Open main menu

1988 United States presidential election in Kentucky

The 1988 United States presidential election in Kentucky took place on November 8, 1988. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1988 United States presidential election. Kentucky voters chose 9 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

United States presidential election in Kentucky, 1988

← 1984 November 8, 1988 1992 →
  1988 Bush.jpg 1988 Dukakis.jpg
Nominee George H. W. Bush Michael Dukakis
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Texas Massachusetts
Running mate Dan Quayle Lloyd Bentsen
Electoral vote 9 0
Popular vote 734,281 580,368
Percentage 55.52% 43.88%

President before election

Ronald Reagan

Elected President

George H. W. Bush

Kentucky was won by incumbent United States Vice President George H. W. Bush of Texas, who was running against Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. Bush ran with Indiana Senator Dan Quayle as Vice President, and Dukakis ran with Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen.

Kentucky weighed in for this election as 4% more Republican than the national average. As of 2019, this is the last time that Jefferson County voted for a Republican candidate. The 1988 presidential election is also the last time that Kentucky voted for a different presidential candidate from neighbouring West Virginia.

Partisan backgroundEdit

The presidential election of 1988 was a very partisan election for Kentucky, with more than 99% of the electorate voting for either the Democratic or Republican parties, and only five parties appearing on the ballot.[1] The vast majority of counties turned out for Bush, including the highly populated center of Louisville's Jefferson County, the last time the county voted for the Republican candidate. Conversely, several small clumps of counties in the far Eastern (surrounding Pike County) and in the far Western (surrounding McCracken County) regions of the state voted primarily Democratic.

Republican victoryEdit

Bush won the election in Kentucky with a solid 11 point landslide. While Kentucky typically votes conservative, the election results in Kentucky are also reflective of a nationwide reconsolidation of base for the Republican Party, which took place through the 1980s. Through the passage of some very controversial economic programs, spearheaded by then President Ronald Reagan (called, collectively, "Reaganomics"), the mid-to-late 1980s saw a period of economic growth and stability. The hallmark for Reaganomics was, in part, the wide-scale deregulation of corporate interests, and tax cuts for the wealthy.[2]

Dukakis ran on a socially liberal platform, and advocated for higher economic regulation and environmental protection. Bush, alternatively, ran on a campaign of continuing the social and economic policies of former President Reagan - which gained him much support with social conservatives and people living in rural areas. Additionally, while the economic programs passed under Reagan, and furthered under Bush and Clinton, may have boosted the economy for a brief period, they are criticized by many analysts as "setting the stage" for economic troubles in the United State after 2007, such as the Great Recession.[3]


United States presidential election in Kentucky, 1988
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican George H. W. Bush 734,281 55.52% 9
Democratic Michael Dukakis 580,368 43.88% 0
America First David Duke 4,494 0.34% 0
Libertarian Ron Paul 2,118 0.16% 0
New Alliance Party Lenora Fulani 1,256 0.09% 0
Totals 1,322,517 100.0% 9

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  2. ^ "Since 1980s, the Kindest of Tax Cuts for the Rich". The New York Times. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2013-07-21.
  3. ^ Jerry Lanson (2008-11-06). "A historic victory. A changed nation. Now, can Obama deliver?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2013-07-21.