1976 United States presidential election

Last updated

1976 United States presidential election
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
  1972 November 2, 1976 1980  

All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout53.5% [1] Decrease2.svg 1.7 pp
  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 vote297240 [2]
States carried23 + DC 27
Popular vote40,831,88139,148,634
Percentage50.1%48.0%

1976 United States presidential election in California1976 United States presidential election in Oregon1976 United States presidential election in Washington (state)1976 United States presidential election in Idaho1976 United States presidential election in Nevada1976 United States presidential election in Utah1976 United States presidential election in Arizona1976 United States presidential election in Montana1976 United States presidential election in Wyoming1976 United States presidential election in Colorado1976 United States presidential election in New Mexico1976 United States presidential election in North Dakota1976 United States presidential election in South Dakota1976 United States presidential election in Nebraska1976 United States presidential election in Kansas1976 United States presidential election in Oklahoma1976 United States presidential election in Texas1976 United States presidential election in Minnesota1976 United States presidential election in Iowa1976 United States presidential election in Missouri1976 United States presidential election in Arkansas1976 United States presidential election in Louisiana1976 United States presidential election in Wisconsin1976 United States presidential election in Illinois1976 United States presidential election in Michigan1976 United States presidential election in Indiana1976 United States presidential election in Ohio1976 United States presidential election in Kentucky1976 United States presidential election in Tennessee1976 United States presidential election in Mississippi1976 United States presidential election in Alabama1976 United States presidential election in Georgia1976 United States presidential election in Florida1976 United States presidential election in South Carolina1976 United States presidential election in North Carolina1976 United States presidential election in Virginia1976 United States presidential election in West Virginia1976 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1976 United States presidential election in Maryland1976 United States presidential election in Delaware1976 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania1976 United States presidential election in New Jersey1976 United States presidential election in New York1976 United States presidential election in Connecticut1976 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1976 United States presidential election in Vermont1976 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1976 United States presidential election in Maine1976 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1976 United States presidential election in Hawaii1976 United States presidential election in Alaska1976 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1976 United States presidential election in Maryland1976 United States presidential election in Delaware1976 United States presidential election in New Jersey1976 United States presidential election in Connecticut1976 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1976 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1976 United States presidential election in Vermont1976 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1976 United States presidential election
1976 United States presidential election
Presidential election results map. Blue denotes states won by Carter/Mondale, red denotes those won by Ford/Dole. Pink is the electoral vote for Ronald Reagan by a Washington faithless elector. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Gerald Ford
Republican

Elected President

Jimmy Carter
Democratic

The 1976 United States presidential election was the 48th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 1976. Democrat Jimmy Carter of Georgia defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford from Michigan. Carter's win represented the lone Democratic victory in a presidential election held between 1968 and 1988.

United States presidential election type of election in the United States

The election of president and vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or in Washington, D.C. cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the U.S. Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for President, the House of Representatives chooses the winner; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for Vice President, then the Senate chooses the winner.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Jimmy Carter 39th president of the United States

James Earl Carter Jr. is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he previously served as a Georgia State senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. After his presidency, Carter has remained active in the private sector; in 2002, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center.

Contents

President Richard Nixon had won the 1972 election with Spiro Agnew as his running mate, but in 1973 Agnew resigned and Ford was appointed as vice president via the 25th Amendment. When Nixon resigned in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Ford ascended to the presidency, becoming the only president to have never been elected to national office. He faced a strong challenge from conservative former governor Ronald Reagan of California in the Republican primaries, but Ford narrowly prevailed at the convention. Carter was little-known at the start of the Democratic primaries, but the former governor of Georgia emerged as the front-runner after his victories in the first set of primaries. Campaigning as a political moderate and Washington outsider, Carter defeated opponents such as Jerry Brown and Mo Udall to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Richard Nixon 37th president of the United States

Richard Milhous Nixon was an American politician who served as the 37th president of the United States from 1969 until 1974, when he resigned from office, the only U.S. president to do so. He had previously served as the 36th vice president of the United States from 1953 to 1961, and prior to that as both a U.S. representative and senator from California.

1972 United States presidential election 47th presidential election in the united states

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.

Spiro Agnew 39th Vice President of the United States

Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th vice president of the United States from 1969 until his resignation in 1973. He is the second and most recent vice president to resign the position, the other being John C. Calhoun in 1832. Unlike Calhoun, Agnew resigned as a result of scandal.

Ford pursued a "Rose Garden strategy" in which he sought to portray himself as an experienced leader focused on fulfilling his role as chief executive. Carter emphasized his status as a reformer who was "untainted" by Washington. Saddled with a poor economy, the fall of South Vietnam and his unpopular pardon of Nixon, Ford trailed by a wide margin in polls taken after Carter's formal nomination in July 1976. Ford's polling rebounded after a strong performance in the first presidential debate, and the race was close on election day.

White House Rose Garden garden outside the White House in Washington, DC, United States

The White House Rose Garden is a garden bordering the Oval Office and the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C., United States. The garden is approximately 125 feet long and 60 feet wide. It balances the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden on the east side of the White House Complex.

