Bill Clinton was the first President of the Democratic party to be elected for a second term since Franklin D. Roosevelt since 1937. Before that, however, Clinton had to win an intense presidential campaign in 1992 that pitted him first against a strong group of Democratic candidates before having to face George Bush Sr. in the presidential elections.
To start, Clinton faced tough competition in the primaries from former California governor Jerry Brown and Paul Tsongas, the former senator of Massachusetts. In addition, Gennifer Flowers claimed Clinton had a 12-year affair with her, further complicating his run at the presidency.
George Bush, on the other hand, squared off against commentator Pat Buchanan. Although Buchanan provided tough competition, what hurt Bush most was failing to live up to his promise that he would not raise taxes. The fact that taxes were raised, along with a bad economy, turned Bush’s attempt at a second term into a tough road to travel.
After June 2, 1992, when Clinton defeated Brown in a number of states to secure the Democratic nomination, the race for the presidency appeared to be between Clinton and Bush. However, third party candidate Ross Perot began gaining popularity. Perot had entered the race early on only to drop out. When he returned to the race in September of ’92, voters at first were not happy but he quickly gained steam as the election drew closer.
On the night of the election, Clinton took in 43% of the vote compared to 37.4% for Bush and 18.9% for Perot. The electoral college is where Clinton’s victory was most significant. He took 370 of the votes compared to 168 for Bush, ending 12 years in which a Republican was president.