The West Wing presidential election, 1998


The West Wing presidential election, 1998

Infobox Election
election_name = The West Wing presidential election, 1998
country = United States
type = presidential
ongoing = no
previous_election =
previous_year =
next_election = The West Wing presidential election, 2002
next_year = 2002
election_date = November 3, 1998


nominee2 = Unknown
party2 = Republican Party (United States)
home_state2 = Unknown
running_mate2 = Unknown
electoral_vote2 = 235
states_carried2 = N/A
popular_vote2 = N/A
percentage2 = ≥48%


nominee1 = Josiah Bartlet
party1 = Democratic Party (United States)
home_state1 = New Hampshire
running_mate1 = John Hoynes
electoral_vote1 = 303
states_carried1 = N/A+DC
popular_vote1 = ≈48,000,000
percentage1 = ≈48%
title = President
before_election = Unknown
before_party = Republican Party (United States)
after_election = Josiah Bartlet
after_party = Democratic Party (United States)

In the 1998 Presidential election was a fictional event which preceded the first season of the West Wing. In the election Governor Josiah Bartlet was put up against an unspecified Republican opponent and won 303-235 in the electoral tally while only receiving approximately 48% of the popular vote.The West Wing, Series One Episode "Let Bartlet be Bartlet"] The outcomes of at least seven states are definitively known, however.fact|date=August 2008 It is known that Bartlet was victorious in California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Oregon and more likely than not, New Hampshire due to the fact it was his own home state. It is also known that Bartlet's unknown Republican counterpart won the states of Texas, Maine and the Dakotas.fact|date=August 2008

Democratic Nomination

Democratic Candidates:
*Former New Hampshire Governor and Congressman Josiah Bartlet
*Senate Majority Leader John Hoynes
*Washington Senator William Wiley
*Several other unspecified candidates

In the Fall of 1997, it appeared almost certain that Senate Majority Leader John Hoynes would easily become the Democratic nominee for President. In fact, a poll taken in late October showed him leading by 48 points over any of his other challengers. However, after Hoynes won in the Iowa Caucus as expected, with Wiley finishing in second and Bartlet finishing a surprising third, Bartlet won an easy victory in New Hampshire. The race then turned to South Carolina where Bartlet astonished many people throughout the country when he finished in second place behind Hoynes and ahead of Wiley. Wiley then dropped out, but it is not clear whether he endorsed Bartlet or Hoynes at this point.

Leading up to Super Tuesday, Bartlet split remaining contests in South Dakota, Vermont and Maine with Hoynes. On Super Tuesday, Hoynes swept through the South as expected and Bartlet took the Northern tier states as well as the Pacific Northwest. The next week, Bartlet won a pivotal victory in the Illinois primary, giving him momentum to wrap up the nomination in the following weeks with wins in California and New York.

Following his nomination as the Democratic candidate for President, Bartlet named Hoynes as his running mate.

Unclear electoral map

:"This section assumes that the 1998 Election was held under the redistricting stipulations laid out by the 1990 Census."

The electoral map of this election is not exactly clear. During the course of the seven seasons, a number of facts about the 1998 election are stated. Bartlet was elected President with 48% of the popular vote, and in total received 48 million popular votes [The West Wing, Series Episode "Memorial Day"] .

It is mentioned several times during the 2006 election campaign that Bartlet had carried California (54 electoral votes), as no Republican had carried that state since the 1980s.fact|date=August 2008 We know that Bartlet carried Florida and its 25 electoral votes [The West Wing, Series Two Episode "18th and Potomac"] , Georgia (13 electoral votes) [The West Wing, Series Four Episode "Debate Camp"] , Indiana (12 electoral votes) [The West Wing, Series Three Episode "Ways and Means"] , and Oregon and it's 7 electoral votes by just 10,000 votes [The West Wing, Series Two Episode "Galileo"] . He probably also carried the Bellwether state of Missouri and its 11 electoral votes and his home state of New Hampshire.fact|date=August 2008 It is also highly probable that Bartlet carried the state of Rhode Island and its 4 electoral votes due to its heavily Catholic demographic.fact|date=August 2008 Also likely is DC and its 3 Electoral Votes.fact|date=August 2008 The state of West Virginia can also be inferred to have gone in Bartlet's column (5 electoral votes), because while results were pouring in on Election Night 2006, and West Virginia went to Vinick, it was mentioned that West Virginia had been traditionally Democratic before then.fact|date=August 2008 These states would give Bartlet 171 electoral votes.

Bartlet lost in Texas when he states he was "whomped in Texas twice-during the Primary and again in the General election" [The West Wing, Series One Episode "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"] . John Hoynes stated that he had "delivered the south" in the election [The West Wing, Series One Episode "Enemies"] but this has been taken by many to assume that Bartlet carried Texas because it was Hoynes' home state. The other states we know for certain that Bartlet lost where Maine and its 4 electoral votes [The West Wing, Series Four Episode "The Red Mass"] , also both of the Dakotas,The West Wing, Series Four Episode "Process Stories"] and Louisiana. It is strongly implied he lost both Colorado [The West Wing, Series Seven Episode "Welcome to Whoever You Are"] and New Mexico. [The West Wing, Series Seven Episode "Election Day, Part One"] Also, it is all but virtually certain that Bartlet lost the states of Utah (5 electoral votes), Idaho (4 electoral votes)and Wyoming (3 electoral votes), given that these states are perhaps the most reliably Republican states in the nation.fact|date=August 2008 Indeed these three states voted Republican four years later during Bartlet's landslide re-election so they almost certainly went to the Republican Candidate in this election. Five other states went to the Republicans four years later which again are traditional Republican states these are Alabama(9 electoral votes), Oklahoma (8 electoral votes), Mississippi (7 electoral votes), Kansas (6 electoral votes), and Alaska (3 electoral votes).fact|date=August 2008

This leaves Bartlet on 171 electoral votes and his Republican opponent on 109 electoral votes with 258 votes un-known. Bartlet would require a further 132 electoral votes and the Republican 126 electoral votes to reach the stated final Electoral College totals.

References


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