When thinking about people who revolutionized the current electoral map – you might think of people like Donald Trump. And for good reason too. Trump in 2016 made the Midwest considerably more Republican while the south and west were considerably less Republican. But when it comes to people who have changed the electoral map in many ways, you might want to consider George W Bush (Junior) too.
Let’s take a step back – in 1992 Bill Clinton won the Presidency in an electoral landslide. He swept the West, South, North, and Midwest. This change is so hard to explain, that you should probably see the change from George H. W. Bush (Senior) in 1988 to Clinton in 1992 using pictures.
As you can see, the shift is monumental. In 1996, it was pretty much a repeat of the landslide, except that Montana, Colorado, and Georgia flipped Republican, while Florida and Arizona went for Clinton.
Fast forward to 2000- Vice President Al Gore runs against Republican George Bush. Gore is the favorite, since he was serving as Vice President under a popular administration, which had overseen enormous job growth. When the election results were out, Bush won because he carried Florida, even in spite of the controversy around the election results. Gore went to the supreme court but lost so Bush won because of 537 extra votes in Florida. Though the Florida results could have gone for Gore, if the full recount did continue, that’s not the point. The point is that everywhere in the nation, Bush improved. He managed to flip back key southern states like Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee. The first three voted for Clinton by more than 5 points, and the fourth voted for Clinton, and was Gore’s home state. He even won in West Virginia by a solid margin, which prior to this was a Democratic stronghold. In Addition, Bush made big gains in the West, where he managed to flip Nevada and Arizona, and narrow Oregon and New Mexico down to less than one point for Gore. Bush also managed to pick up New Hampshire and Ohio and narrow Wisconsin down to less than a point.
In 2004 Bush picked up New Mexico and Iowa, even though he lost New Hampshire. And not only that, he also narrowed down the margin in several states – for example, traditional Democratic strongholds, like California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Delaware went to John Kerry, Bush’s challenger, but by less then ten points. Many other Democratic strongholds went Democrat by less than 15.
The bottom line here, is that while to most Republicans, Bush is the type of Liz Cheney candidate that they don’t want to be, seeing the above analysis the Republicans might want to rethink about becoming a little more moderate than supporting the kind of politics that is being propagated by Trump AKA Trumpism.