Presidential Politics And Election Returns
Last Updated July 14, 2003
Missouri's peculiar balance of North and South, urban and rural, has helped to make it a presidential bellwether and explains its one deviation in the 20th century: it voted for Adlai Stevenson in 1956, who capitalized on farmer discontent and whose lukewarmness about civil rights helped him carry traditional Southern Democrats. In the 1990s Missouri saw the two countervailing national trends--toward Democrats in major metropolitan areas, toward Republicans in rural areas--but in different proportions: the rural areas count for more here. Bill Clinton carried Missouri by 10% in 1992 and by 7% in 1996. In 2000 Al Gore could carry only a handful of counties outside Missouri's two big metropolitan areas, and lost by a 3% margin. Issues like gun control and abortion, which worked for him in the largest states, worked against him in Missouri. Blacks voted 84%-14% for Gore--a lesser margin than in many states--while white Protestants voted 59%-39% and white Catholics 56%-43% for Bush. This seems sure to be a seriously contested state in November 2004.
Missouri joined the Super Tuesday primary for 1988, then went back to multi-tiered caucuses to elect delegates in 1992 and 1996. In 2000 Missouri went back to the Super Tuesday primary, in which George W. Bush and Gore won easy victories, even though Gore's rival Bill Bradley grew up in Jefferson County, Missouri. In 2004 St. Louis's Dick Gephardt will be a heavy favorite in the Missouri primary, which may not be seriously contested by other candidates.
|2000 Presidential Vote|
|2000 Republican Primary|
|2000 Democratic Primary|
|1996 Presidential Vote|
For 1992 and 1996 presidential results in Missouri, please see the Almanac 2000 online.
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