United States presidential election, 1976

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States presidential election, 1976
United States
1972 ←
November 2, 1976
→ 1980

All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 53.5%[1]
  Carter cropped.jpg Gerald Ford, official Presidential photo.jpg
Nominee Jimmy Carter Gerald Ford
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Georgia Michigan
Running mate Walter Mondale Bob Dole
Electoral vote 297 240
States carried 23 + DC 27
Popular vote 40,831,881 39,148,634
Percentage 50.1% 48.0%

United States presidential election in Alabama, 1976 United States presidential election in Alaska, 1976 United States presidential election in Arizona, 1976 United States presidential election in Arkansas, 1976 United States presidential election in California, 1976 United States presidential election in Colorado, 1976 United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1976 United States presidential election in Delaware, 1976 United States presidential election in Florida, 1976 United States presidential election in Georgia, 1976 United States presidential election in Hawaii, 1976 United States presidential election in Idaho, 1976 United States presidential election in Illinois, 1976 United States presidential election in Indiana, 1976 United States presidential election in Iowa, 1976 United States presidential election in Kansas, 1976 United States presidential election in Kentucky, 1976 United States presidential election in Louisiana, 1976 United States presidential election in Maine, 1976 United States presidential election in Maryland, 1976 United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1976 United States presidential election in Michigan, 1976 United States presidential election in Minnesota, 1976 United States presidential election in Mississippi, 1976 United States presidential election in Missouri, 1976 United States presidential election in Montana, 1976 United States presidential election in Nebraska, 1976 United States presidential election in Nevada, 1976 United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1976 United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1976 United States presidential election in New Mexico, 1976 United States presidential election in New York, 1976 United States presidential election in North Carolina, 1976 United States presidential election in North Dakota, 1976 United States presidential election in Ohio, 1976 United States presidential election in Oklahoma, 1976 United States presidential election in Oregon, 1976 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania, 1976 United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1976 United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1976 United States presidential election in South Dakota, 1976 United States presidential election in Tennessee, 1976 United States presidential election in Texas, 1976 United States presidential election in Utah, 1976 United States presidential election in Vermont, 1976 United States presidential election in Virginia, 1976 United States presidential election in Washington, 1976 United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1976 United States presidential election in Wisconsin, 1976 United States presidential election in Wyoming, 1976 United States presidential election in Delaware, 1976 United States presidential election in Maryland, 1976 United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1976 United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1976 United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1976 United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1976 United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1976 United States presidential election in Vermont, 1976 United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1976ElectoralCollege1976.svg
About this image
Presidential election results map. Blue denotes states won by Carter/Mondale, Red denotes those won by Ford/Dole. Ronald Reagan received an electoral vote from a "faithless elector" in Washington. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Gerald Ford
Republican

Elected President

Jimmy Carter
Democratic

The United States presidential election of 1976 was the 48th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1976. The winner was the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic candidate, over the incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate.

President Richard Nixon had resigned in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal, but before doing so, he appointed Ford as Vice President via the Twenty-fifth Amendment after Spiro Agnew resigned in the light of scandal that implicated him in receiving illegal bribes when he was Governor of Maryland. Ford was thus the only sitting President who had never been previously elected to national office. Saddled with a poor economy, the fall of South Vietnam, and paying a heavy political price for his pardon of Nixon, Ford first faced serious opposition from within his own party, when he was challenged for the Republican Party's nomination by former California governor Ronald Reagan. The race was so close that Ford was not able to secure the nomination until the Party Convention. Carter, who was less well known than other Democratic hopefuls, ran as a Washington outsider and reformer. Carter narrowly won the election, becoming the first president elected from the Deep South since Zachary Taylor in 1848.

Nominations[edit]

Democratic Party[edit]

Democratic candidates

Candidates gallery[edit]

The surprise winner of the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination was Jimmy Carter, a former state senator and governor of Georgia. When the primaries began, Carter was little-known at the national level, and many political pundits regarded a number of better-known candidates, such as Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington, Congressman Morris Udall of Arizona, Governor George Wallace of Alabama, and California Governor Jerry Brown, as the favorites for the nomination. However, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Carter realized that his status as a Washington outsider, political centrist, and moderate reformer could give him an advantage over his better-known establishment rivals. Carter also took advantage of the record number of state primaries and caucuses in 1976 to eliminate his better-known rivals one-by-one.

Senator Jackson made a fateful decision not to compete in the early Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, which Jimmy Carter won after liberals split their votes among four other candidates. Though Jackson went on to win the Massachusetts and New York primaries, he was forced to quit the race on May 1 after losing the critical Pennsylvania primary to Carter by twelve percentage points. Carter then defeated Governor Wallace, his main conservative challenger, by a wide margin in the North Carolina primary, thus forcing Wallace to end his campaign. Congressman Udall, a liberal, then became Carter's main challenger. He finished second to Carter in the New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, South Dakota, and Ohio primaries, and won the caucuses in his home state of Arizona, while running even with Carter in the New Mexico caucuses. However, the fact that Udall finished second to Carter in most of these races meant that Carter steadily accumulated more delegates for the nomination than he did.

As Carter closed in on the nomination, an "ABC" (Anybody But Carter) movement started among Northern and Western liberal Democrats who worried that Carter's Southern upbringing would make him too conservative for the Democratic Party. The leaders of the "ABC" movement - Idaho Senator Frank Church and California Governor Jerry Brown - both announced their candidacies for the Democratic nomination and defeated Carter in several late primaries. However, their campaigns started too late to prevent Carter from gathering the remaining delegates he needed to capture the nomination.

By June 1976, Carter had captured more than enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination. At the 1976 Democratic National Convention, Carter easily won the nomination on the first ballot; Udall finished in second place. Carter then chose Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale, a liberal and political protégé of Hubert Humphrey, as his running mate.

Republican Party[edit]

Republican candidates

First ballot vote for the presidential nomination by state delegations

Candidates gallery[edit]

The 1976 Republican National Convention at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Vice-Presidential Candidate Bob Dole is on the far left, then Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan is at the center shaking hands with President Gerald Ford, Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller is just to the right of Ford, followed by Susan Ford and First Lady Betty Ford.

The contest for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 1976 was between two serious candidates: Gerald Ford, the leader of the Republican Party's moderate wing and the incumbent president, from Michigan; and Ronald Reagan, the leader of the Republican Party's conservative wing and the former two-term governor of California. The presidential primary campaign between the two men was hard-fought and relatively even; by the start of the Republican Convention in August 1976, the race for the nomination was still too close to call. Ford defeated Reagan by a narrow margin on the first ballot at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, and chose Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his running mate in place of incumbent Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller. The 1976 Republican Convention was the last political convention to open with the presidential nomination still being undecided until the actual balloting at the convention.

Others[edit]

General election[edit]

Fall campaign[edit]

Carter and Ford in debate

One of the advantages Ford held over Carter as the general election campaign began was that, as president, he was privileged to preside over events dealing with the United States Bicentennial; this often resulted in favorable publicity for Ford. The Washington, D.C., fireworks display on the Fourth of July was presided over by the president and televised nationally.[2] On July 7, 1976, the president and First Lady served as hosts at a White House state dinner for Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of the United Kingdom, which was televised on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network. These events were part of Ford's "Rose Garden" strategy to win the election; instead of appearing as a typical politician, Ford presented himself as a "tested leader" who was busily fulfilling the role of national leader and Chief Executive. Not until October did Ford leave the White House to campaign actively across the nation.

Jimmy Carter ran as a reformer who was "untainted" by Washington political scandals, [3] which many voters found attractive in the wake of the Watergate scandal, which had led to President Richard Nixon's resignation. Ford, although personally unconnected with Watergate, was seen by many as too close to the discredited Nixon administration, especially after he granted Nixon a presidential pardon for any crimes he might have committed during his term of office. Ford's pardon of Nixon caused his popularity, as measured by public-opinion polls, to plummet. Ford's refusal to explain his reasons for pardoning Nixon publicly (he would do so in his memoirs several years later), also hurt his image.

Ford unsuccessfully asked Congress to end the 1950s-era price controls on natural gas, which caused a dwindling of American natural gas reserves after the 1973 Oil Crisis.[4] Carter stated during his campaign that he opposed the ending of the price controls and thought such a move would be "disastrous."[4]

After the Democratic National Convention, Carter held a huge 33-point lead over Ford in the polls. However, as the campaign continued, the race greatly tightened. During the campaign Playboy magazine published a controversial interview with Carter; in the interview, Carter admitted to having "lusted in my heart" for women other than his wife, which cut into his support among women and evangelical Christians. Also, on September 23, Ford performed well in what was the first televised presidential debate since 1960. Polls taken after the debate showed that most viewers felt that Ford was the winner. Carter was also hurt by Ford's charges that he lacked the necessary experience to be an effective national leader, and that Carter was vague on many issues.

