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1988 United States  1996
Republican Party Presidential Primaries, 1992
Nominee George H. W. Bush Pat Buchanan
Home state Texas Virginia
States carried 50+D.C. 0
Popular vote 9,199,463 2,899,488
Percentage 72.84% 22.96%
Blank US Map.svg
Bush won every statewide contest

For only the third time in the 20th century, after the elections of 1912 and 1976, a sitting Republican president was seriously challenged for his party's nomination. President George H. W. Bush was challenged by conservative commentator Pat Buchanan, and during the early counting of the votes at the New Hampshire primary, it appeared that the president might actually lose.

However, Buchanan faded by the end of the evening, and Bush won all the rest of the primaries. Bush's margins in many of the primaries weren't as large as expected, and led to the rise of Ross Perot as an independent candidate.

Former Democrat, Ku Klux Klan, and Nazi leader David Duke, also ran in a number of primaries, but he received any delegates.


Primary Candidates

Primary Campaign


New Hampshire Primary

As Buchanan's candidacy relied heavily on a strong showing in the New Hampshire Primary, President Bush made New Hampshire a focal point in his reelection bid. However, New Hampshire still remained a pivotal base for Buchanan's Primary campaign.

Due to Bush turning his back on his "read my lips" pledge, Buchanan found support in the economically battered and conservative state of New Hampshire. Making Bush's tax-hikes a central theme of his campaign, Buchanan enjoyed healthy grass-roots support despite lagging behind the President in pre-primary polling.

On Primary night, President Bush carried New Hampshire with 58% of the vote, but Buchanan received a larger than expected second place showing of 40% of the vote. [1]

Despite many in the Bush campaigning trying to push Buchanan out of the race, the 40% showing made the Buchanan campaign hope for an outpouring of campaign contributions which galvanized the campaign into making efforts to pull out strong showings such as in the Georgia primary.

Following Events

Despite an impressive New Hampshire showing, Buchanan's campaign never attracted serious opposition to President Bush in further contests. Most of Buchanan's "victories" were larger than expected showings that were still considered landslide Bush wins by most in the media.


Popular vote result:[2]



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