chapter  4
32 Pages

Financing the 1996 Presidential General Election

The 1996 race for the presidency offered the electorate little drama and little reason for change. A robust economy and peaceful conditions abroad defined the political landscape, all to the benefit of the incum­ bent President William Clinton, whose popularity held steady through­ out the election year. The Republican nominee, Senator Robert Dole, faced an uphill climb from the start and failed to reduce the president’s sizable lead until the last days before the election. Indeed, the fall campaign seemed to matter hardly at all as voters followed the pattern of similar recent elections, sticking with the status quo because of good times and a popular incumbent.