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The effect of a Dick Lamm Third Party Run in 1988?

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New Left Wing Political Queers-Micheal Moran
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In 1985 Dick Lamm wrote a book which follows this plot;
In 1985, while still in the governor's office, he tried his hand as a novelist. The resulting novel, 1988, was a story about a former Democratic governor of Texas running for U.S. President on a populist, third-party ticket, declaring himself a "progressive conservative." The main character bore a number of similarities to Lamm himself, in his stated political positions, his background as a Democratic governor, as well as presaging Lamm's own unsuccessful run for the Reform Party nomination in 1996. However, the main character in 1988 was also portrayed as a pawn of an international conspiracy to capture the White House.
Now what if Lamm decides to do a Third Party bid on a “Progressive Conservative” platform. If he does it effectively he could cause Micheal Dukakis some trouble. And would be the effects on American politics afterwards.
 

Elektronaut

No Joy For Brian Munich
Major third party bid voters in recent decades have usually second preferenced the two main candidates relatively equally.

Unlike four years later 1988 was really very much not a good year for a major third party run. They're usually just as much if not more so a product of the national picture as a product of the relative merits of the third party candidate themselves. Four years ago for example, the two main candidates were historically unpopular. If similar factors had been big in 1988 then Ron Paul would probably have done a lot better.
 

Time Enough

New Left Wing Political Queers-Micheal Moran
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If similar factors had been big in 1988 then Ron Paul would probably have done a lot better.
Hmm, interesting. I guessing that for any Third Party ticket to work in 1988, I guess you would have to a George H.W.Bush being named as being more involved in Iran-Contra affair etc. And the Democrats deciding to involve Jesse Jackson more.

This would probably allow for a vacuum that a third party could take upon. I think Dick Lamm would have the same amount of appeal as Ron Paul so things could be interesting.
 

BClick

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Major third party bid voters in recent decades have usually second preferenced the two main candidates relatively equally.

Unlike four years later 1988 was really very much not a good year for a major third party run. They're usually just as much if not more so a product of the national picture as a product of the relative merits of the third party candidate themselves. Four years ago for example, the two main candidates were historically unpopular. If similar factors had been big in 1988 then Ron Paul would probably have done a lot better.
There was no recession in 1988, but was either candidate all that popular? Dukakis certainly wasn't. Lamm, while cranky in his own ways, was selling a platform not unlike Perot's and would probably appeal to a broader swath of the public than Ron Paul did. Not enough to shake the world or even change the result much, but I could see him posting Nader 2000 or Anderson 1980 results. The failure of a similar platform could dissuade Perot from running in the next cycle.

Lamm would probably campaign on balanced budgets (already an issue in The Discourse and a contributor to the Gingrich wave) and on anti-immigration sentiment. As far as I know, outside of the Southwest immigration wasn't yet the totemic issue it became in the 2000s; could Lamm bring it into the mainstream earlier than OTL?
 

Elektronaut

No Joy For Brian Munich
There was no recession in 1988, but was either candidate all that popular? Dukakis certainly wasn't. Lamm, while cranky in his own ways, was selling a platform not unlike Perot's and would probably appeal to a broader swath of the public than Ron Paul did. Not enough to shake the world or even change the result much, but I could see him posting Nader 2000 or Anderson 1980 results. The failure of a similar platform could dissuade Perot from running in the next cycle.

Lamm would probably campaign on balanced budgets (already an issue in The Discourse and a contributor to the Gingrich wave) and on anti-immigration sentiment. As far as I know, outside of the Southwest immigration wasn't yet the totemic issue it became in the 2000s; could Lamm bring it into the mainstream earlier than OTL?
Bush started off with relatively high disaproval, while Dukakis gained relatively high disaproval as the campign went along, but relative to the period is the word - both ended up around forty percent raw disaproval while still having high net approval, a situation a little 'worse' than standard for candidates of that period but fairly standard over the last few decades, before Trump and Clinton. It's certainly not close to as bad as Trump and Clinton polled.

