – 471,716 (3.08%)
Richard Lugar – 127,111 (0.83%)
Unpledged – 123,278 (0.80%)
Phil Gramm – 71,456 (0.47%)
Bob Dornan – 42,140 (0.28%)
Morry Taylor – 21,180 (0.14%)
Convention tally:

Bob Dole 1928


Pat Buchanan 47
Steve Forbes 2
Alan Keyes 1
Robert Bork 1
Former Representative and Housing Secretary Jack Kemp was nominated by acclamation for Vice President, the following day.

Major third parties


Parties in this section have obtained ballot access in enough states to theoretically obtain the minimum number of electoral votes
needed to win the election. Individuals included in this section have completed one or more of the following actions: received, or
formally announced their candidacy for, the presidential nomination of a third party; formally announced intention to run as an
independent candidate and obtained enough ballot access to win the election; filed as a third party or non-affiliated candidate with the
FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Within each party, candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Reform Party nomination


Reform candidates

Ross Perot – party founder and businessman from Texas


Richard Lamm – former Governor of Colorado
David Boren – former Senator from and former Governor of Oklahoma (declined)
Lowell Weicker – former Senator from and former Governor of Connecticut (declined)
Tim Penny – former Representative from Minnesota (declined)

Ross Perot was on the ballot in


every state.

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Party Founder Ross Former Governor Former Senator David Former Governor
Perot, from Texas Richard Lamm of Boren from Oklahoma Lowell Weicker of
Colorado (declined) Connecticut (declined)

Former Representative
Tim Penny from
Minnesota
(declined)

The United States Reform Party had great difficulty in finding a candidate willing to run in the general election. Lowell Weicker, Tim
Penny, David Boren and Richard Lamm were among those who toyed with the notion of seeking its presidential nomination, though
all but Lamm decided against it; Lamm had himself come close to withdrawing his name from consideration.

Ultimately, the Reform Party nominated its founder Ross Perot from Texas in its first election as an official political party. Although
Perot easily won the nomination, his victory at the party's national convention led to a schism as supporters of Lamm accused him of
rigging the vote to prevent them from casting their ballots. This faction walked out of the national convention and eventually formed
their own group, the American Reform Party, and attempted to convince Lamm to run as an Independent in the general election;
Lamm declined, pointing out a promise he made before running that he would respect the Party's final decision.

Economist Pat Choate was nominated for Vice President.

Libertarian Party nomination


Libertarian candidates

Harry Browne – writer and investment analyst from Tennessee


Rick Tompkins – former candidate for Senator from Arizona
Irwin Schiff – writer and prominent figure in the tax protestor movement from Nevada
Douglas J. Ohmen – political activist from California
Jeffrey Diket – political activist from Louisiana

Harry Browne was on the ballot in


every state.

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Writer Harry
Browne from
Tennessee

The Libertarian Party nominated free-market writer and investment analyst, Harry Browne from Tennessee, and selected Jo
Jorgensen from South Carolina as his running-mate. Browne and Jorgensen drew 485,798 votes (0.5% of the popular vote).

The Balloting
Presidential Ballot 1st
Harry Browne 416
Rick Tompkins 74
None 61
Irwin Schiff 32
Douglas J. Ohmen 20
Jeffrey Diket 1
Jo Jorgensen 1

Natural Law Party nomination


Natural Law candidate:

John Hagelin was on the ballot in


forty-three states (463 Electoral
Votes). Those states with a lighter
shade are states in which he was an
Scientist and
official write-in candidate.
Researcher John
Hagelin from Iowa

The Natural Law Party for a second time nominated scientist and researcher John Hagelin for President and Mike Tompkins for Vice
President. The party platform included preventive health care, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy technologies. During his
campaigns, Hagelin favored abortion rights without public financing, campaign finance law reform, improved gun control, a flat tax,
the eradication of PACs, a ban on soft money contributions, and school vouchers.

Hagelin and Tompkins drew 113,671 votes (0.1% of the popular vote).

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U.S. Taxpayers' Party nomination


U.S. Taxpayers' candidates

Howard Phillips, conservative political activist from Virginia


Pat Buchanan, conservative columnist from Virginia (declined)
Alan Keyes, Former Diplomat and Political Activist from Maryland (declined)
Bob Dornan, Congressman from California (declined)

Howard Phillips was on the ballot in


thirty-eight states (414 Electoral
Votes). Those states with a lighter
shade are states in which he was an
official write-in candidate.

