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Elections in The 70’s


President Richard Nixon told a reporter, “the day McGovern is nominated is the day the election is over.” He was right. Nixon got 60% of the popular vote and 520 electorial votes.

Early Primaries

Muskie, the front runner, wanted the nomination early. He was committed to run in the first eight primaries. Many popular Democratic politicians wanted to endorse him. His strategy called for every day campaigning. He was in a different state every day, but the first primary was not a good surprise to him. He only got 46% of the vote with McGovern close behind with 37%. Richard Nixon did not even enter the state and got 67% of the Republican vote. Since there were 11 names on the democratic ballot no one could win 50% of Florida’s vote. George Wallace took 42%, Senator Humphrey with 18%, Senator Jackson had 13%, Muskie with only 9%, and few noticed McGovern with 6%.

Muskie is Eliminated

The way Muskie was campaigning made it so that he was not able to fail in Wisconsin, but Wallace found a new topic to campaign on, the property tax. McGovern identified the issue but Humphrey and Muskie did not realize the topic and then at the speeches before the primaries in Wisconsin Wallace slapped it to them. McGovern’s campaign organization paid off. He took 30% of the vote. Wallace was next with 22% of the vote . Humphrey third with 20%. Muskie had 10%. Then on April 25 Musky finished fourth and hey left the race with dignity.

Wallace is Shot

In May, a twisted young man named Arthur Bremer came up to Wallace in a shopping center, while he was close to wining the Maryland primary. Bremer shot him four times. Bremer said that he just wanted to shoot someone in order to make himself famous. Wallace was paralyzed from the waist down. While he was sick most of the people that voted for him in the primaries moved to vote for Nixon.

Final Primaries

The poll showed that McGovern was a favorite among the convention delegates. The Democrats were tearing themselves apart. The opening up of the party to blacks and women was started by McGovern. McGovern was tring to get votes from the more liberal people “the marijuana smokers, the draft dodgers, and the creators of riots.” When Californa came up the top candidates were fighting more. Humphrey was being torn apart by McGovern on his ideas of welfare and to cut the budget. McGovern beat Humphrey 44% to 39%, In the midst of all this Nixon was campaigning quietly. He was tied up in the state operations, and his budget for campaigning was up to $45 million. At New Hampshire he was helped by television reports and with his dealings of the Vietnam War.


Five people were arrested after a break in at the Democratic National Committee office headquarters on June 17. The men arrested were loaded with eavesdropping equipment. The men were led by the director of security of the Committee to the Re-elect the President, or the CRP’s, James McCord. John Mitchell, the Committee to Re-elect the President campaign leader, fired McCord immediately. But then he fired G. Gordon Liddy because he did not answer the FBI’s questions. Then Mitchell himself resigned because his wife said that she would leave him if he did not leave politics. Lawrence O’Brien sued the CRP for $1 million. People were also talking that the break in of Watergate was financed by Nixon campaign funds.

The Conventions

McGovern’s campaign was stronger at the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach. But as soon as he was nominated his luck seemed to diminish. McGovern wanted his running mate to be Sen. Kennedy. He said no. He said that he did not have any interest in it. Then Sen. Muskie said no. Sen. Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut, and Gov. Askew of Florida said no also. Then McGovern Settled on Sen. Eagleton of Missouri. Then news came out that he was hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. He had seen a psychyarist, and given shock therapy. Then when McGovern heard the news he did not persuade Eagleton to get off the ticket. But then he started to say to the press that he would release him from the ticket. The press saw that as a way to use them. They started to print headlines on this behavior when ever they could. Eagleton did withdraw from the ticket and the new nominee was Sargent Shriver. The voters were mad that Missouri could and would not be a regular election. People said that McGovern should know about Eagleton being hospitalized but Eagleton should not have to tell him that. President Nixon and Vice President Agnew did very well in their convention in August.

The Final Election

Campaigning was hard for Agnew because of the thought that he may be dropped from the ballot for John Connally. For McGovern more people did not see how voting Democratic would help them. The Democrats thought of his liberal views as to strong. Some thought he wanted to cut the defense budget and leave the U.S. to be picked at by countries abroad and give the money to welfare programs. The CRP went on strong toward his views of amnesty for young people who went to Canada to dodge the draft and for his views on possibly legalizing marijuana, and the support of abortion. It showed that the campaign of Nixon’s was better than McGovern’s who only got 29,169,615 votes to Nixon’s 47,168,963, the electoral votes were 520-17.

…Vice President Agnew resigned because he was going to get into troubles for things he did while he was Governor of Maryland. Gerald Ford was appointed by President Nixon to be Vice President. Then Nixon reigned because he was to be impeached for dealings in the Watergate scandal. Then Ford became president.


The major candidates of the election of 1976 were Gerald Ford (Depublican) and James Carter (Democrat). Ford was in World War II and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1949. Carter was in the Navy from 1946-1953 and was a Georgia state Senator from 1963-1967 then he was elected Georgia Governor from 1971-1975. Kansas Republicans were split between California Gov. Ronald Reagan and President Ford. Ford barely beat Reagan in the first primary. Then he chose Robert Dole to be his running mate. For Democrats their choice was from the first ballot: it was James Carter. This election had an independent Eugene McCarthy running with Lester Maddox an ultraconsertive were calling for reduced military and protection of natural resources.

Ford was almost perfect for president. He had friends that were both Republican and Democrats. Ford did fall short. Some campaign buttons would say WIN and people thought of him as too gimmicky. When he did not give money to New York City the New York Daily News printed headlines saying “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” Then Reagan came into play saying that he was running against the person who started the buddy system. When Jimmy Carter first announced his run for the presidency a Atlanta newspaper printed a headline that read Jimmy Who is running for What? But Carter won Time Magazine’s favor when they printed the headline “Dixie Whistles a New Tune.” Carter would try to get people to vote for him by saying things like “I’m not a lawyer”, “I have never served in Washington before”, and to follow those, “I’m will never tell a lie.” When he entered the primaries he won more than half of the vote. Carter then won Iowa. He won 28%of New Hampshire. He made the covers of Time and Newsweek. He beat George Wallace in Florida. Then he was labeled a winner even though he lost in New York. Martin Luther King’s father endorsed him after he said “ethnic purity” in neighborhoods, and he called himself a “born-again Christian Sunday School teacher.” Ford still fought with Reagan. Ford did fine, then Reagan brought up the foreign policy of Pepsi-Cola; letting Pepsi sell goods in siberia. Then Reagan struck a major California victory. When Reagan said that his running mate was the liberal Senator Richard Schweier it hurt him. Then Ford was nominated. The debates were very important. Ford won the first one because Carter was very nervous. Then Carter won the second and third. He then went right into the White House. Carter got 297 electoral votes and 40,827,394 popular votes, Ford got 241 electoral votes and 39,145,977 popular votes, and last McCarthy received 754,042 popular votes.

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