South Vietnam former country in southeast Asia

South Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam, was a country that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of the Cold War. It received international recognition in 1949 as the "State of Vietnam", which was a constitutional monarchy (1949–1955). This became the "Republic of Vietnam" in 1955. Its capital was Saigon. South Vietnam was bordered by North Vietnam to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, Thailand across the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest, and the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia across the South China Sea to the east and southeast.

Carter won a majority of the popular and electoral vote. He carried most states in the South and the Northeast while Ford dominated the Western states. Carter remains the only Democratic candidate since 1964 to win a majority of the Southern states. Ford won 27 states, the most states ever carried by a losing candidate. Both of the major party vice presidential nominees, Walter Mondale in 1984 and Bob Dole in 1996, would later win their respective party's presidential nominations, but lose in the general election.

Southern United States Cultural region of the United States

The southern United States, also known as the American South, Dixie, Dixieland, or simply the South, is a region of the United States of America. It is located between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwestern United States and northeastern United States to its north and the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico to its south.

Northeastern United States region of the United States

The Northeastern United States, also referred to as simply the Northeast, is a geographical region of the United States bordered to the north by Canada, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Southern United States, and to the west by the Midwestern United States. The Northeast is one of the four regions defined by the United States Census Bureau for the collection and analysis of statistics.

Western United States Region in the United States

The Western United States is the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. As European settlement in the U.S. expanded westward through the centuries, the meaning of the term the West changed. Before about 1800, the crest of the Appalachian Mountains was seen as the western frontier. The frontier moved westward and eventually the lands west of the Mississippi River were considered the West.

Nominations

Democratic Party

Democratic candidates

Georgia (U.S. state) State of the United States of America

Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States. It began as a British colony in 1733, the last and southernmost of the original Thirteen Colonies to be established. Named after King George II of Great Britain, the Province of Georgia covered the area from South Carolina south to Spanish Florida and west to French Louisiana at the Mississippi River. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. In 1802–1804, western Georgia was split to the Mississippi Territory, which later split to form Alabama with part of former West Florida in 1819. Georgia declared its secession from the Union on January 19, 1861, and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be restored to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the 24th largest and the 8th most populous of the 50 United States. From 2007 to 2008, 14 of Georgia's counties ranked among the nation's 100 fastest-growing, second only to Texas. Georgia is known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, the state's capital and most populous city, has been named a global city. Atlanta's metropolitan area contains about 55% of the population of the entire state.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Jerry Brown 34th and 39th Governor of California

Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. is an American politician who served as the 34th and 39th Governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, Brown served as California Attorney General from 2007 to 2011. He was both the oldest and sixth-youngest Governor of California as a consequence of the 28-year gap between his second and third terms.

Democratic Party Ticket, 1976
Jimmy Carter Walter Mondale
for Presidentfor Vice President
Carter cropped.jpg
Vice President Mondale 1977 closeup.jpg
76th
Governor of Georgia
(1971–1975)
U.S. Senator
from Minnesota
(1964–1976)
Campaign
Jimmycarter1976.gif

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 from Washington, Representative Morris Udall from 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.

Georgia State Senate upper house of the Georgia General Assembly

The Georgia State Senate is the upper house of the Georgia General Assembly.

Henry M. Jackson American politician (1912–1983)

Henry Martin "Scoop" Jackson was an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative (1941–1953) and U.S. Senator (1953–1983) from the state of Washington. A Cold War liberal and anti-Communist Democrat, Jackson supported higher military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, while also supporting social welfare programs, civil rights, and labor unions.

George Wallace 45th Governor of Alabama

George Corley Wallace Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, a position he occupied for four terms, during which he promoted "low-grade industrial development, low taxes, and trade schools." He sought the United States presidency as a Democrat three times, and once as an American Independent Party candidate, unsuccessfully each time. He is best remembered for his staunch segregationist and populist views. Wallace was known as "the most dangerous racist in America" and notoriously opposed desegregation and supported the policies of "Jim Crow" during the Civil Rights Movement, declaring in his 1963 inaugural address that he stood for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

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. Representative 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

Republican candidates

First ballot vote for the presidential nomination by state delegations 1976RepublicanPresidentialNominationVotePathed.svg
First ballot vote for the presidential nomination by state delegations
Republican Party Ticket, 1976
Gerald Ford Bob Dole
for Presidentfor Vice President
Gerald Ford, official Presidential photo.jpg
Robert J. Dole crop.jpg
38th
President of the United States
(1974–1977)
U.S. Senator
from Kansas
(1969–1996)
Campaign
Forddole1976.gif
The 1976 Republican National Convention at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Vice Presidential nominee 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. 1976 Republican National Convention.jpg
The 1976 Republican National Convention at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Vice Presidential nominee 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: incumbent president Gerald Ford from Michigan, a member of the party's moderate wing, and former governor of California, Ronald Reagan, a member of the party's conservative wing. 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 from Kansas as his running mate in place of incumbent Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, who had announced the previous year that he was not interested in being considered for the Vice Presidential nomination. [3] 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

General election

Fall campaign

Carter and Ford in debate Carter and Ford in a debate, September 23, 1976.jpg
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. [5] 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, meaning that 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, [6] which many voters found attractive in the wake of the Watergate scandal that 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. [7] Carter stated during his campaign that he opposed the ending of the price controls and thought such a move would be "disastrous". [7]

After the Democratic National Convention, Carter held a 33-point lead over Ford in the polls[ citation needed ]. 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 and used the word "screw," which cut into his support among women and evangelical Christians. [8] 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 CarterHQ.jpg
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 regard to Yugoslavia and Romania (Yugoslavia was not a Warsaw Pact member). [9] 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, [10] 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. [11] 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.

