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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 6, 1996)
CLINTON from page 1
electoral votes he won in 1992, and he
was close to the majority vote that
eluded him in 1992.
With 75 percent of the national vote
counted, Clinton was at 50 percent,
Dole 42 and Perot 8 percent. The presi
dent asked his Little Rock rally to ap
plaud Dole and his running mate, Jack
Kemp, and they did so.
“I wish him well, and I pledge my
support,” Dole said in conceding the
race, hushing supporters who booed
Clinton’s name. Dole and other Repub
lican leaders took solace in returns sug
gesting that voters would keep the Con
gress in GOP hands even as they gave
Clinton four more years.
“We’re going to keep the Senate,
we’re going to keep the House,” Dole
Turnout declined in some states,
and exit polls suggested that less than
half the American electorate voted.
Voter News Service projected that 49
percent of the voting-age population
cast ballots, which would be the low
est voter turnout since 1924.
There were 34 Senate races on the
ballot. Republicans won 19 of those to
hold their majority and led for two
more. Democrats won 13. If those num
bers held up, Republican ranks would
grow by one seat to 54.
Republicans entered the election
with 236 House seats. They won 206
on Tuesday and and were leading for
22 more — enough for a slim major
ity. Democrats won 182 seats and led
for 23 more.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Loti
said Republicans were willing to work
with Clinton on balancing the budget
and tax cuts for families—but voiced
skepticism that Clinton would follow
through on his election-year conserva
“He talks about how the era of big
government is over,” Lott told The
Associated Press. “We’d like to help
him keep his word cm that, keep the
government smaller and smarter.” In a
sobering note for Clinton, Lott prom
ised tough investigations of question
able Democratic fund-raising from for
Dole’s concession was also a fare
well of sorts, his last speech as a can
didate. It ended a remarkable political
career that included 35 years in Con
gress and a record 12 years as the Sen
ate Republican leader. “Tomorrow will
be the first time in my life I don’t have
anything to do,” Dole said.
Reform Party candidate Ross Perot
was a distant third everywhere and well
below the 19 percent he won in 1992.
He conceded defeat but was not ready
to fade into the shadows.
“We are going to have to stand at
the gate and keep the pressure cm, and
we will,” Perot said in Texas, looking
ahead —perhaps to 2000.
Victories in 30 states and the Dis
trict of Columbia gave Clinton 375
electoral votes—well above the nec
essary 270 and more than the 370 he
claimed in defeating George Bush in
1992. An electoral landslide assured,
Clinton had one last hope for the night:
that Perot’s candidacy would not cost
him a majority of the popular vote.
Clinton was already weighing Cabi
net changes as he plotted a second-term
agenda and looked for his place in his
tory. He promised to continue peace
making efforts in the Middle East,
Bosnia and Northern Ireland and to
push for campaign finance reform.
Republicans hoped for a milestone,
of their own: Not since 1930 has the
GOP won both chambers of Congress
in consecutive elections.
It was a victory by Republican Tim
Hutchinson in Clinton’s Arkansas that
assured the GOP of keeping its Senate
majority. One incumbent Republican
senator lost: Larry Pressler of South
Dakota, who lost to Democratic Rep.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich cel
ebrated his own re-election in Georgia.
The breadth of Clinton’s victory
was sobering news to Republicans who
once held an Electoral College advan
tage based on strength in the South,
Plains and Mountain West.
Clinton began the big night by be
coming the first Democrat to win
Florida in 20 years and hours later got
the Pacific West sweep that guaranteed
an electoral landslide.
Dole monitored the results from his
Watergate apartment before calling
Clinton to offer congratulations. He
then headed to a Republican gathering.
Ohio delivered a telling early blow to
Dole’s upset hopes: no Republican has
ever won the White House without
winning that state.
Clinton went on to an industrial belt
sweep, winning New Jersey, Pennsyl
vania, Michigan and Illinois. Wiscon
sin, Iowa and Minnesota added to
Clinton’s Midwest rout. The border
states of Missouri, Kentucky and Ten
nessee, home state of Vice President
A1 Gore, also were in the Democratic
column, as was Clinton’s Arkansas.
