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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Election What-ifs?
  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderators: Where is my Freistaat Preußen avatar?, Apocrypha)
  1980 if the GOP nominated Gerald Ford for a non-consecutive second term
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Author Topic: 1980 if the GOP nominated Gerald Ford for a non-consecutive second term  (Read 1096 times)
darklordoftech
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« on: July 22, 2019, 10:37:50 pm »

If, in 1980, Gerald Ford decided to “pull a Grover Cleveland” and the GOP nominated Ford for a rematch with Carter, what would the map look like?
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Sir Mohamed
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 02:01:22 am »

Ford nominated means there is no John Anderson candidacy. As a result, Ford wins a decisive victory with a higher PV share than Reagan, but a few lesser EC votes.



✓ Former President Gerald Ford (R-CA)/Senator Howard Baker (R-TN): 437 EVs.; 53.3%
President Jimmy Carter (D-GA)/Vice President Walter Mondale (D-MN): 101 EVs.; 45.0%
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UnselfconsciousTeff
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 02:43:36 am »

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darklordoftech
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 06:07:54 am »
« Edited: July 23, 2019, 08:24:47 am by darklordoftech »

Why would Ford lose Wisconsin, Massachusettes, New York, and New Jersey?
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UnselfconsciousTeff
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 09:21:05 am »


NY and MA was won by Reagan because Anderson
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 01:45:08 pm »
« Edited: July 26, 2019, 12:37:12 am by brucejoel99 »

1980 was a referendum on Carter's incompetence, the hostage crisis, & the economy, so Ford wins their re-match comfortably. He'd probably pick a VP from the conservative wing, as they were dominant by that time.



Former President Gerald Ford (R-CA)/Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY): 445 EV; 55%
President Jimmy Carter (D-GA)/Vice President Walter Mondale (D-MN): 93 EV; 43%

No Reagan victory has huge butterflies for American politics, though. Ford wasn't a hawk on the Cold War or a supply-sider, so the effects on economics & foreign policy would be huge.
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Fuzzy Bear Knows A Purge When He Sees One
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 09:27:55 pm »



Gerald Ford/Christopher "Kit" Bond (R) 55%
Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale (D) 43%
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swamiG
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2019, 12:50:39 am »



Gerald Ford/Christopher "Kit" Bond (R) 55%
Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale (D) 43%

Flip AL, KY & MS to Carter and WI and maybe MD & NY to Ford and the map is perfect
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Fuzzy Bear Knows A Purge When He Sees One
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2019, 07:33:45 am »



Gerald Ford/Christopher "Kit" Bond (R) 55%
Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale (D) 43%

Flip AL, KY & MS to Carter and WI and maybe MD & NY to Ford and the map is perfect

I was an active member of the Suffolk County (NY) Democratic Committee in 1980, and I was involved in several campaigns for local Democrats.  My memory of that year is very vivid. 

In talking with voters, there was an enthusiasm for Reagan that would not have been there with Ford.  Against Reagan, Ford had virtually no Republican support.  Against Ford, that may not have been so.  Ford did not generate that kind of enthusiasm.  What's more, NY's polls put Carter in the lead in NY state to the end; it was a surge of late Reagan enthusiasm that pushed Reagan over the top in NY. 

Mississippi barely went for Carter in 1976; it was the weakest Southern state that he won, and it was a squeaker, not decided until late in the evening.  Indeed, Mississippi may well have been the tipping point state for Carter in 1976.  Carter DID have the active support of Gov. William Winter, who actively campaigned for the national ticket in Mississippi (a site not seen by Mississippians in a long time).  George Wallace DID endorse Carter in 1980, and Alabama may well have carried for Carter in 1980, but I also note that Alabama elected a Republican Senator in 1980 and would elect a Republican Governor in the Democratic year of 1986.

Wisconsin carried for Carter in 1976 and went for Reagan only because former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey was John Anderson's running mate.  There would have been no Anderson challenge if Ford had been nominated; none at all.  Wisconsin was one of the Dukakis states, and I honestly think that many here overstate the Republican nature of Wisconsin.  (I believe that Wisconsin is a lean D for 2020, and I believe that Trump's victory there was somewhat flukish.) 