92 didn't just have the recession, it had a backgroud of a lot of political scandals such as the House banking scandal and Keating Five, and a pronounced anti-incumbent and anti-establishment mood which lingered on for much of the decade. You also had both party's Cold War coalitions beginning to break down. None of this was in place four years earlier.

Nader numbers seems possible to me but Anderson numbers I think are at the very optimistic end of what's possible. If he can manage Nader numbers, though, then I imagine it's almost certain the grassroots deficit obsessives who saw Perot as the man on a white horse will turn to Lamm first in 92. With one presidential race behind him and actual political and electoral experience, Lamm would ostensibly be much better suited to a campaign than Perot, who was so pig-headedly amateurish and unprofessional at running his campaign he was inadvertently self-sabotaging it. I don't think he'd win but he might do a bit better than Perot. A Lamm third party might have a little better prospects long-term without Perot's OTL interest in dictatorial control of a personality vehicle, assuming Lamm doesn't show similar tendencies.
 

Time Enough

New Left Wing Political Queers-Micheal Moran
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Nader numbers seems possible to me but Anderson numbers I think are at the very optimistic end of what's possible. If he can manage Nader numbers, though, then I imagine it's almost certain the grassroots deficit obsessives who saw Perot as the man on a white horse will turn to Lamm first in 92. With one presidential race behind him and actual political and electoral experience, Lamm would ostensibly be much better suited to a campaign than Perot, who was so pig-headedly amateurish and unprofessional at running his campaign he was inadvertently self-sabotaging it. I don't think he'd win but he might do a bit better than Perot. A Lamm third party might have a little better prospects long-term without Perot's OTL interest in dictatorial control of a personality vehicle, assuming Lamm doesn't show similar tendencies.
That was my thinking, Lamm seemed to be a lot more coherent than Perot any day and yeah, I doubt he would win, but his decent numbers and Populist energy means the project could work in the long run. Also he’s less likely to assume dictatorial powers and then leave it to Pat Buchanan. Also I see Lamm’s group also not having the problem of being too broad for it’s own good like the Reform Party. Generally it would be the place for the Angus King’s, Jesse Ventura’s and the Budget Deficit Wonks.

Also Anti-Immigration combined with Anti-NAFTA stuff would be something.
 
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Elektronaut

No Joy For Brian Munich
Also I see Lamm’s group also not having the problem of being too broad for it’s own good like the Reform Party. Generally it would be the place for the Angus King’s, Jesse Ventura’s and the Budget Deficit Wonks.
That's basically the Reform Party IOTL.

There's fundamentally no coherence to a catch-all populist party so the underlying bedrock stability isn't really there. It's an inherent problem with this kind of party which a Lamm venture would also have. The only reason I give Lamm a better shot at it than Perot is his political seasoning and also the fact that he's clearly someone with a strong interest in a third party for its own sake.
 

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New Left Wing Political Queers-Micheal Moran
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There's fundamentally no coherence to a catch-all populist party so the underlying bedrock stability isn't really there. It's an inherent problem with this kind of party which a Lamm venture would also have. The only reason I give Lamm a better shot at it than Perot is his political seasoning and also the fact that he's clearly someone with a strong interest in a third party for its own sake.
Yeah, I could see him pushing for having the party taking part in campaigns outside of Presidential campaigns unlike the Reform Party. I could see a few congressmen, Governors and maybe an occasional senator (or they support an indepdent like Angus King). I could also see the avoidance of the late stage period of the Reform Party in which you see the appearance of Pat Buchanan etc.

If Lamm is smart, you could see a Progressive Conservative party managing to stay around the 2000's which could be interesting.
 

Catalunya

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I feel like any centrist populist party formed around this time would eventually turn in to a far-right party as most of the backers of Perot’s movement were already on the far-right and Lamm similarly had views which appealed to those groups.
 

Time Enough

New Left Wing Political Queers-Micheal Moran
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I feel like any centrist populist party formed around this time would eventually turn in to a far-right party as most of the backers of Perot’s movement were already on the far-right and Lamm similarly had views which appealed to those groups.
Hmm, true. It's a coin flip whether it stays a weird wonky 'Centrist' Party or becomes a Proto-Tea Party during the 2000's.
 
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