Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science




presidential, campaign, elections, chapter, considered


Presidential campaigns in America symbolize change, excitement, and democratic tradition. Although undeniably distinctive from one another, presidential races today nevertheless mirror decades of reoccurring patterns. Yet in a nation that has experienced a colorful history of presidential campaigns, why does the 1992 presidential race deserve particular attention? The election of 1992 between George H. W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton exists as a watershed in American politics. Whereas other presidential elections should be considered unique to one another, 1992 should be considered both unique and unusual. This thesis presents a two-pronged argument: First, 1992 was unique and modernized the presidential campaign; and second, the winning candidate and campaign should be considered as a model for electoral success. The structure of this thesis unfolds in four major sections, beginning with a literature review. The literature review exposes the distinction of the election as well as its winning candidate, Bill Clinton. The second chapter identifies what exactly are the novelties in the 1992 campaign and how did they modernize elections as a whole? The third chapter should be read as a formula for campaign success; Clinton’s initial run for president provides answers to common dilemmas that rise in presidential elections. The fourth chapter tests the central claims of this thesis and applies them to the 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections. Doing so reveals what is perhaps the most poignant aspect of Clinton’s ’92 campaign: its longevity.