Carter campaign headquarters

However, Ford also committed a costly blunder in the campaign that halted his momentum. During the second presidential debate on October 6, Ford stumbled when he asserted that "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration." He added that he did not "believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union", and made the same claim with regards to Yugoslavia and Romania.[5] (Yugoslavia was not a Warsaw Pact member.) Ford refused to retract his statement for almost a week after the debate, as a result his surge in the polls stalled and Carter was able to maintain a slight lead in the polls.

A vice-presidential debate, the first ever formal one of its kind,[6] between Bob Dole and Walter Mondale also hurt the Republican ticket when Dole asserted that military unpreparedness on the part of Democratic presidents was responsible for all of the wars the U.S. had fought in the 20th century. Dole, a World War II veteran, noted that in every 20th-century war from World War I to the Vietnam War, a Democrat had been President. Dole then pointed out that the number of U.S. casualties in "Democrat wars" was roughly equal to the population of Detroit. Many voters felt that Dole's criticism was unfairly harsh and that his dispassionate delivery made him seem cold. Years later, Dole would remark that he regretted the comment, having viewed it as hurting the Republican ticket.[7] One factor which did help Ford in the closing days of the campaign was a series of popular television appearances he did with Joe Garagiola, Sr., a retired baseball star for the St. Louis Cardinals and a well-known announcer for NBC Sports. Garagiola and Ford appeared in a number of shows in several large cities. During the show Garagiola would ask Ford questions about his life and beliefs; the shows were so informal, relaxed, and laid-back that some television critics labelled them the "Joe and Jerry Show." Ford and Garagiola obviously enjoyed one another's company, and they remained friends after the election was over.

Results[edit]

Election results by county.
1976 Presidential Election in the United States, Results by Congressional District

Despite his campaign's blunders, Ford managed to close the remaining gap in the polls and by election day the race was judged to be even. Election day was November 2, and it took most of that night and the following morning to determine the winner. It wasn't until 3:30 am (EST), that the NBC television network was able to pronounce that Carter had carried Mississippi, and had thus accumulated more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win (seconds later, ABC News also declared Carter the winner based on projections for Carter in Wisconsin and Hawaii; CBS News announced Carter's victory at 3:45 am).[8] Carter defeated Ford by two percentage points in the national popular vote.

The electoral vote was the closest since 1916; Carter carried 23 states with 297 electoral votes, while Ford won 27 states and 240 electoral votes (one elector from Washington state, pledged to Ford, voted for Reagan). Carter's victory came primarily from his near-sweep of the South (he lost only Virginia and Oklahoma) and his narrow victories in large Northern states such as New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Ford did well in the West, carrying every state except Hawaii. The most tightly contested state in the election was Oregon, which Ford won by a very narrow margin.

A switch of 3,687 votes in Hawaii and 5,559 votes in Ohio from Carter to Ford would have resulted in Ford winning the election with 270 electoral votes.[9] By percentage of the vote, the states that secured Carter's victory were Wisconsin (1.68% margin) and Ohio (.27% margin). Had Ford won these states and all other states he carried, he would have won the presidency. The 27 states Ford won were and remain the most states ever carried by a losing candidate for president of the United States.

Carter was the first Democrat since John F. Kennedy in 1960 to carry the states of the Deep South, and the first since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 to carry a majority of all southern states. Carter performed very strongly in his home state of Georgia, carrying 66.7% of the vote and every county in the state. His 50.1% of the vote was the only time since 1964 that a Democrat managed to obtain a majority of the popular vote in a presidential election until Barack Obama won 52.9% of the vote in 2008. Carter is one of five Democrats since the American Civil War to obtain a majority of the popular vote, the others being Samuel J. Tilden, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama.[10]

Had Ford won the election, the provisions of the 22nd amendment would have disqualified him from running in 1980, because he had served more than two years of Nixon's second term.

This election represents the last time to date that Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina would vote Democratic, and the last time North Carolina would vote Democratic until 2008.

