The Public Interest

Head count

Joshua Abramowitz

Winter 1993

DESPITE then-Governor Clinton’s solid lead in the weeks leading up to the 1992 election, it seemed unwise to have too much confidence in the polls. There was the matter of H.  Ross Perot’s rising, falling, and again-rising fortunes: One never knew from which of his adversaries he would draw more support. Meanwhile, Clinton’s lead, though substantial, was shaky: Voters were often more anxious to cast an anti-Bush vote than to endorse the Democratic challenger. Pundits’ predictions spread out across the spectrum. Some said that the polls were underestimating a Clinton landslide. Still others awaited a “Major miracle,” whereby the polls underestimate the strength of a conservative candidate, á la Britain’s election of Prime Minister John Major last year.

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