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| |-+  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderator: True Federalist)
| | |-+  Why did Florida go so strongly for Bush/Quayle in 1988?
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Author Topic: Why did Florida go so strongly for Bush/Quayle in 1988?  (Read 734 times)
Indy Texas
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« on: August 31, 2012, 12:52:07 am »
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Bush did extremely well in the South in general that year (even better than his son did in 2000 when the region was far more favorable to Republicans). But Florida was his fifth best state (after Utah, NH,  Idaho, SC). Even if you attribute that to Lee Atwater's racist dog whistle campaign against Dukakis, it seems odd that Bush would do better in Florida than he did anywhere else in the South, seeing as Florida is one of the least 'Southern' of those states.

Was there some other issue at play there? Did Dukakis do something to seriously piss off retirees or space program enthusiasts? Threaten to end sugar tariffs?
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J. J.
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 10:13:00 am »
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My guess would be military retirees. 
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J. J.

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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 11:25:23 am »
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Florida didn't become a swing state until 1992. From the 1960s through the 1980s it was safe Republican (with the exception of Carter 1976), so it really wasn't a surprise to see Bush do so well there.

South Florida is kind of an extension of the suburban Northeast. So when Democrats started doing well in that region, they did better in South Florida as well. In fact, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties all swung hard to Clinton in 1992, after voting for Bush in 1988.

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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 03:28:13 pm »
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1) Good economy
2) Reagan democrats
3) Suburbanites that still favored the GOP in those days (notice how well Bush did in the burbs that year, especially in IL, NJ and in the northeast)
4) South FL wasn't quite developed yet.
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