1980 United States presidential election
The 1980 United States presidential election was the 49th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 1980. Republican nominee Ronald Reagan defeated incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter. Due to the rise of conservativism following Reagan's victory, some historians consider the election to be a realigning election that marked the start of the "Reagan Era". Carter's unpopularity and poor relations with Democratic leaders encouraged an intra-party challenge by Senator Ted Kennedy, a younger brother of former President John F. Kennedy. Carter defeated Kennedy in the majority of the Democratic primaries, but Kennedy remained in the race until Carter was nominated at the 1980 Democratic National Convention; the Republican primaries were contested between Reagan, who had served as the Governor of California, former Congressman George H. W. Bush of Texas, Congressman John B. Anderson of Illinois, several other candidates. All of Reagan's opponents had dropped out by the end of the primaries, the 1980 Republican National Convention nominated a ticket consisting of Reagan and Bush.
Anderson entered the race as an independent candidate, convinced former Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey, a Democrat, to serve as his running mate. Reagan campaigned for increased defense spending, implementation of supply-side economic policies, a balanced budget, his campaign was aided by Democratic dissatisfaction with Carter, the Iran hostage crisis, a worsening economy at home marked by high unemployment and inflation. Carter attacked Reagan as a dangerous right-wing extremist and warned that Reagan would cut Medicare and Social Security. Reagan won the election by a landslide, taking a large majority of the electoral vote and 50.7% of the popular vote. Reagan received the highest number of electoral votes won by a non-incumbent presidential candidate. In the simultaneous Congressional elections, Republicans won control of the United States Senate for the first time since 1955. Carter won 41% of the vote but carried just six states and Washington, D. C. Anderson won 6.6% of the popular vote, he performed best among liberal Republican voters dissatisfied with Reagan.
Reagan 69, was the oldest person to be elected president until Donald Trump's victory in 2016. Throughout the 1970s, the United States underwent a wrenching period of low economic growth, high inflation and interest rates, intermittent energy crises. By October 1978, Iran—a major oil supplier to the United States at the time—was experiencing a major uprising that damaged its oil infrastructure and weakened its capability to produce oil. In January 1979, shortly after Iran's leader Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled the country, Iranian opposition figure Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ended his 14-year exile in France and returned to Iran to establish an Islamic Republic hostile to American interests and influence in the country. In the spring and summer of 1979 inflation was on the rise and various parts of the United States were experiencing energy shortages. Carter was blamed for the return of the long gas lines in the summer of 1979 that were last seen just after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he planned on delivering his fifth major speech on energy, but he felt that the American people were no longer listening.
Carter left for the presidential retreat of Camp David. "For more than a week, a veil of secrecy enveloped the proceedings. Dozens of prominent Democratic Party leaders—members of Congress, labor leaders and clergy—were summoned to the mountaintop retreat to confer with the beleaguered president." His pollster, Pat Caddell, told him that the American people faced a crisis of confidence because of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.. On July 15, 1979, Carter gave a nationally televised address in which he identified what he believed to be a "crisis of confidence" among the American people; this came to be known as his "malaise" speech. Many expected Senator Ted Kennedy to challenge Carter in the upcoming Democratic primary. Kennedy's official announcement was scheduled for early November. A television interview with Roger Mudd of CBS a few days before the announcement went badly, however. Kennedy gave an "incoherent and repetitive" answer to the question of why he was running, the polls, which showed him leading the President by 58–25 in August now had him ahead 49–39.
Meanwhile, Carter was given an opportunity for political redemption when the Khomeini regime again gained public attention and allowed the taking of 52 American hostages by a group of Islamist students and militants at the U. S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. Carter's calm approach towards the handling of this crisis resulted in his approval ratings jump in the 60-percent range in some polls, due to a "rally round the flag" effect. By the beginning of the election campaign, the prolonged Iran hostage crisis had sharpened public perceptions of a national crisis. On April 25, 1980, Carter's ability to use the hostage crisis to regain public acceptance eroded when his high risk attempt to rescue the hostages ended in disaster when eight servicemen were killed; the unsuccessful rescue attempt drew further skepticism towards his leadership skills. Following the failed rescue attempt, Carter took overwhelming blame for the Iran hostage crisis, in which the followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini burned American flags and chanted anti-American slogans, paraded the captured American hostages in public, burned Carter in effigy.
