Washburn political scientist reflects on Perot’s campaigns in Kansas

The death of Ross Perot on Tuesday, a billionaire who ran for President twice and had a major effect on the 1992 election, gives a Washburn University political scientist an opportunity to reflect on his successes and failures.

“What was amazing was how well he connected with a large number of voters and did so well in 1992, especially in some states, like Kansas,” said Bob Beatty. “It really was an amazing phenomenon.”

Perot finished a strong third in Kansas in 1992, with nearly 27 percent of the vote. He was lampooned fairly easily, though.

“Saturday Night Live just had a field day with Ross Perot,” said Beatty. “Even looking back now, the Dana Carvey impersonations were absolutely hilarious.”

Perot supporters can also look back to what might have been.

“Ross Perot also had some self-destructive aspects to his political career,” said Beatty. “He was actually doing quite well during the Presidential campaign and then he abruptly quit and later re-entered the race and then came back in 1996.”

Perot even received over 8 percent of the Kansas vote in 1996, despite favorite son Bob Dole’s presence on the ballot for the Republicans.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia via Allen Warren