Election of 1960 Nixon versus Kennedy
Background: Dwight Eisenhower had just finished up 8 years of serving as President. During his time in office, the country did very well economically.
The Candidates: • DEMOCRATS--John F. Kennedy • Father was involved in politics • JFK had served in Congress prior to running for President. • Kennedy’s family had been actively involved in politics
The Candidates: • REPUBLICANS— • Richard Nixon • Nixon had served in Congress and had been Eisenhower’s Vice President for 8 years. • Known as a cold warrior
Key issues/events in the Campaign: • 1. JFK was Catholic-Never before had a Catholic been elected to the Presidency • 2. Debates--For the first time the Presidential debates were held on T.V.
Most who watched the debates on T.V. felt that JFK won, most who listened on the radio felt that Nixon had won. • The T.V. showed JFK to be confident and outgoing, while it made Nixon appear to be nervous and stiff.
The Election Results: • This was one of the closest elections in U.S. history. Less than 100,000 votes separated Nixon and JFK. • There were several states where the results were disputed, but Nixon chose not to challenge the results
Key Events that occurred between the 1960 and 1964 elections: • Bay of Pigs--April of 1961--Failed invasion of Cuba • Cuban Missile Crisis-October 1962
Vietnam Conflict • JFK Assassination—November 22, 1963
Election of 1964 Goldwater versus Johnson
Background: • After JFK was killed in 1963 Lyndon B. Johnson, his Vice-President, became president. • LBJ pushed for increased involvement in Vietnam, as well as for more liberal legislation in terms of Civil Rights.—He also increased spending for social programs
The Candidates: • DEMOCRATS: Lyndon B. Johnson • REPUBLICANS: Barry Goldwater, Conservative Senator from Arizona.
Key Events/Issues in the campaign: • The election of 1964 came down to two questions: • 1. Would the U.S. continue JFK’s legacy? • 2. Would the U.S. vote for a liberal candidate or a conservative candidate?
Key Events/Issues in the campaign: • Ronald Reagan, a one-time Democrat and actor, gave a stirring speech in favor of Goldwater. While this didn’t help Goldwater win, it did put Reagan into national prominence.
This election was not even close. Johnson routed Goldwater. This reaffirmed America’s support for the continuation of the legacy of JFK and also showed that the U.S. would back a liberal candidate. • A clear shift to the 60’s era.
Between the election of 1964 and 1968 key events included: • Escalation of the war in Vietnam • Civil Rights movement--MLK Jr. etc. . .
Election of 1968 Nixon versus Humphrey Vs. Wallace
Background: The time between 1964-68 was a turbulent time in America. The Vietnam Conflict as well as Civil unrest at home made things very volatile.
In a stunning decision, Lyndon B. Johnson decided NOT to seek re-election in 1968.
LBJ’s decision came in part due to anti-war Sen. Eugene McCarthy’s strong showing in the New Hampshire Primary • The Democratic party was torn over the issue of Vietnam
The Candidates: • DEMOCRATS--With LBJ not seeking re-election, the following ran • Eugene McCarthy:Sen. from Minnesota • Hubert Humphrey: LBJ’s Vice-President
Robert F. Kennedy: John F. Kennedy’s younger brother • George Wallace: Gov. from Alabama
The Candidates: • REPUBLICANS: Richard Nixon • The Presidential Primaries went very easy for Nixon, while the primaries were extremely tough on the Democrats.
Wallace left the Democratic Party and formed the American Independent party--a third party based on racial segregation.
Humphrey and RFK were the two major players for the Democrats. After RFK won the crucial California primary, he was assassinated. • This meant that Humphrey received the nomination for the Democrats even though he had entered the race late and was trailing RFK.
Key Events in the Campaign: • RFK’s death • Democratic National Convention in Chicago--Riots during the convention(inside/outside) did not give American’s a good view of the party • Wallace’s 3rd party drew votes from the Democrats.
In the end, in a fairly close race, Richard Nixon prevailed with Humphrey finishing 2nd and Wallace 3rd in the race.
Key events that occurred between 1968-1972: • Vietnam Conflict continued to grow. • Richard Nixon visited China in Feb. of 1972.
Election of 1972 Nixon versus McGovern
Background • Nixon’s 1st term was marked by the continuation of the Vietnam War, and his visit to China.
Candidates • Republicans-Richard Nixon • Democrats-George McGovern Senator from South Dakota. He had previously worked under JFK and had promoted a “minimum family wage”
Key events during the campaign: • WATERGATE--A break-in occurred at the Watergate building in Wash. D.C. It was covered up until the end of the election.
Election Results--American’s supported Nixon and his goal to show America to be powerful. Middle class Americans were offended by McGovern’s “Minimum family wage” plan. • Nixon won in a blowout. McGovern only won Massachusetts and Wash D.C.
Events between 1972-1976 • Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s V.P resigns due to scandal involving bribes. • Watergate Scandal broke.
Nixon resigns August 8, 1974 • Gerald Ford becomes president. • Gerald Ford pardons President Nixon.
Election of 1976 Ford vs. Carter
Background: The Watergate scandal left a “black eye” on American politics. People started not to trust the government. • Gerald Ford did a reasonably good job as President, but people wanted to punish someone for Nixon’s “sins.”
Candidates: • Republicans--Gerald Ford received a tough primary challenge from California Gov. Ronald Reagan.