Carter's critics saw him as an inept leader who had failed to solve the worsening economic problems at home. His supporters defended the preside
2008 United States presidential election
The 2008 United States presidential election was the 56th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. The Democratic ticket of Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, Joe Biden, the senior Senator from Delaware, defeated the Republican ticket of John McCain, the senior Senator from Arizona, Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska. Obama became the first African American to be elected as president. Incumbent Republican President George W. Bush was ineligible to pursue a third term due to the term limits established by the 22nd Amendment; as neither Bush nor Vice President Dick Cheney sought the presidency, the 2008 election was the first election since 1952 in which neither major party's presidential nominee was the incumbent president or the incumbent vice president. McCain secured the Republican nomination by March 2008, defeating Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, other challengers; the Democratic primaries were marked by a sharp contest between Obama and the initial front-runner, Senator Hillary Clinton.
Clinton's victory in the New Hampshire primary made her the first woman to win a major party's presidential primary. After a long primary season, Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in June 2008. Early campaigning focused on the Iraq War and Bush's unpopularity. McCain supported the war, as well as a troop surge that had begun in 2007, while Obama opposed the war. Bush endorsed McCain, but the two did not campaign together, Bush did not appear in person at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Obama campaigned on the theme that "Washington must change,"; the campaign was affected by the onset of a major financial crisis, which peaked in September 2008. McCain's decision to suspend his campaign during the height of the financial crisis backfired as voters viewed his response as erratic. Obama won a decisive victory over McCain, winning the Electoral College and the popular vote by a sizable margin, including states that had not voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1976 and 1964.
Obama received the largest share of the popular vote won by a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964; as of the 2016 presidential election Obama's total count of 69.5 million votes still stands as the largest tally won by a presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton, U. S. Senator from New York John Edwards, former U. S. Senator from North Carolina Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico Dennis Kucinich, U. S. Representative from Ohio Joe Biden, U. S. Senator from Delaware Mike Gravel, former U. S. Senator from Alaska Christopher Dodd, U. S. Senator from Connecticut Evan Bayh, U. S. Senator from Indiana Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa Media speculation had begun immediately after the results of the 2004 presidential election were released. In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats regained majorities in both houses of the U. S. Congress. Early polls taken before anyone had announced a candidacy had shown Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the most popular potential Democratic candidates.
The media speculated on several other candidates, including Al Gore, the runner-up in the 2000 election. Edwards was one of the first to formally announce his candidacy for the presidency, on December 28, 2006; this run would be his second attempt at the presidency. Clinton announced intentions to run in the Democratic primaries on January 20, 2007. Obama announced his candidacy on February 10 in his home state of Illinois. Early in the year, the support for Barack Obama started to increase in the polls, he passed Clinton for the top spot in Iowa. Obama's win was fueled by first time caucus-goers and Independents and showed voters viewed him as the "candidate of change." Iowa has since been viewed as the state that jump-started Obama's campaign and set him on track to win both the nomination and the presidency. After the Iowa caucus, Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd withdrew from the nomination contest. Obama became the new front runner in New Hampshire, when his poll numbers skyrocketed after his Iowa victory The Clinton campaign was struggling after a huge loss in Iowa and no strategy beyond the early primaries and caucuses.
According to The Vancouver Sun, Campaign strategists had "mapped a victory scenario that envisioned the former first lady wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination by Super Tuesday on Feb. 5." In what is considered a turning point for her campaign, Clinton had a strong performance at the Saint Anselm College, ABC, Facebook debates several days before the New Hampshire primary as well as an emotional interview in a public broadcast live on TV. Clinton won that primary by 2% of the vote, contrary to the predictions of pollsters who had her trailing Obama for a few days up to the primary date. Clinton's win was the
1972 United States presidential election
The 1972 United States presidential election was the 47th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 7, 1972. Incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon defeated Democratic Senator George McGovern of South Dakota. Nixon swept aside challenges from two Republican congressmen in the 1972 Republican primaries to win re-nomination. McGovern, who had played a significant role in reforming the Democratic nomination system after the 1968 election, mobilized the anti-war movement and other liberal supporters to win his party's nomination. Among the candidates he defeated were early front-runner Edmund Muskie, 1968 nominee Hubert Humphrey, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American to run for a major party's presidential nomination. Nixon emphasized the strong economy and his success in foreign affairs, while McGovern ran on a platform calling for an immediate end to the Vietnam War, the institution of a guaranteed minimum income. Nixon maintained a consistent lead in polling.
Separately, Nixon's reelection committee broke into the Watergate Hotel to wiretap the Democratic National Committee's headquarters, a scandal that would be known as "Watergate". McGovern's campaign was further damaged by the revelation that his running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had undergone psychiatric electroshock therapy as a treatment for depression. Eagleton was replaced on the ballot by Sargent Shriver. Nixon won the election in a landslide, taking 60.7% of the popular vote and carrying 49 states, he was the first Republican to sweep the South. McGovern took just 37.5% of the popular vote, while John G. Schmitz of the American Independent Party won 1.4% of the vote. Nixon received 18 million more votes than McGovern, he holds the record for the widest popular vote margin in any United States presidential election; the 1972 presidential election was the first since the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Within two years of the election, both Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned from office, the former due to Watergate and the latter to a separate corruption charge, Nixon was succeeded by Gerald Ford.
Overall, fifteen people declared their candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination. They were: George McGovern, Senator from South Dakota Hubert Humphrey, Senator from Minnesota and former Vice President, presidential nominee in 1968 George Wallace, Governor of Alabama Edmund Muskie, Senator from Maine, vice presidential nominee in 1968 Eugene J. McCarthy, former Senator from Minnesota Henry M. Jackson, Senator from Washington Shirley Chisholm, Representative of New York's 12th congressional district Terry Sanford, former Governor of North Carolina John Lindsay, Mayor of New York City, New York Wilbur Mills, Representative of Arkansas's 2nd congressional district Vance Hartke, Senator from Indiana Fred Harris, Senator from Oklahoma Sam Yorty, Mayor of Los Angeles, California Patsy Mink, Representative of Hawaii's 2nd congressional district Walter Fauntroy, Delegate from Washington, D. C. Reubin Askew, former Governor of Florida Senate Majority Whip Ted Kennedy, the youngest brother of late President John F. Kennedy and late United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was the favorite to win the 1972 nomination, but he announced he would not be a candidate.
The favorite for the Democratic nomination became Senator Ed Muskie, the 1968 vice-presidential nominee. Muskie's momentum collapsed just prior to the New Hampshire primary, when the so-called "Canuck letter" was published in the Manchester Union-Leader; the letter a forgery from Nixon's "dirty tricks" unit, claimed that Muskie had made disparaging remarks about French-Canadians – a remark to injure Muskie's support among the French-American population in northern New England. Subsequently, the paper published an attack on the character of Muskie's wife Jane, reporting that she drank and used off-color language during the campaign. Muskie made an emotional defense of his wife in a speech outside the newspaper's offices during a snowstorm. Though Muskie stated that what had appeared to the press as tears were melted snowflakes, the press reported that Muskie broke down and cried, shattering the candidate's image as calm and reasoned. Nearly two years before the election, South Dakota Senator George McGovern entered the race as an anti-war, progressive candidate.
McGovern was able to pull together support from the anti-war movement and other grassroots support to win the nomination in a primary system he had played a significant part in designing. On January 25, 1972, New York Representative Shirley Chisholm announced she would run, became the first African-American woman to run for the Democratic or Republican presidential nomination. Hawaii Representative Patsy Mink announced she would run and became the first Asian American to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. On April 25, George McGovern won the Massachusetts primary. Two days journalist Robert Novak quoted a "Democratic senator" revealed to be Thomas Eagleton as saying: "The people don't know McGovern is for amnesty and legalization of pot. Once middle America – Catholic middle America, in particular – finds this out, he's dead." The label stuck and McGovern became known as the candidate of "amnesty and acid". It became Humphrey's battle cry to stop McGovern—especially in the Nebraska primary.
Alabama Governor George Wallace, an anti-integrationist, did well in the South and among alienated and dissatisfied voters in the North. What might have become a forceful campaign was cut short when Wallace was shot in an assassination attempt by Arthur Bremer on May 15. Wallace was left paralyzed from the waist down; the day
2004 United States presidential election
The 2004 United States presidential election was the 55th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Incumbent Republican President George W. Bush defeated Democratic nominee John Kerry, a United States Senator from Massachusetts. Bush and incumbent Vice President Dick Cheney were renominated by their party with no difficulty. Former Governor Howard Dean emerged as the early front-runner in the 2004 Democratic primaries, but Kerry won the first set of primaries in January 2004 and clinched his party's nomination in March after a series of primary victories. Kerry chose Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who had himself sought the party's 2004 presidential nomination, to be his running mate. Bush's popularity had soared early in his first term after the September 11 attacks, but his popularity declined between 2001 and 2004. Foreign policy was the dominant theme throughout the election campaign Bush's conduct of the War on Terrorism and the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Bush presented himself as a decisive leader and attacked Kerry as a "flip-flopper", while Kerry criticized Bush's conduct of the Iraq War. Domestic issues were debated as well, including the economy and jobs, health care, same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research. Bush won by a slim margin, taking 286 electoral votes, he swept the South and the Mountain States and took the crucial swing states of Ohio and New Mexico. Some aspects of the election process were subject to controversy, but not to the degree seen in the 2000 presidential election. Bush was the first candidate since George H. W. Bush in the 1988 election to win a majority of the popular vote, as well as the last Republican candidate to have won the popular vote. Bush's victory marked the first time that the Republican nominee won a presidential election without carrying any state in the Northeastern United States. Bush would serve until 2009 and be succeeded by Barack Obama, whereas Kerry would continue to serve in the Senate and go on to become the 68th Secretary of State of the United States during Barack Obama's second term.
George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 after the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore remanded the case to the Florida Supreme Court, which declared there was not sufficient time to hold a recount without violating the U. S. Constitution. Just eight months into his presidency, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 transformed Bush into a wartime president. Bush's approval ratings surged to near 90%. Within a month, the forces of a coalition led by the United States entered Afghanistan, sheltering Osama bin Laden, suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks. By December, the Taliban had been removed, although a ongoing reconstruction would follow; the Bush administration turned its attention to Iraq, argued the need to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq had become urgent. The Iraq issue gave Bush an antagonist to present to the people. Rallying support against a common enemy rather than gaining voters through ideas or policy. Among the stated reasons were that Saddam's regime had tried to acquire nuclear material and had not properly accounted for biological and chemical material it was known to have possessed.
Both the possession of these weapons of mass destruction, the failure to account for them, would violate the UN sanctions. The assertion about WMD was hotly advanced by the Bush administration from the beginning, but other major powers including China, France and Russia remained unconvinced that Iraq was a threat and refused to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution to authorize the use of force. Iraq permitted UN weapon inspectors in November 2002, who were continuing their work to assess the WMD claim when the Bush administration decided to proceed with war without UN authorization and told the inspectors to leave the country; the United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, along with a "coalition of the willing" that consisted of additional troops from the United Kingdom, to a lesser extent, from Australia and Poland. Within about three weeks, the invasion caused the collapse of both the Iraqi government and its armed forces. However, the U. S. and allied forces failed to find any weapon of mass destruction in Iraq.
On May 1, George W. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, where he gave a speech announcing the end of "major combat operations" in the Iraq War. Bush's approval rating in May was according to a CNN -- USA Today -- Gallup poll. However, Bush's high approval ratings did not last. First, while the war itself was popular in the U. S. the reconstruction and attempted "democratization" of Iraq lost some support as months passed and casualty figures increased, with no decrease in violence nor progress toward stability or reconstruction. Second, as investigators combed through the country, they failed to find the predicted WMD stockpiles, which led to debate over the rationale for the war. Bush's popularity rose as a wartime president, he was able to ward off any serious challenge to the Republican nomination. Senator Lincoln Chafee from Rhode Island considered challenging Bush on an anti-war platform in New Hampshire, but decided not to run after the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003.
On March 10, 2004, Bush clinched the number of delegates needed to be nominated at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. He accepted the nomination on September 2, 2004, retained Vice President Dick Cheney as his running mate. During the convention and throughout the campaign, Bush focused on two themes: defending America against terrorism and building an ownership society. Bush us
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had expanded slavery into U. S. territories. The party subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States; the Party was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as a third-party presidential candidate calling for social reforms. After the 1912 election, many Roosevelt supporters left the Party, the Party underwent an ideological shift to the right; the liberal Republican element in the GOP was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 that continued during the Reagan Era in the 1980s. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.
White voters identified with the Republican Party after the 1960s. Following the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican Party was aligned with Christian conservatism; the Party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing; the GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, gun rights and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP was committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is conservative.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the popular Know Nothing Party. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states; the Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was suggested for a new anti-slavery party, was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin; the name was chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories. While Republican candidate John C.
Frémont lost the 1856 United States presidential election to James Buchanan, he did win 11 of the 16 northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in the elections of 1860 when it won control of both houses of Congress and its candidate, former congressman Abraham Lincoln, was elected President. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket. Under Republican congressional leadership, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—which banned slavery in the United States—passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865; the party's success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished, was continued to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant, ran Horace Greeley for the presidency; the Stalwart faction defended Grant and the spoils system, whereas the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed in 1883.
The Republican Party supported hard money, high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans had strong support from pietistic Protestants, but they resisted demands for Prohibition; as the Northern postwar economy boomed with heavy and light industry, mines, fast-growing cities, prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth. The GOP was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System. However, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers; the high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections defeating McKinley himself. The Democrats elected Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892; the election of William McKinley in 1896 was marked by a resurgence of Republican dominance that lasted until 1932.
McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Pa
1960 United States presidential election
The 1960 United States presidential election was the 44th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1960. In a contested election, Democrat John F. Kennedy defeated incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican Party nominee; this was the first election in which all fifty states participated, the last in which the District of Columbia did not. It was the first election in which an incumbent president was ineligible to run for a third term due to the term limits established by the 22nd Amendment. Nixon faced little opposition in the Republican race to succeed popular incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower. Kennedy, a U. S. Senator from Massachusetts, established himself as the Democratic front-runner with his strong performance in the 1960 Democratic primaries, including a key victory in West Virginia over Senator Hubert Humphrey, he defeated Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson on the first presidential ballot of the 1960 Democratic National Convention, asked Johnson to serve as his running mate.
The issue of the Cold War dominated the election, as tensions were high between the United States and the Soviet Union. Kennedy won a 303 to 219 Electoral College victory, is considered to have won the national popular vote by 112,827, a margin of 0.17 percent. The issue of the popular vote was complicated by the presence of several unpledged electors in the Deep South. Fourteen unpledged electors from Mississippi and Alabama cast their vote for Senator Harry F. Byrd, as did a faithless elector from Oklahoma; the 1960 presidential election was the closest election since 1916, this closeness can be explained by a number of factors. Kennedy benefited from the economic recession of 1957–58, which hurt the standing of the incumbent Republican Party, he had the advantage of 17 million more registered Democrats than Republicans. Furthermore, the new votes that Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic president, gained among Catholics neutralized the new votes Nixon gained among Protestants. Kennedy's campaigning skills decisively outmatched Nixon's, who wasted time and resources campaigning in all fifty states while Kennedy focused on campaigning in populous swing states.
Nixon's emphasis on his experience carried little weight for most voters. Kennedy used his large, well-funded campaign organization to win the nomination, secure endorsements, with the aid of the big-city bosses, get out the vote in the big cities. Kennedy relied on Johnson to hold the South, used television effectively. In 1963, Kennedy was succeeded by Johnson. Nixon would successfully seek the presidency in 1968; the major candidates for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination were John F. Kennedy, Governor Pat Brown of California, Senator Stuart Symington from Missouri, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson from Texas, former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, Senator Wayne Morse from Oregon, Senator Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota. Several other candidates sought support in their home state or region as "favorite son" candidates without any realistic chance of winning the nomination. Symington and Johnson all declined to campaign in the presidential primaries. While this reduced their potential delegate count going into the Democratic National Convention, each of these three candidates hoped that the other leading contenders would stumble in the primaries, thus causing the convention's delegates to choose him as a "compromise" candidate acceptable to all factions of the party.
Kennedy was dogged by suggestions from some Democratic Party elders that he was too youthful and inexperienced to be president. Realizing that this was a strategy touted by his opponents to keep the public from taking him Kennedy stated frankly, "I'm not running for vice president, I'm running for president." The next step was the primaries. Kennedy's Roman Catholic religion was an issue. Kennedy first challenged Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey in the Wisconsin primary and defeated him. Kennedy's attractive sisters and wife Jacqueline combed the state looking for votes, leading Humphrey to complain that he "felt like an independent merchant competing against a chain store." However, some political experts argued that Kennedy's margin of victory had come entirely from Catholic areas, thus Humphrey decided to continue the contest in the Protestant state of West Virginia. The first televised debate of 1960 was held in West Virginia, Kennedy outperformed Humphrey. Humphrey's campaign was low on funds and could not compete for advertising and other "get-out-the-vote" drives with Kennedy's well-financed and well-organized campaign.
