Just a few questions came to mind, was watching some 1992 coverage on youtube.
Part of the story of the fall campaign was Clinton came away from the conventions with basically a twenty-five point lead, Perot gets back in the race. President Bush continues to suffer, Quayle does well in the debate, but the President does poorly. Bush as perhaps the character issue sets in, republicans begin to come home. Bush closes the gap in the polls, but the Clinton camp releases new revelations on the Iran-Contra scandal the weekend before the election. GWB on the Bush/Quayle campaign plane says "its over."
If Iran-Contra revelations don't come out at the end, does Bush win? Was he already loosing? If Reagan had made a last minute appearance over the weekend without the scandal revelations, would Bush have won?
On the actual results:
Did Glenn winning by a healthy margin in Ohio senate win that state for Clinton? Did the North Carolina senate outcome have any affect on the presidential race there?
Bush was always going to lose. His approvals throughout the latter part of 1992 were dismal to say the least. There was a bad recession going on, and he was blamed solely for it. He had fallen hard from his gulf war highs.
Of course, you probably know that. But it seems to me that 1992 was bound to be a 'change' election. Republicans had controlled the White House for the last 12 years by achieving 3 landslides, so it was time for a correction. In modern politics, one party controlling the White House for 2 terms is a feat, let alone 3.
There were fluctuations in the polls, as there are in any election, and Perot's entrance and exit from the race made things even more interesting than usual. Bush kind of closed the gap in the polls, like Carter in 1980, but the system eventually corrected itself.
So I don't see any hypothetical scenario in which Bush wins. If Clinton became embroiled in a disgusting sex scandal like a week before the election, then Bush probably could have won. But I don't think any Iran Contra allegations had much to do with the results. That was back in the 80s and most Americans had forgotten about it by then. 92' was all about the economy, and late 1992 was the height of the recession.
I don't know about Ohio and NC. I'd say the senate races didn't have much of an effect. Big tobacco in NC was against Clinton, and the state was much more rural and conservative than it is today. Clinton winning Ohio was probably just part of the national correction. He was also a better fit for the democratic, blue collar regions than Dukakis.