Which is not to say that it couldn't have gone your way; it well may have.  Kennedy would have challenged Carter (and lost) no matter who was running on the GOP side.  The Kennedy challenge hurt Carter incredibly.  I voted for Kennedy in the primary in 1980; that's one of the votes I regret.  I believe Carter would have had a highly successful second term in retrospect, and I believe that the Democratic Party as a whole made a HUGE mistake in not going all out to squash the Kennedy challenge before it started.  Whatever the criticisms of Carter, there was NO reason whatsoever to support a massive primary challenge to his renomination, especially given the fact that if Kennedy had been nominated, he would have ended up having to run on Carter's record anyway.
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swamiG
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2019, 01:32:22 pm »



Gerald Ford/Christopher "Kit" Bond (R) 55%
Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale (D) 43%

Flip AL, KY & MS to Carter and WI and maybe MD & NY to Ford and the map is perfect

I was an active member of the Suffolk County (NY) Democratic Committee in 1980, and I was involved in several campaigns for local Democrats.  My memory of that year is very vivid. 

In talking with voters, there was an enthusiasm for Reagan that would not have been there with Ford.  Against Reagan, Ford had virtually no Republican support.  Against Ford, that may not have been so.  Ford did not generate that kind of enthusiasm.  What's more, NY's polls put Carter in the lead in NY state to the end; it was a surge of late Reagan enthusiasm that pushed Reagan over the top in NY. 

Mississippi barely went for Carter in 1976; it was the weakest Southern state that he won, and it was a squeaker, not decided until late in the evening.  Indeed, Mississippi may well have been the tipping point state for Carter in 1976.  Carter DID have the active support of Gov. William Winter, who actively campaigned for the national ticket in Mississippi (a site not seen by Mississippians in a long time).  George Wallace DID endorse Carter in 1980, and Alabama may well have carried for Carter in 1980, but I also note that Alabama elected a Republican Senator in 1980 and would elect a Republican Governor in the Democratic year of 1986.

Wisconsin carried for Carter in 1976 and went for Reagan only because former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick Lucey was John Anderson's running mate.  There would have been no Anderson challenge if Ford had been nominated; none at all.  Wisconsin was one of the Dukakis states, and I honestly think that many here overstate the Republican nature of Wisconsin.  (I believe that Wisconsin is a lean D for 2020, and I believe that Trump's victory there was somewhat flukish.) 

Which is not to say that it couldn't have gone your way; it well may have.  Kennedy would have challenged Carter (and lost) no matter who was running on the GOP side.  The Kennedy challenge hurt Carter incredibly.  I voted for Kennedy in the primary in 1980; that's one of the votes I regret.  I believe Carter would have had a highly successful second term in retrospect, and I believe that the Democratic Party as a whole made a HUGE mistake in not going all out to squash the Kennedy challenge before it started.  Whatever the criticisms of Carter, there was NO reason whatsoever to support a massive primary challenge to his renomination, especially given the fact that if Kennedy had been nominated, he would have ended up having to run on Carter's record anyway.

I’ll defer to you as to your personal experience as a foot soldier on the campaign in NY,, although I’d reckon that Ford would probably appeal to upstate voters more than Reagan, who was seen as the second coming of Goldwater during a large part of the campaign. WI would likely flip to Ford since it was so narrow in 1976, he was a Midwesterner from neighboring MI (and wouldn’t neglect the state this time around), it was still a fairly GOP state at the presidential level and Carter’s poor approvals.

Meanwhile, Reagan was the absolute best fit for the south as a Republican. As you mentioned, the southern Democratic establishment enthusiastically supported Carter in 1980 and I reckon they’d move mountains for him with the more moderate Ford running again. I could see Carter even improving in MS than last time around since he was seen as a “trustworthy” national Democrat for their conservative values.

All in all, we can agree that Carter was hopeless in 1980 and yes, that the Kennedy primary bid served to kill his campaign before it even got off the ground. Without a contentious primary, I could see a narrow window for Carter pulling out another narrow win by defining and attacking the GOP nominee early on. And who knows? Without the distraction of a potential primary defeat, Carter may have executed Operation Eagle Claw better. That’s just a wild guess though
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President Biden
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2019, 02:02:11 pm »

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swamiG
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 03:05:17 pm »


This looks good. I suppose the Kennedys/Shrivers would covertly campaign for Ford in MA
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L.D. Smith
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2019, 10:02:24 pm »

Carter might actually be able to ride it out. It's not like Ford was particularly competent himself, and we all know how rematches usually end up. And there's still the Hostage Crisis, which created a rally-around-the-flag effect that really didn't break down until September or October.

