Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Ford Ran Successful Upper Midwest Presidential Campaign in 1976

Bookmark and Share

The passing of our 38th President Gerald Ford prompted Smart Politics to take a look at his 1976 presidential campaign in the Upper Midwest—and the close races he faced with Jimmy Carter that year.

Richard Nixon—who had nearly swept the nation's electoral votes in 1972—made a clean sweep of the Upper Midwest in that re-election bid. Nixon improved 5 percentage points on his 1968 performance in Iowa, 18 points in Minnesota, and 6 points in Wisconsin (Nixon lost a bit of ground in South Dakota—3 points—facing a candidate, George McGovern, who hailed from that state).

The Watergate scandal—which came to a head with Nixon's resignation just before the 1974 Election—lead the Democrats to increase their majority status in the US House with a large 49-seat net gain (by comparison, the Democrats netted only 30 seats in 2006). However, the scandal did not seem to have legs beyond that election year, with Democrats gaining only one net seat in 1976 House races.

As such, despite his pardoning of Nixon for the Watergate affair, Ford was able to run a fairly competitive campaign in 1976—winning 240 electoral votes across the country, most coming in the West, Northeast, plus two states in the Upper Midwest (Iowa and South Dakota). Both of these races were nail-biters, with Ford nipping Carter by 1 percentage point in each state. Carter meanwhile was able to capture Wisconsin by just 2 points. The only uncompetitive race was in Minnesota, where Ford lost by 13 points.

Previous post: End of the Year Thank You
Next post: Immigration: The Unspoken Issue Facing Minnesota Politics?

1 Comment


  • Gotta love this post. I'm getting my buddy the Nixon 51-30! I hope he enjoys it.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

    Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

    Political Crumbs

    Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

    Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


    Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

    Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting