I think if Pat Buchanan would have won the Presidential nomination in 1996, Republicans would of been blown out worse. Ross Perot might have even done better. Pat Buchanan is kind of on the fringe of the right wing side of the Republican Party. Most people like candidates who are middle of the road, or at least politicians who fake like they are middle of the road.
I do not believe Pat Buchanan would have won the presidential race in 1996 if he had won the Republican nomination. Buchanan wasn't even close to wining the nomination, so assuming he won that is a huge stretch of the imagination. He didn't have the support to win, not to mention Clinton himself had a high approval rating going into the election.
Bill Clinton was too popular of an incumbent, so it would not have mattered who the GOP put up against him. The fallout from the government shutdown and the Monica Lewinsky affair damaged the GOP too much. Had Pat Buchanan won the nomination, it would have been because too many independent voters abandoned the GOP and Clinton would have won by a larger margin.
Clinton always had a strong lead and probably would have won with Buchanan or Dole running for the Republican nomination, but it was set in stone when Ross Perot ran as a third party candidate and has proven to be the most successful conservative third party candidate in recent memory.
The better man won. Clinton was a good president, the country was in a state that its never been in. The economic downfall had yet to happen and if Buchanan came into office, I don't think he could have done the same.Clinton was too far liked by the country, he wouldn't have beat him,but he never ran for a reason, maybe he knew that.