Conservative Former Diplomat Alan Representative


Columnist Pat Keyes Bob Dornan
Buchanan (Declined) (Declined)
(Declined)

Conservative Political Activist Howard


Phillips

The U.S. Taxpayers Party had run its first presidential ticket in 1992, it being head by Howard Phillips who had failed to find any
prominent conservative willing to take the mantle. In 1996 the situation ultimately proved the same, though Pat Buchanan for a time
was widely speculated to be planning on bolting to the Taxpayers' Party should the expected Republican nominee, Senator Bob Dole,
name a Pro-Choice running-mate. When Jack Kemp, who is Pro-Life, was tapped for the position Buchanan agreed to endorse the
Republican ticket. Again, Phillips found himself at a temporary post that was made permanent, with Herbert Titus being nominated
for the Vice Presidency.

Phillips and Titus drew 182,820 votes (0.2% of the popular vote).

General election

Campaign
Without meaningful primary opposition, Clinton was able to focus on the general election early, while Dole was forced to move to the
right and spend his campaign reserves fighting off challengers. Political adviser Dick Morris urged Clinton to raise huge sums of
campaign funds via soft money for an unprecedented early TV blitz of swing states promoting Clinton's agenda and record. As a result,
Clinton could run a campaign through the summer defining his opponent as an aged conservative far from the mainstream before
Dole was in a position to respond. Compared to the 50-year-old Clinton, then 73-year-old Dole appeared especially old and frail, as
illustrated by an embarrassing fall off a stage during a campaign event in Chico, California. Dole further enhanced this contrast on

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September 18 when he made a reference to a no-hitter thrown the day before by Hideo
Nomo of the "Brooklyn Dodgers", a team that had left Brooklyn for Los Angeles 38 years
earlier. A few days later Dole would make a joke about the remark by saying, "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 had left St. Louis after the 1954
season to become the Baltimore Orioles.)

Dole chose to focus on Clinton as being "part of the spoiled baby boomer generation" and
Dole (left) and Clinton (right) at the
stating, "My generation won [World War II], and we may need to be called to service one
first presidential debate on October
last time." Although his message won appeal with older voters, surveys found that his age
6, 1996 at The Bushnell Center for
was widely held as a liability and his frequent allusions to WWII and the Great Depression the Performing Arts in Hartford,
in speeches and campaign ads "unappealing" to younger voters. To prove that he was still Connecticut.
healthy and active, Dole released all of his medical records to the public and published
photographs of himself running on a treadmill. After the falling incident in California, he
joked that he "was trying to do that new Democratic dance, the Macarena".[10]

The Clinton campaign avoided mentioning Dole's age directly, instead choosing to confront it in more subtle ways such as the
campaign slogan "Building Bridges to the Future" in contrast to the Republican candidate's frequent remarks that he was a "bridge to
the past", before the social upheavals of the 1960s. Clinton, without actually calling Dole old, questioned the age of his ideas.[11]

With respect to the issues, Dole promised a 15% across-the-board reduction in income tax rates and made former Congressman and
supply side advocate Jack Kemp his running mate. Bill Clinton framed the narrative against Dole early, painting him as a mere clone
of unpopular House Speaker Newt Gingrich, warning America that Bob Dole would work in concert with the Republican Congress to
slash popular social programs, like Medicare and Social Security, dubbed by Clinton as "Dole-Gingrich".[12] Bob Dole's tax-cut plan
found itself under attack from the White House, who said it would "blow a hole in the deficit," which had been cut nearly in half
during his opponent's term.[13]

Throughout the run-up to the general election, Clinton maintained comfortable leads in the polls over Dole and Perot. The televised
debates featured only Dole and Clinton, locking out Perot and the other minor candidates from the discussion. Perot, who had been
allowed to participate in the 1992 debates, would eventually take his case to court, seeking damages from not being in the debate, as
well as citing unfair coverage from the major media outlets.

Throughout this campaign, Clinton was always leading in the polls, generally by large margins. In October, Republican National
Committee "operatives urg[ed] their party's Congressional candidates to cut loose from Bob Dole and press voters to maintain a
Republican majority"[14] and spent $4 million on advertising in targeted districts.[15]

Campaign donations controversy


In late September 1995, questions arose regarding the Democratic National Committee's fund-raising practices. In February the
following year, China's alleged role in the campaign finance controversy first gained public attention after the Washington Post
published a story stating that a U.S. Department of Justice investigation had discovered evidence that agents of China sought to direct
contributions from foreign sources to the DNC before the 1996 presidential campaign. The paper wrote that intelligence information
had showed the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. was used for coordinating contributions to the DNC[16] in violation of U.S. law
forbidding non-American citizens from giving monetary donations to U.S. politicians and political parties. Seventeen people were
eventually convicted for fraud or for funneling Asian funds into the U.S. elections.

