George H. W. Bush


Whom did Bush defeat in the general election?

Bush defeated Michael Dukakis, the governor of Massachusetts. Dukakis had an early lead in the polls, but the Bush campaign team did an effective job of attacking their opponent as soft on crime and too liberal for much of middle America. The Bush team ran the infamous “Willie Horton” ad, linking Dukakis’s support of weekend passes for felons with the story of a Massachusetts inmate who had committed a violent crime while on a weekend furlough. The ad was effective, and Bush won the election in an electoral vote landslide, 426 to 111.


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