Every election cycle, when the talk of a 3rd party candidate comes up, or the Clintons are out there, a popular myth, both used on the right and amazingly, the left too, pops its ugly, baseless head. Rarely is a popular myth so in blatant contradiction of easily accessible facts and data, but also used as a smear attack against someone. That is the myth that Ross Perot "elected" Clinton, "de-elected" Bush Sr. from a second term, or was a spoiler what have you. The myth does have many uses. It seems the press does not want to debunk it (Media Matters seems to be unresponsive to the idea of debunking the myth on their site), and it gets enough credence from some on the left which is why I am making this its own thread. History must not be falsified or rewritten so blatantly, or if it is, then anything can be. Here are the data to show the Perot-lie for what it is.
1. Exit polls from election night 1992, a better method than just saying what one wants to believe, show that Clinton would have won over 50% of the vote absent Perot, and thus in more than 9 in 10 trials, the election.
2. George H.W. Bush's approval ratings in 1992 rivaled Jimmy Carter's in 1980. Both in their election years were not only lower than Reagan 84 and Clinton 96, but lower than Bush 04 and Obama 12. You don't win with under 40% and below approvals.
3. The GOP (and the anti-Clinton fringe left) also leave out that when Perot was not in the race, which was from July to the start of October 1992, Bush Sr. still polled near the 37% that approved of his performance and that he won in the end. Nate Silver, a data and stats expert, also disagrees with the idea that Perot cost Bush tho he does believe he hurt Clinton.
4. Ross Perot was not a conservative like Nader was a liberal or Trump is running as a conservative. Perot was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and against trickle down economics.
The smear against Bill that "he only won because of a 3rd party spoiler" was not only factually incorrect wholly, but very damaging to his presidency and legacy. Without a press-validated mandate, of course health care reform was going to be a problem. It also gave the GOP cover to slime him in the press as well as the media to slime Clinton too with the lies of "Whitewater," and other Bullshit-"gates" because he didn't "win a majority." They've also pushed hard-right policies because the Perot-lie is the impetus to believe this country is to the "right." The Perot lie was also used against Hillary in 2008 by people to her left, and can even be found on places on our side of the fence somehow, probably due to the self-flaggelating tendencies of progressives at times. The Perot myth helped the GOP bring about Monica, which brought about W. Bush.
1992 was absolutely a realigning election to which every Democrat who has won since owes a debt, whoever wins the 2016 nod,, and every Democrat who didn't win still ought to thank for keeping their losses from being landslide losses in the molds of George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis. Kerry and Gore were not very media savvy at all as Obama and Clinton were, but were very gaffe prone. From 1968-1988, IL, CA, NJ, VT, and NH went Republican 6 out of 6 times, MI, DE, ME 5 out of 6 times, PA, CT, ME, MD 4 out of 6 times. Those states alone add up to 156 EVS. All of them except NH have voted Dem 6 for 6 times since 1992 and comprise this "blue wall" that exists now. Before from 1968-1988, the GOP averaged over 400 electoral votes. Since Bill Clinton came along, they average 210, meaning on average they lose. No wonder why the GOP really hates the Clintons. This is why Clinton reformed welfare and was tough on crime. Even for some of the downsides to that, it beat and still beats more GOP presidents any day.
Update: People who try to dispute the Perot-spoiler idea in GOP forums get banned. Why is peddling that myth so tolerated here?? Hell, in those places, you can't even dispute the idea that Kennedy "stole" the 1960 election.
Update II: Somehow, the NY Times is even spreading this lie, even tho an article it links to within the article shows something very contradictory.
Update III Steve Kornacki, according to Twitter, was supposed to shred the lie to pieces on Chris Haye's show tonight per his Twitter but apparently has wasn't able to, tho his twitter shows similar facts as this diary. If that's not good enough for you, then you're just a rabid Green or Republican.
Update IV: Maddow is attacking this lie. Once again, if that's not good enough, get out of the party.
Update V: See Maddow's mention of this.