One of the more notable events learned involved Vice President Al Gore and a fund-raising event held at Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda
Heights, California. The Temple event was organized by DNC fund-raisers John Huang and Maria Hsia. It is illegal under U.S. law for
religious organizations to donate money to politicians or political groups due to their tax-exempt status. The U.S. Justice Department
alleged Hsia facilitated $100,000 in illegal contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election campaign through her efforts at the
Temple. Hsia was eventually convicted by a jury in March 2000.[17] The DNC eventually returned the money donated by the Temple's
monks and nuns. Twelve nuns and employees of the Temple refused to answer questions by pleading the Fifth Amendment when they
were subpoenaed to testify before Congress in 1997.[18]

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Results
On election day, President Clinton won a decisive victory over Dole, becoming the first Democrat to win two consecutive presidential
elections since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, 1940, and 1944. In the popular vote, he out-polled Dole by over 8.2 million votes. The
Electoral College map did not change much from the previous election, with the Democratic incumbent winning 379 votes to the
Republican ticket’s 159. In the West, Dole managed to narrowly win Colorado and Montana (both had voted for Clinton four years
earlier), while Clinton became the first Democrat to win the state of Arizona since Harry Truman in 1948. In the South, Clinton took
Florida – a state he had failed to win in 1992 – from the Republicans in exchange for the less electoral-vote-rich Georgia. The election
helped to cement Democratic Presidential control in California, Vermont, Maine, Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut; all went on to
vote Democratic in every subsequent Presidential election after having voted Republican in the five prior to 1992. 1996 marked the
first time that Vermont voted for a Democrat in two successive elections. Pennsylvania and Michigan both voted Democratic, and
would remain in the Democratic presidential fold until 2016. Although President Clinton had won a victory in the popular vote that
was slightly greater than that achieved of his previous rival President H.W. Bush he had won less Electoral states due to under-
performance in rural counties nationwide – a precursor of the trend where future Democratic contenders for the Presidency perform
well in populated metropolitan areas but vastly underperform in rural counties.

Reform Party nominee Ross Perot won approximately 8% of the popular vote. His vote total was less than half of his performance in
1992. The 1996 national exit poll showed that just as in 1992,[19] Perot drew supporters from Clinton and Dole equally.[20] In polls
directed at Perot voters as to who would be a second choice, Clinton consistently held substantial leads.[21] Perot’s best showing was in
states that tended to strongly favor either Clinton (such as Maine) or Dole (particularly Montana, though the margin of victory there
was much closer). Perot once again received his lowest amount of support in the South.

Although Clinton is a native of Arkansas, and his running mate hailed from Tennessee, the Democratic ticket again carried just four of
the eleven states of the American South. This tied Clinton’s 1992 run for the weakest performance by a winning Democratic
presidential candidate in the region before 2000 (in terms of states won). Clinton's performance seems to have been part of a broader
decline in support for the Democratic Party in the South. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, the Democrats would fail to carry even one
of the former Confederate states, contributing to their defeat both times. This completed the Republican takeover of the American
South, a region in which Democrats had held a near monopoly from 1880 to 1948. However, in 2008, the Democrats were able to win
three former Confederate states, but that was still worse than Clinton’s performances in both 1992 and 1996. Since 1984, no winning
Presidential candidate has surpassed Bill Clinton’s 8.5 percentage popular vote margin, or his 220 electoral vote margin since 1988.
Also note that no Democratic Presidential candidate has surpassed Clinton’s electoral vote margin since 1964 and except Lyndon B.
Johnson in that election no Democratic Presidential candidate has surpassed his 8.5 percentage popular vote margin since 1940.

The election was also notable for the fact that for the first time in U.S. history the winner was elected without winning the male vote
and the third time in U.S. history that a candidate was elected President twice without receiving an absolute majority of the popular
vote in either election (Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson are the others, although all three won pluralities [i.e. the most
votes]).[20]

Clinton was the first Democrat to win re-election to the presidency since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the first Southern Democrat to
win re-election since Andrew Jackson in 1832.

Following the 2016 election, 1996 remains the last time the following states voted Democratic: Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas,
Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia. Clinton also remains the last presidential candidate of either party to win at least
one county in every state[a] and the last Democrat to win a majority or plurality in Spokane County, Washington, Pinal and Gila
Counties, Arizona, Washington County, Arkansas, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Oneida County, New York and Anoka
County, Minnesota.[22] Clinton was also the last Democrat to win Florida, Nevada and Ohio until 2008. This election also constitutes
the last time that a Democrat won the presidency without winning Colorado and Virginia.

