An Electoral Urban Legend Is That Bush Would Have Defeated Clinton in 1992 If Perot Had Not Been A Candidate. This is Not So
An electoral urban legend is that George H.W. Bush would have defeated Bill Clinton in 1992 if Ross Perot had not been a candidate. This is not so.
In ’92 Bill Clinton won 43.0% of the popular vote. Bush took 37.4% and Perot 18.9 %. The popular vote was not very close. In the Electoral College, Clinton won 33 states in addition to D.C for a total of 370 Electoral Votes. 270 are needed for election. The Electoral count was not close either.
If you look at the state-by-state breakdown of the ‘92 election, you won’t find 101 Electoral Votes where Perot made the difference in favor of Bush. You can look at the ’92 results here. Perot may have cost Bush Ohio, Georgia, Colorado, Montana and a small number of other states. But when all the votes are accounted for you see that Bush lost it on his own.
The impact of Perot in ’92 is still sometimes asserted by the right as yet another way to try and delegitmize the Clinton Presidency. Don’t believe it. Clinton won that election any way you measure it.