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

    Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

    Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

    Political Crumbs

    Does My Key Still Work?

    Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


    No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

    Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


    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