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1988 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

The 1988 United States presidential election in Wisconsin took place on November 8, 1988. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1988 United States presidential election. State voters chose 11 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

1988 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1984 November 8, 1988 1992 →
  1988 Dukakis.jpg 1988 Bush.jpg
Nominee Michael Dukakis George H. W. Bush
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Massachusetts Texas
Running mate Lloyd Bentsen Dan Quayle
Electoral vote 11 0
Popular vote 1,126,794 1,047,499
Percentage 51.41% 47.80%

County Results

President before election

Ronald Reagan

Elected President

George H. W. Bush

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

Wisconsin weighed in for this election as 12% more Democratic than the national average. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Green County voted for the Republican candidate. This was also the first time since 1960 that Wisconsin would back the losing candidate in a presidential election.[citation needed]

Partisan backgroundEdit

The presidential election of 1988 was a very partisan election for Wisconsin, with over 99% of the electorate voting for either the Republican or Democratic parties.[1]

Republican national victoryEdit

Dukakis won the election in Wisconsin with a 4-point margin. The state has since consistently voted for the Democratic Party, until the narrow victory of Republican Donald Trump in 2016. The narrow election results in the rapidly liberalizing state of Wisconsin are 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 his campaign 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, who largely associated the Republican Party with the economic growth of the 1980s. 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]


1988 United States presidential election in Wisconsin
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Michael Stanley Dukakis 1,126,794 51.41% 11
Republican George Herbert Walker Bush 1,047,499 47.80% 0
Libertarian Ron Paul 5,157 0.56% 0
America First David Duke 3,056 0.14% 0
Socialist Workers Party James Warren 2,574 0.12% 0
Democrats for Economic Recovery Lyndon LaRouche 2,302 0.11% 0
Write-ins 2,273 0.10% 0
New Alliance Party Lenora Fulani 1,953 0.09% 0
Totals 2,191,608 100.0% 11

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.