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Popular vote Running mate


Presidential Home Electoral Vice-
Party Electoral
candidate state Count Percentage vote presidential Home state
vote
candidate
William
Albert
Jefferson
Democratic[b] Arkansas 47,401,185 49.24% 379 Arnold Tennessee 379
Clinton
Gore, Jr.
(Incumbent)
Robert Jack
Joseph Republican[c] Kansas 39,197,469 40.71% 159 French New York[24] 159
Dole Kemp

Henry Ross Patrick Washington,


Reform[d] Texas 8,085,294 8.40% 0 0
Perot Choate[e] D.C.

Ralph Winona
Green Connecticut 685,297 0.71% 0 California 0
Nader LaDuke[f]
Harry Jo
Libertarian Tennessee 485,759 0.50% 0 South Carolina 0
Browne Jorgensen
Howard Herbert
Taxpayers Virginia 184,656 0.19% 0 Oregon 0
Phillips Titus
John Mike
Natural Law Iowa 113,670 0.12% 0 Massachusetts 0
Hagelin Tompkins

Other[g] 113,667 0.12% — Other[g] —

Total 96,277,634 100% 538 538


Needed to win 270 270

Official Source (Popular Vote): 1996 Official Presidential General Election Results (https://web.archive.org/web/2
0100127215534/http://www.fec.gov/96fed/geresult.htm)

Source (popular and electoral vote): Federal Elections Commission Electoral and Popular Vote Summary (http://w
ww.fec.gov/pubrec/fe1996/elecpop.htm) unofficial Secondary Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. "1996 Presidential
Election Results" (http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/national.php?year=1996&f=0&off=0&elect=0). Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S.
Presidential Elections. Retrieved August 7, 2005.

Voting age population: 196,498,000

Percent of voting age population casting a vote for President: 49.00%

Popular vote
Clinton   49.24%
Dole   40.71%
Perot   8.40%
Nader   0.71%
Browne 0.50%
Others 0.44%

Electoral vote
Clinton   70.45%
Dole   29.55%

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Election results by county.


Bill Clinton
Bob Dole

1996 Presidential Election, Results by Congressional District

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Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote

Results by state

States/districts won by Clinton/Gore


States/districts won by Dole/Kemp

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Bill Clinton Bob Dole Ross Perot


Democratic Republican Reform
electoral electoral electoral electoral
State votes # % votes # % votes # % votes

Alabama 9 662,165 43.16% – 769,044 50.12% 9 92,149 6.01% –


Alaska 3 80,380 33.27% – 122,746 50.80% 3 26,333 10.90% –
Arizona 8 653,288 46.52% 8 622,073 44.29% – 112,072 7.98% –
Arkansas 6 475,171 53.74% 6 325,416 36.80% – 69,884 7.90% –
California 54 5,119,835 51.10% 54 3,828,380 38.21% – 697,847 6.96% – 2
Colorado 8 671,152 44.43% – 691,848 45.80% 8 99,629 6.59% –
Connecticut 8 735,740 52.83% 8 483,109 34.69% – 139,523 10.02% –
Delaware 3 140,355 51.80% 3 99,062 36.58% – 28,719 10.60% –
D.C. 3 158,220 85.19% 3 17,339 9.34% – 3,611 1.94% –
Florida 25 2,546,870 48.02% 25 2,244,536 42.32% – 483,870 9.12% –
Georgia 13 1,053,849 45.84% – 1,080,843 47.01% 13 146,337 6.37% –
Hawaii 4 205,012 56.93% 4 113,943 31.64% – 27,358 7.60% –
Idaho 4 165,443 33.65% – 256,595 52.18% 4 62,518 12.71% –
Illinois 22 2,341,744 54.32% 22 1,587,021 36.81% – 346,408 8.03% –
Indiana 12 887,424 41.55% – 1,006,693 47.13% 12 224,299 10.50% –
Iowa 7 620,258 50.26% 7 492,644 39.92% – 105,159 8.52% –
Kansas 6 387,659 36.08% – 583,245 54.29% 6 92,639 8.62% –
Kentucky 8 636,614 45.84% 8 623,283 44.88% – 120,396 8.67% –
Louisiana 9 927,837 52.01% 9 712,586 39.94% – 123,293 6.91% –
Maine 4 312,788 51.62% 4 186,378 30.76% – 85,970 14.19% –
Maryland 10 966,207 54.25% 10 681,530 38.27% – 115,812 6.50% –
Massachusetts 12 1,571,763 61.47% 12 718,107 28.09% – 227,217 8.89% –
Michigan 18 1,989,653 51.69% 18 1,481,212 38.48% – 336,670 8.75% –
Minnesota 10 1,120,438 51.10% 10 766,476 34.96% – 257,704 11.75% –
Mississippi 7 394,022 44.08% – 439,838 49.21% 7 52,222 5.84% –
Missouri 11 1,025,935 47.54% 11 890,016 41.24% – 217,188 10.06% –
Montana 3 167,922 41.23% – 179,652 44.11% 3 55,229 13.56% –
Nebraska 5 236,761 34.95% – 363,467 53.65% 5 71,278 10.52% –
Nevada 4 203,974 43.93% 4 199,244 42.91% – 43,986 9.47% –
New
4 246,214 49.32% 4 196,532 39.37% – 48,390 9.69% –
Hampshire
New Jersey 15 1,652,329 53.72% 15 1,103,078 35.86% – 262,134 8.52% –
New Mexico 5 273,495 49.18% 5 232,751 41.86% – 32,257 5.80% –
New York 33 3,756,177 59.47% 33 1,933,492 30.61% – 503,458 7.97% –
North Carolina 14 1,107,849 44.04% – 1,225,938 48.73% 14 168,059 6.68% –
North Dakota 3 106,905 40.13% – 125,050 46.94% 3 32,515 12.20% –
Ohio 21 2,148,222 47.38% 21 1,859,883 41.02% – 483,207 10.66% –
Oklahoma 8 488,105 40.45% – 582,315 48.26% 8 130,788 10.84% –
TOTALS: 538 47,400,125 49.24% 379 39,198,755 40.71% 159 8,085,402 8.40% – 6
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Bill Clinton Bob Dole Ross Perot