In the end, Kennedy defeated Humphrey with over 60% of the vote, Humphrey ended his presidential campaign. West Virginia showed that Kennedy, a Catholic, could win in a Protestant state. Although Kennedy had only competed in nine presidential primaries, Kennedy's rivals and Symington, failed to campaign in any primaries. Though Stevenson had twice been the Democratic Party's presidential candidate and retained a loyal following of liberals, his two landslide defeats to Republican Dwight Eisenhower led most party leaders and delegates to search for a "fresh face" who could win a national election. Following the primaries, Kennedy traveled around the nation speaking to state delegations and their leaders; as the Democratic Convention opened, Kennedy was far in the lead, but was still seen as being just short of the delegate total he needed to win. The 1960 Democratic National Convention was held in California. In the week before the convention opened, Kennedy receiv
1948 United States presidential election
The 1948 United States presidential election was the 41st quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 1948. Incumbent President Harry S. Truman, the Democratic nominee, defeated Republican Governor Thomas E. Dewey. Truman's victory is considered to be one of the greatest election upsets in American history. Truman had acceded to the presidency in April 1945 after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Defeating attempts to drop him from the ticket, Truman won the presidential nomination at the 1948 Democratic National Convention; the Democratic convention's civil rights plank caused a walk-out by several Southern delegates, who launched a third-party "Dixiecrat" ticket led by Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. The Dixiecrats hoped to win enough electoral votes to force a contingent election in the House of Representatives, where they could extract concessions from either Dewey or Truman in exchange for their support. Truman faced a challenge from the left in the form of former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, who launched the Progressive Party and challenged Truman's confrontational Cold War policies.
Dewey, the leader of his party's moderate eastern wing and had been the 1944 Republican presidential nominee, defeated Senator Robert A. Taft and other challengers at the 1948 Republican National Convention. Truman's feisty campaign style energized his base of traditional Democrats, consisting of most of the white South, as well as Catholic and Jewish voters. Dewey ran a low risk campaign and avoided directly criticizing Truman. With the three-way split in the Democratic Party, with Truman's low approval ratings, Truman was considered to be the underdog in the race; every prediction indicated that Truman would be defeated by Dewey. Defying predictions of his defeat, Truman won the 1948 election, garnering 303 electoral votes to Dewey's 189. Truman won 49.6% of the popular vote compared to Dewey's 45.1%, while the third party candidacies of Thurmond and Wallace each won less than 3% of the popular vote, with Thurmond carrying four southern states. Truman's surprise victory was the fifth consecutive presidential win for the Democratic Party, the longest winning streak for either party since the 1880 election.
With simultaneous success in the 1948 congressional elections, the Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress, which they had lost in 1946. Thus, Truman's election confirmed the Democratic Party's status as the nation's majority party. For both Republicans and Democrats, there was a boom for General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the most popular general of World War II and a favorite in the polls. Unlike the latter movement within the Democratic party, the Republican draft movement came from the grassroots of the party. By January 23, 1948, the grassroots movement had entered Eisenhower's name into every state holding a Republican presidential primary, polls gave him a significant lead against all other contenders. With the first state primary approaching, Eisenhower was forced to make a quick decision. Stating that soldiers should keep out of politics, Eisenhower declined to run and requested that the grassroots draft movement cease its activities. After a number of failed efforts to get Eisenhower to reconsider, the organization disbanded, with the majority of its leadership endorsing the presidential campaign of the former Governor of Minnesota, Harold Stassen.
With Eisenhower refusing to run, the contest for the Republican nomination was between Stassen, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Senator Robert A. Taft from Ohio, California Governor Earl Warren, General Douglas MacArthur, Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg from Michigan, the senior Republican in the Senate. Dewey, the Republican nominee in 1944, was regarded as the frontrunner when the primaries began. Dewey was the acknowledged leader of the Republican Party's Eastern Establishment. In 1946 he had been re-elected governor of New York by the largest margin in state history. Dewey's handicap was. Taft was the leader of the Republican Party's conservative wing, strongest in the Midwest and parts of the South. Taft called for abolishing many New Deal welfare programs, which he felt were harmful to business interests, he was skeptical of American involvement in foreign alliances such as the United Nations. Taft had two major weaknesses: He was a plodding, dull campaigner, he was viewed by most party leaders as being too conservative and controversial to win a presidential election.
Both Vandenberg and Warren were popular in their home states, but each refused to campaign in the primaries, which limited their chances of winning the nomination. Their supporters, hoped that in the event of a Dewey-Taft-Stassen deadlock, the convention would turn to their man as a compromise candidate. General MacArthur, the famous war hero, was popular among conservatives. Since he was serving in Japan as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers occupying that nation, he was unable to campaign for the nomination, he did make it known, that he would accept the GOP nomination if it were offered to him, some conservative Republicans hoped that by winning a primary contest he could prove his popularity with voters. They chose to enter his name in the Wisconsin primary; the "surprise" candidate of 1948 was a liberal from Minnesota. In 1938, Stassen had been elected governor of Minnesota at the age of 31. In 1945 he served on the committee. Stassen was regarded as