A campaign of lasts: the remarkable Presidential upset of 1992.


1992 dem convention

Twenty-one years ago today, on November 3, 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton defeated incumbent President George H.W. Bush and went on to become the nation’s 42nd President. This is what the history books say, and perhaps you remember the 1992 campaign; but it was a very interesting and remarkable Presidential contest, unlike any that had come before, and perhaps unlike any that will ever come after it.

The 1992 Presidential election presented a number of “lasts” in American history. It was the last time in the 20th century that an incumbent President was defeated by a challenger–that had happened in 1912, 1932, 1976, and 1980, and it hasn’t happened since 1992. It was the last Presidential election in which a third- or non-party candidate received a significant share of the vote; in fact, Ross Perot’s 18.9% of the vote was the highest a third- or non-party candidate ever received in…

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