Statistics[edit]

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
vote
Running mate
Count Pct Vice-presidential candidate Home state Elect. vote
James Earl Carter, Jr. Democratic Georgia 40,831,881 50.08% 297 Walter Frederick Mondale Minnesota 297
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. Republican Michigan 39,148,634 48.02% 240 Bob Dole Kansas 241
Ronald Wilson Reagan Republican California (a) (a) 1
Eugene McCarthy (none) Minnesota 740,460 0.91% 0  (b)  (b) 0
Roger MacBride Libertarian Vermont 172,553 0.21% 0 David Bergland California 0
Lester Maddox American Independent Georgia 170,274 0.21% 0 William Dyke Wisconsin 0
Thomas J. Anderson American  (c) 158,271 0.19% 0 Rufus Shackelford   0
Peter Camejo Socialist Workers California 90,986 0.11% 0 Willie Mae Reid 0
Gus Hall Communist New York 58,709 0.07% 0 Jarvis Tyner 0
Margaret Wright People's 49,013 0.06% 0 Benjamin Spock 0
Lyndon LaRouche U.S. Labor New York 40,043 0.05% 0 R. Wayne Evans 0
Other 70,785 0.08% Other
Total 81,531,584 100% 538 538
Needed to win 270 270

Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. 1976 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (August 7, 2005).

Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (August 7, 2005).

(a) Mike Padden, a Republican faithless elector from Washington, gave Ronald Reagan one electoral vote.
(b) The running mate of McCarthy varied from state to state.
(c) Research has not yet determined whether Anderson's home state was Tennessee or Texas at the time of the 1976 election.

Popular vote
Carter
  
50.08%
Ford
  
48.02%
McCarthy
  
0.91%
MacBride
  
0.21%
Maddox
  
0.21%
Others
  
0.57%
Electoral vote
Carter
  
55.20%
Ford
  
44.61%
Reagan
  
0.19%

Results by state[edit]

[11]

