The Building Blocs of Victory

Fending off Michael Dukakis' belated counterattack, George Bush evoked Harry Truman's name almost as often as Ronald Reagan's. Bush was hardly coy about his reason. "My pitch here in the last days," he said in Louisville, "is to those good Democrats, the rank and file, the Silent Majority. There is a presidential candidate this year representing your vision of America."

That appeal worked just well enough to boost Bush to a respectable majority, although Dukakis did better than expected among Democrats who had voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984. According to the NBC-Wall Street Journal Election Day poll, Bush captured just...

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