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Graphs in the Presidential Campaign: Why Weren't They Used by More Than One Candidate?

Wainer, Howard
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Data Analysis, Graphical Analysis, Graphs, Perot, Ross


The author notes Ross Perot's mostly effective use of graphs in the 1992 campaign and asks why neither of the other two presidential candidates used graphs in their campaigns. After analyzing and slightly altering two of Mr. Perot's illustrative graphs on 1992 expenditures and entitlements, the author concludes that the graphs effectively illustrated his point--that Social Security and Medicare expenses would need to be cut to significantly decrease the national debt. The author further concludes, that this is a point the other two candidates were afraid to make, and that, ironically, it is precisely because the graphs were too clear that George Bush and Bill Clinton declined to use them.

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