Al Gore presidential campaign, 1988

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Al Gore campaigned for President of the United States as a Democratic candidate in the 1988 presidential election, against Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Dick Gephardt, Paul Simon, Jesse Jackson, and Michael Dukakis (who eventually won the Democratic nomination). Despite eventual defeat, Gore (with a strong third place) was one of the front-runners that year.

Al Gore, Vice President of the United States, official portrait 1994.jpg This article is part of a series about
Al Gore
  • Campaign for the Presidency, 1988

Al Gore's Signature

Seal of the Vice President of the United States.svg


On 11 April 1987, Senator Gore of Tennessee announced his candidacy. He stated that he believed he could offer, "clearer goals" than the other candidates.[1] 47th Texas Governor, Republican Rick Perry, who at the time was a Democrat, campaigned for Gore during the primaries.[2] During the Democratic debate, Gore argued that his foreign policy platform was different from his rivals, but they disagreed. " 'I reject Gore's efforts to try to pin labels,' Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri told reporters after the event." [3] At the time of the announcement, Senator Gore was 39 years old, making him the "youngest serious Presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy." [4] Gore was further described by the New York Times as:


According to CNN, Gore ran his campaign as, "a Southern centrist, [who] opposed federal funding for abortion. He favored a moment of silence for prayer in the schools and voted against banning the interstate sale of handguns."[5] In addition, CNN notes, "in 1988, for the first time, 12 Southern states would hold their primaries on the same day, Super Tuesday. Gore thought he would be the only Southern candidate. He had not counted on Jesse Jackson."[5]

Gore began to criticize Jackson for his Mid-East policies.[6] In particular, "Albert Gore Jr. assailed Mr. Jackson's foreign policy views yesterday and said he was 'dismayed' by Mr. Jackson's 'embrace of Arafat and Castro'." [7] Jackson responded by stating that, "The issue is not whether the Israelis and Palestinians are moral equivalents. Both of them are human beings and both are trapped in the cycle of death and pain. And they are trapped in the cycle of mutual annihilation. I wanted to offer leadership that will move from mutual annihilation to coexistence to break the cycle of death." [7] Gore was heavily criticized for his attacks against both Jackson and Dukakis.[8] Jackson also retracted some of his previous statements.[9]

Jackson defeated Gore in the South Carolina Primary, winning, "more than half the total vote, three times that of his closest rival here, Senator Albert Gore Jr. of Tennessee." [10] Gore next placed great hope on Super Tuesday[5] where they split the Southern vote: Jackson winning Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia; Gore winning Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Nevada, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.[11] [12]

Dropping out

Gore was later endorsed by New York Mayor Ed Koch, who made statements in favor of Israel and against Jackson. These statements further cast Gore in a negative light. [5] The endorsement led voters away from Gore who only received 10% of the vote in the New York Primary. Gore then dropped out of the race.[11] The New York Times argued that he lost support due to his attacks against Jackson, Dukakis, and others, as well as for his endorsement by Koch.[13]

Gore was eventually able to mend fences with Jesse Jackson, who supported the Clinton-Gore ticket in 1992 and 1996, and who also campaigned for the Gore-Lieberman ticket during the 2000 presidential election.[14][15] Gore's policies changed substantially in 2000, reflecting his eight years as Vice President.[16]

Statewide contest won

South: Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma[17]

Outside the South: Nevada, Wyoming[17]

Popular vote position

  • Dukakis - 9,898,750 (42.51%)
  • Jackson - 6,788,991 (29.15%)
  • Gore - 3,185,806 (13.68%)
  • Gephardt - 1,399,041 (6.01%)
  • Simon - 1,082,960 (4.65%)[18]



United States Senators

Lieutenant Governors

State House Speakers



  2. "Michele Bachmann says Rick Perry co-chaired Al Gore's presidential campaign". PolitiFact Texas. Austin American-Statesman. 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2013-01-08. Perry indeed endorsed Gore for president, but he did not hold a campaign leadership post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gore's Foreign Policy Not as Different as He Says, Rivals
  4. 4.0 4.1 Warren Weaver Jr. (January 21, 1988). "Gore as Candidate: Traveler Between 2 Worlds". New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The first presidential run
  6. Gore Assails Dukakis Over Jackson
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gore Assails Jackson on View of Israel
  8. ON MY MIND; Gore In the Big City
  9. Jackson Seeks To Soften Stand On Middle East
  10. Jackson's Triumph in South Carolina Illustrates Dramatic Change Since Vote in '84
  11. 11.0 11.1 Albert A. Gore, Jr., 45th Vice President (1993-2001)
  13. This Gore Campaign, and the Next
  14. Jesse Jackson endorses Gore for president
  15. God bless Jesse Jackson
  16. Presidential Candidates Stances on the Issues
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Elections". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Our Campaigns - US President - D Primaries Race - Feb 01, 1988
  19. 19.0 19.1 Our Campaigns - GA US President - D Primary Race - Mar 08, 1988
  20. Our Campaigns - LA US President - D Primary Race - Mar 08, 1988
  21. Our Campaigns - OK US President - D Primary Race - Mar 08, 1988
  22. Our Campaigns - TX US President - D Primary Race - Mar 08, 1988
  23. Our Campaigns - Candidate - James E. "Jim" Folsom, Jr
  24. 24.0 24.1 Our Campaigns - AL US President - D Primary Race - Mar 08, 1988
  25. Our Campaigns - Candidate - James S. Clark

External links