States/districts won by Carter/Mondale
States/districts won by Ford/Dole
Jimmy Carter
Democratic
Gerald Ford
Republican
Eugene McCarthy
Independent
Roger MacBride
Libertarian
Margin State Total
State electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % #
Alabama 9 659,170 55.73 9 504,070 42.61 - - - - 1,481 0.13 - 155,100 13.11 1,182,850 AL
Alaska 3 44,058 35.65 - 71,555 57.90 3 - - - 6,785 5.49 - -27,497 -22.25 123,574 AK
Arizona 6 295,602 39.80 - 418,642 56.37 6 19,229 2.59 - 7,647 1.03 - -123,040 -16.57 742,719 AZ
Arkansas 6 499,614 64.94 6 268,753 34.93 - 647 0.08 - - - - 230,861 30.01 769,396 AR
California 45 3,742,284 47.57 - 3,882,244 49.35 45 58,412 0.74 - 56,388 0.72 - -139,960 -1.78 7,867,117 CA
Colorado 7 460,353 42.58 - 584,367 54.05 7 26,107 2.41 - 5,330 0.49 - -124,014 -11.47 1,081,135 CO
Connecticut 8 647,895 46.90 - 719,261 52.06 8 - - - - - - -71,366 -5.17 1,381,526 CT
Delaware 3 122,596 51.98 3 109,831 46.57 - 2,437 1.03 - - - - 12,765 5.41 235,834 DE
D.C. 3 137,818 81.63 3 27,873 16.51 - - - - 274 0.16 - 109,945 65.12 168,830 DC
Florida 17 1,636,000 51.93 17 1,469,531 46.64 - 23,643 0.75 - 103 0.00 - 166,469 5.28 3,150,631 FL
Georgia 12 979,409 66.74 12 483,743 32.96 - 991 0.07 - 175 0.01 - 495,666 33.78 1,467,458 GA
Hawaii 4 147,375 50.59 4 140,003 48.06 - - - - 3,923 1.35 - 7,372 2.53 291,301 HI
Idaho 4 126,549 37.12 - 204,151 59.88 4 - - - 3,558 1.04 - -77,602 -22.76 340,932 ID
Illinois 26 2,271,295 48.13 - 2,364,269 50.10 26 55,939 1.19 - 8,057 0.17 - -92,974 -1.97 4,718,833 IL
Indiana 13 1,014,714 45.70 - 1,183,958 53.32 13 - - - - - - -169,244 -7.62 2,220,362 IN
Iowa 8 619,931 48.46 - 632,863 49.47 8 20,051 1.57 - 1,452 0.11 - -12,932 -1.01 1,279,306 IA
Kansas 7 430,421 44.94 - 502,752 52.49 7 13,185 1.38 - 3,242 0.34 - -72,331 -7.55 957,845 KS
Kentucky 9 615,717 52.75 9 531,852 45.57 - 6,837 0.59 - 814 0.07 - 83,865 7.19 1,167,142 KY
Louisiana 10 661,365 51.73 10 587,446 45.95 - 6,588 0.52 - 3,325 0.26 - 73,919 5.78 1,278,439 LA
Maine 4 232,279 48.07 - 236,320 48.91 4 10,874 2.25 - 10 0.00 - -4,041 -0.84 483,208 ME
Maryland 10 759,612 53.04 10 672,661 46.96 - - - - - - - 86,951 6.07 1,432,273 MD
Massachusetts 14 1,429,475 56.11 14 1,030,276 40.44 - 65,637 2.58 - 135 0.01 - 399,199 15.67 2,547,557 MA
Michigan 21 1,696,714 46.44 - 1,893,742 51.83 21 47,905 1.31 - 5,406 0.15 - -197,028 -5.39 3,653,749 MI
Minnesota 10 1,070,440 54.90 10 819,395 42.02 - 35,490 1.82 - 3,529 0.18 - 251,045 12.87 1,949,931 MN
Mississippi 7 381,309 49.56 7 366,846 47.68 - 4,074 0.53 - 2,787 0.36 - 14,463 1.88 769,360 MS
Missouri 12 998,387 51.10 12 927,443 47.47 - 24,029 1.23 - - - - 70,944 3.63 1,953,600 MO
Montana 4 149,259 45.40 - 173,703 52.84 4 - - - - - - -24,444 -7.44 328,734 MT
Nebraska 5 233,692 38.46 - 359,705 59.19 5 9,409 1.55 - 1,482 0.24 - -126,013 -20.74 607,668 NE
Nevada 3 92,479 45.81 - 101,273 50.17 3 - - - 1,519 0.75 - -8,794 -4.36 201,876 NV
New Hampshire 4 147,635 43.47 - 185,935 54.75 4 4,095 1.21 - 936 0.28 - -38,300 -11.28 339,618 NH
New Jersey 17 1,444,653 47.92 - 1,509,688 50.08 17 32,717 1.09 - 9,449 0.31 - -65,035 -2.16 3,014,472 NJ
New Mexico 4 201,148 48.28 - 211,419 50.75 4 - - - 1,110 0.27 - -10,271 -2.47 416,590 NM
New York 41 3,389,558 51.95 41 3,100,791 47.52 - - - - 12,197 0.19 - 288,767 4.43 6,525,225 NY
North Carolina 13 927,365 55.27 13 741,960 44.22 - - - - 2,219 0.13 - 185,405 11.05 1,677,906 NC
North Dakota 3 136,078 45.80 - 153,470 51.66 3 2,952 0.99 - 256 0.09 - -17,392 -5.85 297,094 ND
Ohio 25 2,011,621 48.92 25 2,000,505 48.65 - 58,258 1.42 - 8,961 0.22 - 11,116 0.27 4,111,873 OH
Oklahoma 8 532,442 48.75 - 545,708 49.96 8 14,101 1.29 - - - - -13,266 -1.21 1,092,251 OK
Oregon 6 490,407 47.62 - 492,120 47.78 6 40,207 3.90 - - - - -1,713 -0.17 1,029,876 OR
Pennsylvania 27 2,328,677 50.40 27 2,205,604 47.73 - 50,584 1.09 - - - - 123,073 2.66 4,620,787 PA
Rhode Island 4 227,636 55.36 4 181,249 44.08 - 479 0.12 - 715 0.17 - 46,387 11.28 411,170 RI
South Carolina 8 450,825 56.17 8 346,140 43.13 - - - - - - - 104,685 13.04 802,594 SC
South Dakota 4 147,068 48.91 - 151,505 50.39 4 - - - 1,619 0.54 - -4,437 -1.48 300,678 SD
Tennessee 10 825,879 55.94 10 633,969 42.94 - 5,004 0.34 - 1,375 0.09 - 191,910 13.00 1,476,346 TN
Texas 26 2,082,319 51.14 26 1,953,300 47.97 - 20,118 0.49 - 263 0.01 - 129,019 3.17 4,071,884 TX
Utah 4 182,110 33.65 - 337,908 62.44 4 3,907 0.72 - 2,438 0.45 - -155,798 -28.79 541,198 UT
Vermont 3 81,044 43.14 - 102,085 54.34 3 4,001 2.13 - - - - -21,041 -11.20 187,855 VT
Virginia 12 813,896 47.96 - 836,554 49.29 12 - - - 4,648 0.27 - -22,658 -1.34 1,697,094 VA
Washington 9 717,323 46.11 - 777,732 50.00 8 36,986 2.38 - 5,042 0.32 - -60,409 -3.88 1,555,534 WA
West Virginia 6 435,914 58.07 6 314,760 41.93 - - - - - - - 121,154 16.14 750,674 WV
Wisconsin 11 1,040,232 49.50 11 1,004,987 47.83 - 34,943 1.66 - 3,814 0.18 - 35,245 1.68 2,101,336 WI
Wyoming 3 62,239 39.81 - 92,717 59.30 3 624 0.40 - 89 0.06 - -30,478 -19.49 156,343 WY
TOTALS: 538 40,831,881 50.08 297 39,148,634 48.02 240 740,460 0.91 - 172,553 0.21 - 1,683,247 2.06 81,531,584 US