Arizona and New Mexico brought
good news from the Southwest; Loui
siana from the South.
Clinton carried the six New En
gland states and rolled through New
York, Maryland, Delaware, West Vir
ginia and the District of Columbia.
California, Oregon and Washington
continued the rout.
Dole and Jack Kemp, on the other
hand, carried 14 states with a combined
129 electoral votes. Dole’s wins came
in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana,
Alabama, Wyoming, Mississippi,
North Carolina, Nebraska, Texas,
Utah, Idaho, Virginia, South Carolina
and his native Kansas—all states car
ried by George Bush against Clinton
GOP: Clinton should constrain agenda this term
Sen. Majority Leader
TVent Lott slays voters
want president to avoid
“big government and
big taxes” program.
Clinton sails into a second term that is
distinctly different from the first. His
initial task: shake up his administration
and try to build momentum for a mod
est agenda built around limited tax cuts.
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott,
R-Miss., predicted Clinton’s reach
would be limited again by divided gov
ernment, with at least- die Senate re
maining in GOP control. . .
Lott asserted that voters want to
make sure that die president “doesn’t
return to the old Bill Clinton of big
government and big taxes.”
Four years ago, Clinton promised
an explosive opening tohis presidency,
an action-packed first 100 days. It was
a disaster, marred by controversies
over gays in the military, embarrass
ing appointments and a focus on lib
eral abortion policies.
This time, Clinton is not trying to
bring sweeping change to Washington.
His agenda is limited, restrained by
budget problems and the more conser
vative mood of voters.
“Both the president and the Repub
licans felt obliged to move toward the
center,” said Brookings Institution
presidential scholar Thomas Mann.
“The public sent a Signal and they lis
‘s; There was no mandate in the elec
tion for big change. Clinton did not
seek cue. The president and Congress
seem inclined toward more gradual
problem-solving. Clinton will move
swiftly to make a gesture of bipartisan
ship toward Republicans disappointed
over Bob Dole’s overwhelming defeat.
A Cabinet reshuffling is afoot, with
Defense Secretary William Perry, Sec
retary of State Warren Christopher and
Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary said
to be ready to leave. Clinton might find
room for a GOP official high in his
“The message for his agenda is that
he has to be bipartisan,” said Dick
Morris, Clinton’s former political strat
egist who resigned in a sex scandal.
“He has to form a national government,
not a Democratic government. He
needs to reach out to Republicans, put
some in his Cabinet and bring the leg
islative leaders of both parties into his
“That way,” Morris said, “he can
use the Republicans to avoid being cap
tured by the left wing of his own party.”
One possibility: Ask Dole to head
a bipartisan commission charged with
finding a way to keep Medicare from
In Congress a top priority will be
campaign finance reform. Both sides
claim they want changes but it will be
an explosive issue.
Angry Republicans want to embar
rass Clinton with investigations of the
Democrats’ questionable fund-raising
among foreign donors. The adminis
tration is ready to accuse Republicans
of foot-dragging if they balk at legis
lation to ban political action commit
tee contributions to all federal candi
dates and end unlimited “soft money”
donations to political parties.
Even with impressive victories in
Republican states such as Florida,
Clinton cannot claim a mandate to take
big steps. There was no burning issue
in the campaign, no single problem that
troubled the nation.
The future holds no grand schemes
like the massive health insurance pro
gram that Clinton attempted in his first
term, or the fiery Republican revolu
tion that the GOP promised when it
captured control of Congress.
The president’s agenda is built
around modest proposals, including tax
breaks to send people to college, help
them buy their first homes and encour
age employers to hire welfare recipi
Norman Omstein, a presidential
analyst at the American Enterprise In
stitute, said: “What it gives him
(Clinton) is no blank check.”
“No matter how many electoral
votes he wins,” Omstein said before
the count was complete, “there’s no
mandate to do anything other than
move slowly and tentatively forward
from this status quo.”
