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U.S. Voters Had Mixed Views of Ross Perot

U.S. Voters Had Mixed Views of Ross Perot

Former third-party presidential candidate H. Ross Perot died on July 9, 2016. Perot, a prominent business executive, entered politics in February 1992, when he announced his candidacy for the presidency. Shortly after, in March 1992, Gallup first polled on Americans' views of Perot. At that time, 32% of U.S. registered voters had a favorable view of Perot, 10% unfavorable and 58% had no opinion or did not know who he was.

Line graph. U.S. registered voters’ opinions of former third-party presidential candidate, Ross Perot.

During the several months that followed Perot's announcement of his candidacy, the percentage of registered voters who viewed him favorably climbed, eventually reaching 52% in June. Perot withdrew from the race in July, before resuming his campaign in September.

His favorability had plummeted, falling to 20% in late September. A strong showing in the presidential debates boasted his image, and by late October his favorable rating had improved to 47% among registered voters, where it stood at the time of the November election. This level of favorability contributed to Perot's receiving one of the highest percentages of the vote of any third-party candidate, 18.9%.

Perot would go on to found the Reform Party in 1995 and run for president again in 1996. In Gallup's first reading of the 1996 election cycle, 38% of U.S. registered voters viewed Perot favorably. This dropped to a low of 27% in September, only to climb back up to a high of 41% in October of that year. Perot was excluded from the 1996 debates because he typically received less than 10% of support from voters in presidential preference polls.

At the time of the election, 38% of registered voters held a favorable view of Perot, while 47% had an unfavorable view of him. Perot received 8% of the popular vote and following this, did not run for office again.

The percentage of registered voters who viewed Perot favorably declined after the election, and in Gallup's last reading on him, in March 2000, 28% viewed him favorably, while 62% had an unfavorable opinion.

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