Close states[edit]

Gerald Ford (right) watching election returns with Joe Garagiola on election night in 1976. Garagiola is reacting to television reports that Ford had just lost Texas to Carter.
A campaign button from election night where Carter and Mondale spent the evening in Flint Michigan at a rally It is notable as only a handful of counties in Michigan went to Carter in 1976, and no surrounding counties where Carter held the rally went to him.
A Ford-Dole campaign button.

States where margin of victory was under 5% (299 electoral votes):

  1. Oregon, 0.17%
  2. Ohio, 0.27%
  3. Maine, 0.84%
  4. Iowa, 1.01%
  5. Oklahoma, 1.21%
  6. Virginia, 1.34%
  7. South Dakota, 1.48%
  8. Wisconsin, 1.68%
  9. California, 1.78%
  10. Mississippi, 1.88%
  11. Illinois, 1.97%
  12. New Jersey, 2.16%
  13. New Mexico, 2.47%
  14. Hawaii, 2.53%
  15. Pennsylvania, 2.66%
  16. Texas, 3.17%
  17. Missouri, 3.63%
  18. Washington, 3.88%
  19. Nevada, 4.36%
  20. New York, 4.43%

States where margin of victory was more than 5%, but less than 10% (105 electoral votes):

  1. Connecticut, 5.16%
  2. Florida, 5.29%
  3. Michigan, 5.39%
  4. Delaware, 5.41%
  5. Louisiana, 5.78%
  6. North Dakota, 5.86%
  7. Maryland, 6.08%
  8. Kentucky, 7.18%
  9. Montana, 7.44%
  10. Kansas, 7.55%
  11. Indiana, 7.62%

Voter demographics[edit]

Social groups and the presidential vote, 1980 and 1976
Size[A 1] '80 Carter '80 Reagan '80 Anderson '76 Carter '76 Ford
Party
Democratic 43 66 26 6 77 22
Independent 23 30 54 12 43 54
Republican 28 11 84 4 9 90
Ideology
Liberal 18 57 27 11 70 26
Moderate 51 42 48 8 51 48
Conservative 31 23 71 4 29 70
Ethnicity
Black 10 82 14 3 82 16
Hispanic 2 54 36 7 75 24
White 88 36 55 8 47 52
Sex
Female 48 45 46 7 50 48
Male 52 37 54 7 50 48
Religion
Protestant 46 37 56 6 44 55
White Protestant 41 31 62 6 43 57
Catholic 25 40 51 7 54 44
Jewish 5 45 39 14 64 34
Family income
Less than US$10,000 13 50 41 6 58 40
$10,000–$14,999 15 47 42 8 55 43
$15,000–$24,999 29 38 53 7 48 50
$25,000–$50,000 24 32 58 8 36 62
Over $50,000 5 25 65 8
Occupation
Professional or manager 39 33 56 9 41 57
Clerical, sales, white-collar 11 42 48 8 46 53
blue-collar 17 46 47 5 57 41
Agriculture 3 29 66 3
Unemployed 3 55 35 7 65 34
Education
Less than high school 11 50 45 3 58 41
High school graduate 28 43 51 4 54 46
Some college 28 35 55 8 51 49
College graduate 27 35 51 11 45 55
Union membership
Labor union household 28 47 44 7 59 39
No member of household in union 62 35 55 8 43 55
Age
18–21 years old 6 44 43 11 48 50
22–29 years old 17 43 43 11 51 46
30–44 years old 31 37 54 7 49 49
45–59 years old 23 39 55 6 47 52
60 years or older 18 40 54 4 47 52
Region
East 25 42 47 9 51 47
South 27 44 51 3 54 45
White South 22 35 60 3 46 52
Midwest 27 40 51 7 48 50
Far West 19 35 53 9 46 51
Community size
City over 250,000 18 54 35 8 60 40
Suburb/small city 53 37 53 8 53 47
Rural/town 29 39 54 5 47 53

