CNN/TIME AllPolitics Vote '96

Bob Dole Bill Clinton

Inside The Machine

Get a fly-on-the-wall view inside the Clinton and Dole campaigns from TIME's Richard Stengel and Eric Pooley, just part of the TIME Election Special. After Bill Clinton won re-election, he and challenger Bob Dole talked privately on the phone, and TIME was there. Here are exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of that moment and more from photographers Diana Walker and P.F. Bentley.

National Election Summary

National Exit Poll

Voter's Voice: The Peoples' Choice

Top Story

The 1996 presidential election didn't have much suspense, which voter turnout, lowest in more than a century, confirmed. But the election also confirmed the end of the 20-year-old notion of campaign spending limits. President Bill Clinton showed 1992 was no fluke, and his year-long tutorial on how to run a re-election campaign picked the lock which many thought the Republicans had on the Electoral College.

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When all was said and done in the House, not much had changed. The Republicans entered the election with a slight majority, and emerged with one even more slim -- the smallest since the GOP had a 10-seat margin in 1952. But a wee majority's all the GOP needs, and the chamber is theirs for the next two years.

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No one knew for sure going into election night who would control the Senate, but the GOP nailed down some Southern seats left vacant by retiring Democrats, and Democrats could not make up the difference elsewhere. Net result: The GOP increased its majority, but it is far from veto-proof.

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News Plus

While the nation was glued to the election returns, life went on and news happened elsewhere. Check out Women With The Power, where the Gandhi money went and why third-party candidates went nowhere.

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New Hampshire got its first female governor, and Washington state became the first mainland state to elect an Asian-American to run the state. Overall, the gubernatorial balance remained the same once the 11 governors' races were over: 32 Republicans, 17 Democrats and 1 independent.

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Ballot Measures

No overriding themes in this year's many ballot initiatives. Highlights: A California measure ended state and local affirmative action programs; California and Arizona voters voted to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes; Colorado voters rejected a "parents' rights" state constitutional amendment and an attempt to have nonprofits pay property taxes.

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