As a native Nevadan, this is probably my favorite game ever. It was done the hard way. 'Hard' w/Laxalt/Bush against Dukakis/Simon, no cheats.
Since I started out with only $100k, my only goal was to win NV in the primaries. I was conservative in my spending, only running one newspaper ad on leadership in NV and barnstorming it like mad until I pulled out a huge lead. Then since there was time before the first primaries, I started targeting IA and KS and obtained huge leads there. For a moment, I mused with the idea of winning some key primary states and getting enough delegates to vie for VP. Lastly, I targeted Michigan, but was unable to pull it off in time and Bush won, although I narrowed the gap to about a few percentage points.
With Bush the leader, my polls declining in KS and the loss in Michigan, I abandoned any minute hope of winning but played on. Everyone started endorsing Bush early on. Nevertheless, I won Iowa and Nevada by huge margins, and having shut Robertson out of an early primary victory, he endorsed me. The momentum of these wins and the Robertson endorsement led me to securing another endorsement from Fernandez and winning OH, FL, MD, MS & NC on super tuesday. Despite these big upsets, I stood at 445 projected delegates and Bush at over 1,700 - there was no realistic path to winning.
I was wrong, I won Bush's childhood home of CT and began polling ahead in CA, and tying in NJ and WI. Bush still had momentum and won IA, CO and DE, by no means was he in trouble. I won WI and he won NY and we went back and forth. He received Rumsfeld's endorsement which left just Bush and I to duke it out. Then I won AZ, UT & PA and pulled ahead of him in projected delegates with 1115 to 1112! I still didn't think I could pull it out because he was still polling at over 50% and me at only 44% and he had secured more delegates then I had. I had to win virtually every remaining state to steal victory from him and swept IN, NE, WV, AR & OR! Idaho the following week marked Bush's last stand but I beat him there and swept the remaining states, securing the nomination with big victories in California and New Jersey on June 7, 1988.
Not wasting anytime, I made Bush my VP and shifted towards my general election strategy. I was already dominating in the polls and targeted predominately liberal states while maintaining my core theme of Leadership, Iran-Contra and the Soviet Union. I never allowed Dukakis a chance, hitting him with scandals, non stop advertising and forcing him to defend strongholds like MA, RI & NY. I reached a pre-election high of 59.2% 2 weeks out and narrowed D.C. to just a few percent the day before election. Nevertheless, Dukakis expanded his lead in D.C. and I expanded my lead nationally, winning every other state and nearly 60% of the popular vote. Reagan's dream of being succeeded by NV's favorite son became a reality.