Democratic Republican Reform
electoral electoral electoral electoral
State votes # % votes # % votes # % votes

Oregon 7 649,641 47.15% 7 538,152 39.06% – 121,221 8.80% –


Pennsylvania 23 2,215,819 49.17% 23 1,801,169 39.97% – 430,984 9.56% –
Rhode Island 4 233,050 59.71% 4 104,683 26.82% – 43,723 11.20% –
South Carolina 8 504,051 43.85% – 573,458 49.89% 8 64,386 5.60% –
South Dakota 3 139,333 43.03% – 150,543 46.49% 3 31,250 9.65% –
Tennessee 11 909,146 48.00% 11 863,530 45.59% – 105,918 5.59% –
Texas 32 2,459,683 43.83% – 2,736,167 48.76% 32 378,537 6.75% –
Utah 5 221,633 33.30% – 361,911 54.37% 5 66,461 9.98% –
Vermont 3 137,894 53.35% 3 80,352 31.09% – 31,024 12.00% –
Virginia 13 1,091,060 45.15% – 1,138,350 47.10% 13 159,861 6.62% –
Washington 11 1,123,323 49.84% 11 840,712 37.30% – 201,003 8.92% –
West Virginia 5 327,812 51.51% 5 233,946 36.76% – 71,639 11.26% –
Wisconsin 11 1,071,971 48.81% 11 845,029 38.48% – 227,339 10.35% –
Wyoming 3 77,934 36.84% – 105,388 49.81% 3 25,928 12.25% –
TOTALS: 538 47,400,125 49.24% 379 39,198,755 40.71% 159 8,085,402 8.40% – 6

[28]

Close states
State where the margin of victory was under 1% (8 electoral votes):

1. Kentucky, 0.96%
States where the margin of victory was under 5% (109 electoral votes):

1. Nevada, 1.02%
2. Georgia, 1.17%
3. Colorado, 1.37%
4. Virginia, 1.96%
5. Arizona, 2.22%
6. Tennessee, 2.41%
7. Montana, 2.88%
8. South Dakota, 3.46%
9. North Carolina, 4.69%
10. Texas, 4.93%
States where the margin of victory was between 5% and 10% (143 electoral votes):

1. Mississippi, 5.13%
2. Indiana, 5.58%
3. Florida, 5.70%
4. South Carolina, 6.04%
5. Missouri, 6.30%
6. Ohio, 6.36%
7. North Dakota, 6.81%
8. Alabama, 6.96%
9. New Mexico, 7.32%
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10. Oklahoma, 7.81%


11. Oregon, 8.09%
12. Pennsylvania, 9.20% (tipping point state)
13. New Hampshire, 9.95%

Voter demographics

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The Presidential vote in social groups (percentages)


