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Buchanan 1996


CofCC.org News Team

by Kyle Rogers

With a crowded field of big names and no clear front runner, does this give a “Dark Horse” candidate a chance in 2008?

Whenever you hear the major media mention Buchanan’s 1996 primary win in New Hampshire, the media tells you it was a fluke and immediate claims Buchanan was crushed and humiliated in the rest of the primaries.

The fact is Pat Buchanan did pretty good, coming in 2nd in almost every single state. The candidates that were humiliated were everyone except for Bob Dole and Pat Buchanan. Dole began polling 40%+ and was polling up to 75% by the end of the primaries. Lamar, Gramm, Forbes, and others completely flopped. Even in the few states were Buchanan came in 3rd, it was a very close third.

Buchanan received 27.3% in New Hampshire. The media calls this a one time fluke. Some fluke, Buchanan got even higher percentages in seven other states! That is 8 states were Buchanan polled 27.3 or more of the vote. Notice that many of the states listed below have early primaries.

WI 33.8
LA 33.1
SC 29.2
GA 29.1
SD 28.6
WA 28.2
AZ 27.6

Buchanan polled between 21.1% and 25.9% in thirteen other states. That means Buchanan got at least over a fifth of the vote in 21 states. Since nine states had caucuse, Pat Buchanan polled over 20% in half the primaries. Buchanan also won the Missouri caucus.

MS 25.9
TN 25.2
MA 25.2
ME 24.5
MT 24.3
AR 23.5
IL 22.8
ID 22.3
OH 21.6
CO 21.5
TX 21.4
OR 21.3
MD 21.1

Now think. Bob Dole won most states by a big margin because Gramm, Lamar, Forbes and the others did so poorly and barely got anything.

Now imagine what could have happened if Forbes, Gramm, and Lamar had split up Doles vote.

Imagine a 2008 primary were the majority of the voters break fairly evenly between McCain, Romney, Giuliani, and Thompson? We are looking at a 2008 Republican primary that doesn’t even come close to having a front runner. Many primaries may conceivably be won with as little as 20% of the vote.