Source: CBS News/ New York Times interviews with 12,782 voters as they left the polls, as reported in the New York Times, November 9, 1980, p. 28, and in further analysis. The 1976 data are from CBS News interviews.

  1. ^ "Size" = share of 1980 national total

Unique facts and characteristics[edit]

  • As of 2012, the 1976 election was the most recent time that a Democratic candidate carried any of the following states: Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. North Carolina did not vote for a Democratic candidate again until Obama in 2008. Obama also carried Virginia, the only state in the South that Carter did not win.[12]
  • As of 2012, Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to win a presidential election while losing any of the following states: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would win them all in both of their campaigns, while in the close elections of 2000 and 2004, Al Gore won all but Nevada and New Hampshire, and John Kerry won all but Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico. Carter is also the last first-time Democratic candidate to be elected without carrying Colorado (Clinton won the state in 1992, but lost it in his re-election campaign in 1996, while Obama won the state in both 2008 and 2012).
  • 1976 marked the first year that a television news network used colors to represent the states won by the candidates. John Chancellor, the anchorman for the NBC Nightly News, suggested to his network's engineers that they create a large electronic map of the United States; the map was placed in the network's election-night news studio. If Carter carried a state it would light up in red, if Ford won a state it would light up in blue. The feature proved to be so popular that all three major news networks would adopt the feature for the 1980 presidential election, and it has since become a staple of election-night broadcasts, although the colors for both parties have been reversed.
  • This election was the first time since 1908, and last time to date, that Nevada did not back the winning candidate. It was also the first election that New Mexico did not back the winning candidate since it had achieved statehood in 1912.
  • Ford carried 27 out of 50 states, the most ever won by a losing candidate. He became the second and, to date, the last person not to win the presidency while carrying more than half the states. The first was Nixon in 1960, who won in 26 states.
  • This election marks the only time in U.S. history that the two major candidates and their running mates would all run for and lose the presidency, coming second in the general election: Ford in 1976, Carter in 1980, Mondale in 1984 and Dole in 1996.
  • This decision marked the first time since 1944 that a candidate with prior gubernatorial experience won the presidential election. Six of the next 7 such contests would be won by a candidate who was either a prior or sitting governor.
  • This election is also the last election as of 2014 for a Democratic candidate to have won all the states in the deep south. Carter carried every state in what had been the Confederacy except Virginia.

See also[edit]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ Election of 1976: A Political Outsider Prevails. at the Wayback Machine (archived August 2, 2003) C-SPAN. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  3. ^ http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1976
  4. ^ a b Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. pp. 321–322. ISBN 0-465-04195-7. 
  5. ^ "Debating Our Destiny: The Second 1976 Presidential Debate - October 6, 1976". Pbs.org. October 6, 1976. Retrieved May 28, 2010. 
  6. ^ http://www.janda.org/politxts/Presidential%20debates/debates.76/vp-76.html
  7. ^ http://www.pbs.org/newshour/debatingourdestiny/interviews/dole.html
  8. ^ Jules Witcover. Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency, 1972–1976 (New York: Viking), p. 11.
  9. ^ How Close Were U.S. Presidential Elections? at the Wayback Machine (archived August 25, 2012)
  10. ^ Six won the plurality of the popular vote: Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore. Though Gore won the plurality of the popular vote in 2000, his opponent George W. Bush won the majority of the electoral vote. Cleveland won the plurality of the popular vote in 1884, 1888, and 1892 along with the majority of the electoral vote in 1884 and 1892, but his opponent won the majority of the electoral vote in 1888. Wilson in 1912 and 1916, Truman in 1948, Kennedy in 1960, and Clinton in 1992 and 1996 all won the plurality of the popular vote and the majority of the electoral vote.
  11. ^ "1976 Presidential General Election Data - National". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ "1976 Presidential General Election Results - Virginia". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 28, 2010. 

External links[edit]