% of
Social group Clinton Dole Perot
total vote
Total vote 49 41 8 100
Party and ideology
Conservative Republicans 6 88 5 21
Moderate Republicans 20 72 7 13
Liberal Republicans 44 48 9 2
Conservative independents 19 60 19 7
Moderate independents 50 30 17 15
Liberal independents 58 15 18 4
Conservative Democrats 69 23 7 6
Moderate Democrats 84 10 5 20
Liberal Democrats 89 5 4 13
Gender and marital status
Married men 40 48 10 33
Married women 63 28 7 33
Unmarried men 49 35 12 15
Unmarried women 62 28 7 20
Race
White 43 46 9 83
Black 84 12 4 10
Hispanic 72 21 6 5
Asian 43 48 8 1
Religion
Protestant 41 50 8 38
Catholic 53 37 9 29
Other Christian 45 41 12 16
Jewish 78 16 3 3
Other 60 23 11 6
None 59 23 13 7
White Religious Right?
White Religious Right 26 65 8 17
Everyone else 54 35 9 83
Age
18–29 years old 53 34 10 17
30–44 years old 48 41 9 33
45–59 years old 48 41 9 26
60 and older 48 44 7 24
First time voter?
First time voter 54 34 11 9

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Everyone else 48 42 8 91
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, or bisexual 66 23 7 5
Heterosexual 47 43 8 95
Education
Not a high school graduate 59 28 11 6
High school graduate 51 35 13 24
Some college education 48 40 10 27
College graduate 44 46 8 26
Postgraduate education 52 40 5 17
Family income
Under $15,000 59 28 11 11
$15,000–30,000 53 36 9 23
$30,000–50,000 48 40 10 27
$50,000–75,000 47 45 7 21
$75,000–100,000 44 48 7 9
Over $100,000 38 54 6 9
Region
East 55 34 9 23
Midwest 48 41 10 26
South 46.0 45.9 7.3 30
West 48 40 8 20
Community size
Population over 500,000 68 25 6 10
Population 50,000 to 500,000 50 39 8 21
Suburbs 47 42 8 39
Rural areas, towns 45 44 10 30

Source: Voter News Service exit poll, reported in The New York Times, November 10, 1996, 28.[29]

Polling controversy
Some post-election debate focused on the alleged flaws in the pre-election polls, almost all of which overstated Clinton's lead over
Dole, some by a substantial margin. For example, a CBS/New York Times poll overstated Clinton's lead by 10 points despite having an
error margin of 2.4%. The odds against this sort of error occurring were 15,000:1.[30] A less extreme example was a Pew poll that
overstated Clinton's lead by 5 points, the chances of this happening were 10:1 against.[30] Gerald Wasserman, having examined eight
pre-election polls, argued that pure chance would produce such a skewed result in favor of Clinton only once in 4,900 elections.[31]
However, because Clinton won the election by a comfortable margin,[32] there was no major reaction towards the inaccuracy of the
polls.[32] The polls were also less inaccurate than the overwhelming majority of those taken in 1948,[32] which predicted that losing
candidate Thomas Dewey would beat President Harry Truman by a comfortable margin,[32] and in 1980, which predicted that Ronald
Reagan would win without a landslide victory.[32]

See also
List of Presidents of the United States

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Second inauguration of Bill Clinton


Newspaper endorsements in the United States presidential election, 1996
United States gubernatorial elections, 1996
United States House of Representatives elections, 1996
United States Senate elections, 1996

