The United States Presidential election was held in 1988 on November 8. George Bush(Republican) defeats Michael Dukakis(Democrat). The Victory for Bush was overwhelming, 426 electoral votes to Dukakis 112, making Bush the first incumbent Vice President of the U.S. to win a presidential election in 152 years.
During the 1988 elections, there were two general election Presidential debates. The first one was, by most everyone’s account, uneventful. But the second debate, opening with CNN anchor Bernard Shaw’s question to Michael Dukakis whether or not he would favor the death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife, was a crucial moment in the 1988 campaign. The question was meant to give Dukakis an opportunity to show emotion, being as though he was dubbed as “the Ice Man by many.” But he blew it, and answered in a wooden, lawyerly manner.
Bush didn’t perform particularly well either, but he didn’t have to after Dukakis’ first response. It was during the debates that Bush called Dukakis “too liberal” and noted his veto of a bill that would require teachers to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dukakis fought back by attacking Bush for avoiding the drug crisis and for picking Dan Quayle as his running mate. The presidential polls did not move for the first few days after the debate, but they soon started moving in Bush’s favor.