Republican vote sweeps Nebraska
~\bters express optimism,'disappointment after Clinton's re-election
By Josh Funk and Pete
The ir ore things change, the more
they stay the same.
While Nebraska voters sent a Re
publican to the U.S. Senate for the first
time in 24 years Tuesday, they again
favored the Republican presidential
candidate, just as they have in every
election since 1964.
Bob Dole carried the state by a
comfortable margin. Some Lincoln
residents who did not vote for Dole said
they favored President Clinton because
of his proven track record and his ac
complishments in office.
“Clinton has a great personality,
and I like what he has done in office,”
said Mike Gallup, a recent University
of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate.
Other voters were optimistic fol
lowing Clinton’s victory, hoping his
productivity will increase without the
pressure of facing re-election.
“Hopefully without having to be re
elected, he can get scone stuff done,”
Timothy Beukner said. “I want to see
one great thing or lasting effect from
Clinton’s accomplishments in inter
national relations compared to Dole’s
worked in the president’s favor, said
Garry Baker, a graduate political sci
Another Clinton voter said abortion
was an important factor.
“I voted for Clinton because he’s
pro-choice,” Tami Hladik of Lincoln
Dole supporters were skeptical.
“l'm worried about the country,”
said Craig Peters, 45, of Lincoln. “Now
that Clinton’s won, I’m afraid he will
go back to his real liberal roots, know
ing he doesn’t have to face re-election.”
Dole supporter Janet Kleine shared
“There’s going to be a lot of bad
changes the next four years,” Kleine
Ethics also played an important role
for those who chose to vote for Dole
or Reform Party candidate Ross Perot.
“Clinton has to go to court to clear
his name; he still needs to answer sane
questions about Whitewater,” said Pat
McManus, 28, of Lincoln.
UNL College Republicans Presi
dent Chad Pekron said he was sickened
by Clinton’s re-election.
“I’ll be surprised if he serves out
his term, because he is completely un
ethical,” Pekron said.
Reform Party supporters were the
most vocal of the three parties, saying
Perot’s business approach to govern
ment is still attractive.
Perot voter Jeff Morrison liked the
Reform Party’s stance for less govern
“I don’t like career politicians,” he
said, “and I don’t trust them either.”
The issue of trust was also impor
tant to other Reform Party suppoters.
“We need a businessman. I don’t
trust Dole or Clinton,” said Kelly
Lilleholm, 22, of Lincoln. “Basically,
they’re both worthless.”
Voter apathy seen in turnout;
precincts report record lows
apathy prompted declines in turn
out in some states Tuesday, an elec
tion expert found, though how that
could be was a mystery to Randy
Frank, a Maryland Republican,
“If a scandal a week hasn’t
brought people out to the polls, I
give up faith in the people,” said
Frank, 36, a Dole voter from
Turnout appeared heavy in some
places, like a polling place in North
Carolina where voters waited an
hour or more, and Arizona, where
40 voters were lined up at a church
shortly after the polls opened.
“We wanted our votes to be
counted before the polls closed on
the East Coast,” said Jennifer
Pletka, 24, who voted for Dole at a
church in Chandler, Ariz. “We
wanted our votes to matter.”
Election expert Curtis Gans aid
that in the seven states where at least
85 percent of precincts had reported
by early Tuesday night, voter turn
out was lower than it had been in
the 1992 presidential election.
He predicted before the returns
started coming in that just over half
the U.S. electorate — down from
55 percent in the last election —
would cast ballots in this century’s
final presidential election.
Americans are turned off by at
tack ads, consultants telling candi
dates what to say and misaligned
political parties, while television has
urged Americans to become spec
tators in the political process, Gans
Ulycees Thomas, 68, who has
polio, struggled on crutches to his
voting place in Mobile, Ala.
And Kenny Sorensen, 64, who
voted at the rural Saylor Township
fire station north of Des Moines,
Iowa, said he had no sympathy for
those who don’t vote yet complain
about government. ~~ “
“When people sit around and
gripe, I say, 'Did you vote? No?
Then quit your griping.’”
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