References
1. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections" (http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html). uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved
October 21, 2012.
2. "Election Dates" (http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/dates.php). Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 17,
2010.
3. "Anyone left? The search for a Clinton challenger in 1996" (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Anyone+left%3F+The+search+for+a+Cl
inton+challenger+in+1996.-a016914424). The Progressive. TheFreeLibrary.com. May 1, 1995. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
4. Newton-Small, Jay (November 24, 2009). "Can a Pro-Life Dem Bridge the Health-Care Divide?" (http://www.time.com/time/politic
s/article/0,8599,1942614,00.html). Time. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
5. "US President – D Primaries Race – Feb 01, 1996" (http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=55214). Our
Campaigns. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
6. https://www.c-span.org/video/?63441-1/new-hampshire-republican-forum
7. Washington watch (1994-06-06). "Republicans Prepare to Run in 1996 - Arab American Institute" (http://www.aaiusa.org/w06069
4). Aaiusa.org. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
8. Julie Hirschfeld Davis (January 26, 2012), "'Stop-Newt' Republicans Confront New Base" (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/201
2-01-26/-stop-newt-republicans-confront-base-unwilling-to-take-orders.html) Bloomberg News
9. "US President – R Primaries Race – July 7, 1996" (http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=13494). Our
Campaigns.com. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
10. Hardy, Thomas (September 20, 1996). "Dole Makes Strong Rebound After Fall" (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-09-20/ne
ws/9609200264_1_bob-dole-press-secretary-nelson-warfield-drug-abuse). Chicago Tribune.
11. Lewis, Matt (September 25, 2008). "McCain and Obama Can Learn A Lot From Past Debaters" (http://townhall.com/columnists/m
attlewis/2008/09/25/mccain_and_obama_can_learn_a_lot_from_past_debaters). Townhall.com. Retrieved August 18, 2016. "It's
the age of his ideas that I question"
12. Berke, Richard L. (October 7, 1996). "Clinton And Dole, Face To Face, Spar Over Medicare And Taxes" (https://query.nytimes.co
m/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507E2DC1F3FF934A35753C1A960958260). The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
13. "09/02/96 Medicare, Taxes, and Bob Dole: A Talk with the President" (https://web.archive.org/web/19970628211536/http://www.b
usinessweek.com/1996/36/b34915.htm). Businessweek.com. June 14, 1997. Archived from the original (http://www.businesswee
k.com/1996/36/b34915.htm) on June 28, 1997. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
14. Clyme, Adam (October 23, 1996). "G.O.P. Pushes Congress Strategy That Shuns Dole" (https://www.nytimes.com/1996/10/23/u
s/gop-pushes-congress-strategy-that-shuns-dole.html). The New York Times.
15. Romano, Andrew (August 16, 2016). "Down Ticket #3: Republicans want to keep Congress by sacrificing Trump. Good luck with
that" (https://www.yahoo.com/news/down-ticket-3-republicans-want-to-keep-congress-by-sacrificing-trump-good-luck-with-that-17
3040834.html). Yahoo! News.
16. Woodward, Bob and Duffy, Brian, "Chinese Embassy Role In Contributions Probed" (https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/poli
tics/special/campfin/stories/china1.htm), Washington Post, February 13, 1997
17. Eskenazi, Michael, "For both Gore and GOP, a guilty verdict to watch" (http://transcripts.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/03/0
3/gore3_3.a.tm/index.html) Archived (https://web.archive.org/web/20130403040001/http://transcripts.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITIC
S/stories/03/03/gore3_3.a.tm/index.html) April 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., CNN.com, March 3, 2000
18. Abse, Nathan, "A Look at the 94 Who Aren't Talking" (https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/campfin/stories/fifth
060998.htm), Washington Post, June 9, 1998
19. Holmes, Steven A. (November 5, 1992). "THE 1992 ELECTIONS: DISAPPOINTMENT – NEWS ANALYSIS An Eccentric but No
Joke; Perot's Strong Showing Raises Questions On What Might Have Been, and Might Be" (https://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag
e.html?res=9E0CE0DB1F3FF936A35752C1A964958260). The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
20. "AllPolitics – Presidential Election Exit Poll Results" (http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/elections/natl.exit.poll/index1.html).
CNN.
21. "AllPolitics – Tracking Poll – Nov. 4, 1996" (http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/polls/cnn.usa.gallup/tracking/). CNN.

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22. Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’ (http://www.americamagazine.org/content/un
conventional-wisdom/how-red-and-blue-map-evolved-over-past-century); America Magazine in The National Catholic Review;
June 29, 2016
23. " '96 Presidential and Congressional Election Statistics" (https://web.archive.org/web/20060126213548/http://clerk.house.gov/me
mbers/electionInfo/1996/96Stat.htm). Official website of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from
the original (http://clerk.house.gov/members/electionInfo/1996/96Stat.htm) on January 26, 2006. Retrieved February 17, 2006.
24. Matthews, Dylan (August 9, 2012). "The effect of veep picks, in two charts" (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/
2012/08/09/the-effect-of-veep-picks-in-two-charts/). The Washington Post. Retrieved November 27, 2014. "Jack Kemp, whose
home state of New York saw an even stronger anti-Republican swing in 1996"
25. "November 12, 1996" (http://www.co.cerro-gordo.ia.us/1996Minutes/November%2012,%201996.pdf) (PDF). Minutes of the
Meetings of the Board of Supervisors. Cerro Gordo County. 1996. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
26. Fernandez, Sonia (February 22, 2000). "Nader '55 to run for president" (http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2000/02/22/ne
ws/234.shtml). The Daily Princetonian. Daily Princetonian Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
27. "Electors of President and Vice President" (http://www.co.cattaraugus.ny.us/election_board/past-elections/1996/presandvp.html).
Cattaraugus County: Board of Elections: 1996 Election Results. Cattaraugus County, New York State. Retrieved March 30, 2006.
28. 1996 Presidential General Election Data - National (http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/data.php?year=1996&datatype=national
&def=1&f=0&off=0&elect=0), Uselectionatlas.org.
29. "1996 Presidential Exit Polls Results" (http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/elections/natl.exit.poll/index2.html). CNN.
30. "Polls" (http://www2.psych.purdue.edu/~codelab/PollOdds.Table.html). .psych.purdue.edu. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
31. "Were The Polls Right?" (http://www2.psych.purdue.edu/~codelab/PollOdds.html). .psych.purdue.edu. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
32. Mitofsky, W. J. (1998). "Review: Was 1996 a Worse Year for Polls Than 1948?". The Public Opinion Quarterly. 62 (2): 230–249.
doi:10.1086/297842 (https://doi.org/10.1086%2F297842).