And since I doubt Ford would've been as hard-hitting as Reagan was when it went downhill.

One thing's for sure, Election Night probably would've gone on much longer than it actually did.
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2019, 03:11:13 am »

Let's let this game https://archive.org/details/msdos_President_Elect_-_1988_Edition_1987 be the judge of that.

Ford states: Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Jersey (359)

Carter states: Hawaii, Minnesota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, D.C, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New York (179)
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« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2019, 04:32:49 am »

Gerald Ford in 1980 would have handily defeated Carter, who only does slightly better in the South than he did against Reagan. I think Ford would have picked a more conservative running mate. John Tower seems like a good choice: He was more conservative, but supported Ford in 1976 primary. He's also from a southern state, helping to win Texas.



✓ Former President Gerald R. Ford (R-CA)/Senator John Tower (R-TX): 450 EV. (54.73%)
President James E. Carter (D-GA)/Vice President Walter F. Mondale (D-MN): 88 EV. (43.91%)
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morgankingsley
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2019, 06:34:28 am »

Let's let this game https://archive.org/details/msdos_President_Elect_-_1988_Edition_1987 be the judge of that.

Ford states: Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Jersey (359)

Carter states: Hawaii, Minnesota, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, D.C, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New York (179)


I made that map but just gave Carter Lousiana anyways since I f-cking hate maps where Lousiana is s different color than the rest of the deep south since they are a sore thumb to me
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TheElectoralBoobyPrize
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2019, 12:26:15 pm »

This is more interesting IMHO than if Ford had won in '76. If Ford does win an alternate '80, I wonder what happens in '84.
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dw93
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2019, 12:35:47 pm »

I think Ford would pick a running mate that he'd want to succeed him in 1984 seeing as how he'd be term limited.
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2019, 12:39:22 pm »

I think Ford would pick a running mate that he'd want to succeed him in 1984 seeing as how he'd be term limited.

Who? Poppy? Or Howard Baker?
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2019, 01:37:59 pm »

I think Ford would pick a running mate that he'd want to succeed him in 1984 seeing as how he'd be term limited.

Who? Poppy? Or Howard Baker?

Howard Baker wouldn’t say yes cause VP would be like a step down from Party Leader in the Senate . That’s why he said no to being Reagan’s vp because it’s a step down and not only is that true , it became even more true when he became not only party leader but the Senate Majority Leader as well.


As for succeeding to the Presidency, Van Buren was the last sitting vp to be elected President at that point so the VP job wasn’t viewed as a direct line to the Presidency either
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President Johnson
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« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2019, 01:19:10 pm »

I think Ford would pick a running mate that he'd want to succeed him in 1984 seeing as how he'd be term limited.

Who? Poppy? Or Howard Baker?

Howard Baker wouldn’t say yes cause VP would be like a step down from Party Leader in the Senate . That’s why he said no to being Reagan’s vp because it’s a step down and not only is that true , it became even more true when he became not only party leader but the Senate Majority Leader as well.


As for succeeding to the Presidency, Van Buren was the last sitting vp to be elected President at that point so the VP job wasn’t viewed as a direct line to the Presidency either

Well, he mas only minority leader, which is a job you can give up for the vice president (with a good shot at becoming president after one term). LBJ even gave up Majority Leader for the vice presidency. And he was probably the most powerful Majority leader in senate history.
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brucejoel99
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2019, 05:59:37 pm »

I think Ford would pick a running mate that he'd want to succeed him in 1984 seeing as how he'd be term limited.

Who? Poppy? Or Howard Baker?

Howard Baker wouldn’t say yes cause VP would be like a step down from Party Leader in the Senate . That’s why he said no to being Reagan’s vp because it’s a step down and not only is that true , it became even more true when he became not only party leader but the Senate Majority Leader as well.


As for succeeding to the Presidency, Van Buren was the last sitting vp to be elected President at that point so the VP job wasn’t viewed as a direct line to the Presidency either

Well, he mas only minority leader, which is a job you can give up for the vice president (with a good shot at becoming president after one term). LBJ even gave up Majority Leader for the vice presidency. And he was probably the most powerful Majority leader in senate history.

Yeah, & especially for somebody like Ford, who'd be guaranteed to be out of office come the 1984 election, I think he'd jump at the chance in this scenario.
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