Notes
a. Others since the Civil War to win a county in every state have been Clinton in 1992, Ronald Reagan in 1984 and 1980, Richard
Nixon in 1972 and 1960, John F. Kennedy in 1960, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 and 1952, Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1944,
1940, 1936 and 1932, Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and 1912, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, James A. Garfield in 1880 and Ulysses S.
Grant in 1872.
b. In New York, the Clinton vote was a fusion of the Democratic and Liberal slates. There, Clinton obtained 3,649,630 votes on the
Democratic ticket and 106,547 votes on the Liberal ticket.[23]
c. In New York, the Dole vote was a fusion of the Republican, Conservative, and Freedom slates. There, Dole obtained 1,738,707
votes on the Republican ticket, 183,392 votes on the Conservative ticket, and 11,393 votes on the Freedom ticket.[23]
d. In South Carolina, the Perot vote was a fusion of the Reform and Patriot slates. There, Perot obtained 27,464 votes on the
Reform ticket and 36,913 votes on the Patriot ticket.[23]
e. On the California, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee,
and Texas election ballots, James Campbell of California, Perot’s former boss at IBM, was listed as a stand-in Vice-Presidential
candidate until Perot decided on Pat Choate as his choice for Vice President.
f. The Green Party vice presidential candidate varied from state to state. Winona LaDuke was his vice presidential candidate in
eighteen of the twenty-two states where he appeared on the ballot. Anne Goeke was Nader's running mate in Iowa[25] and
Vermont. Madelyn Hoffman was his running mate in New Jersey.[26] Muriel Tillinghast was his running mate in New York.[27]
g. Candidates receiving less than 0.05% of the total popular vote.

Further reading

Books
Laurence W. Moreland and Robert P. Steed, eds., ed. (1997). The 1996 Presidential Election in the South: Southern Party
Systems in the 1990s. ISBN 0-275-95951-1.
Ceaser, James W.; Andrew E. Busch (1997). Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics. ISBN 0-8476-8405-9.
Clinton, Bill (2005). My Life. Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X.
Green, John C. (1999). Financing the 1996 Election. ISBN 0-585-26014-1.
Pomper, Gerald M.; et al. (1997). The Election of 1996: Reports and Interpretations. ISBN 0-585-22457-9.
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Journals
Jelen, Ted G.; Marthe Chandler (2000). "Culture Wars in the Trenches: Social Issues as Short-Term Forces in Presidential
Elections, 1968–1996". The American Review of Politics. 21: 69–87.

Web references
"Libertarian Party Historical Overview" (https://web.archive.org/web/20060130133301/http://www.lp.org/organization/history.shtm
l). Archived from the original (http://www.lp.org/organization/history.shtml) on January 30, 2006. Retrieved January 25, 2006.
"Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '96" (http://clintondole.tumblr.com). Retrieved December 21, 2011.

External links
United States presidential election of 1996 (https://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1573012) at Encyclopædia Britannica
The Election Wall's 1996 Election Video Page (http://electionwall.org/1996.php)
1996 popular vote by counties (http://geoelections.free.fr/USA/elec_comtes/1996.htm)
1996 popular vote by states (http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/u/usa/pres/1996.txt)
1996 popular vote by states (with bar graphs) (http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/datagraph.php?year=1996&fips=0&f=1&off=0
&elect=0)
CNN: 1996 Presidential Campaign Ads (http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/candidates/campaign.96/index2.html)
Popular vote data from the Federal Election Commission (http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe1996/summ.htm)
How close was the 1996 election? (https://web.archive.org/web/20120825102042/http://www.mit.edu/~mi22295/elections.html#19
96) at the Wayback Machine (archived August 25, 2012) — Michael Sheppard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Clinton-Gore 1996 website screen shots (http://www.4president.us/websites/1996/clintongore1996website.htm)
Dole-Kemp 1996 website (http://www.dolekemp96.org/main.htm)
Election of 1996 in Counting the Votes (http://www.countingthevotes.com/1996/)

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