Presidential debates

There were three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate during the 1976 general election. [12] [13]

Debates among candidates for the 1976 U.S. presidential election
No.DateHostCityModeratorPanelistsParticipantsViewership
(Millions)
P1Thursday, September 23, 1976 Walnut Street Theatre Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Edwin Newman Elizabeth Drew
James Gannon
Frank Reynolds
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford
69.7 [12]
P2Wednesday, October 6, 1976 Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, California Pauline Frederick Max Frankel
Henry Trewhitt
Richard Valeriani
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford
63.9 [12]
VPFriday, October 15, 1976 Alley Theatre Houston, Texas James Hoge Marilyn Berger
Hal Bruno
Walter Mears
Bob Dole
Walter Mondale
43.2 [12]
P3Friday, October 22, 1976 Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall [14] Williamsburg, Virginia Barbara Walters Joseph Kraft
Robert Maynard
Jack Nelson
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford
62.7 [12]

Results

Election results by county.
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford 1976prescountymap2.PNG
Election results by county.
1976 presidential election results by congressional district 1976 Presidential Election in the United States, Results by Congressional District.png
1976 presidential election 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. It took most of that night and the following morning to determine the winner. It was not until 3:30 am (EST), that the NBC television network was able to declare 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 while CBS News announced Carter's victory at 3:45 am). [15] 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 with 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 in that region except for Hawaii. The most tightly contested state in the election was Oregon; Ford won that state by under 2,000 votes.

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. [16] 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 he won were and still are the most states ever carried by a losing candidate for president. Had Ford won the election, the provisions of the 22nd amendment would have disqualified him from running in 1980 as he served more than two years of Nixon's second term.

Carter was the first Democrat since John F. Kennedy in 1960 to carry the states of the Deep South—Bill Clinton is the only Democrat since 1976 to carry more than one state from the Deep South, doing so in both 1992 and 1996—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 winning of 23 states was only the first time since the 1960 election and the second time in history that the winner of the election won less than half the states. His 50.1% of the vote was the only time since 1964 that a Democrat managed to obtain an absolute 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 an absolute majority of the popular vote, the others being Samuel J. Tilden, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Barack Obama. [lower-alpha 1]

This election represents the last time to date that Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, or South Carolina would vote Democratic, and the last time North Carolina would vote Democratic until 2008, as well as the last time Florida voted Democratic until 1996, the last time Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee voted Democratic until 1992. It is also the last time in which Shasta, Yuba, Placer, El Dorado and Madera Counties in California, Brazoria, Williamson and McLennan Counties in Texas, Madison County in Alabama, Duval and Brevard Counties in Florida, Warren County, Kentucky and St. Mary's County, Maryland would vote Democratic. Cobb and Gwinnett Counties in Georgia would never again vote Democratic until 2016. [17] This election was the last time that a Democrat won the presidency without winning California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

It was the first time in exactly 100 years (since 1876) when Florida and Virginia supported different candidates. This would happen again in 1996 and 2016. It was also the first time since Oklahoma statehood in 1907 when the Sooner State and Tennessee supported different candidates, an occurrence replicated only in 1992 and 1996.

Statistics

Presidential candidatePartyHome statePopular voteElectoral
vote
Running mate
CountPercentageVice-presidential candidateHome stateElectoral vote
James Earl Carter Jr. Democratic Georgia 40,831,88150.08%297 Walter Frederick Mondale Minnesota 297
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (Incumbent) Republican Michigan 39,148,63448.02%240 Robert Joseph Dole Kansas 241
Ronald Wilson Reagan Republican California [lower-alpha 2] [lower-alpha 2] 1
Eugene McCarthy None Minnesota 740,4600.91%0 [lower-alpha 3] [lower-alpha 3] 0
Roger MacBride Libertarian Virginia 172,5570.21%0 David Bergland California 0
Lester Maddox American Independent Georgia 170,2740.21%0 William Dyke Wisconsin 0
Thomas J. Anderson American [lower-alpha 4] 158,2710.19%0 Rufus Shackelford Florida 0
Peter Camejo Socialist Workers California 90,9860.11%0 Willie Mae Reid Illinois 0
Gus Hall Communist New York 58,7090.07%0 Jarvis Tyner New York 0
Margaret Wright People's California 49,0130.06%0 Benjamin Spock Connecticut 0
Lyndon LaRouche U.S. Labor New York 40,0430.05%0 R. Wayne Evans Michigan 0
Other70,7850.08%Other
Total81,531,584100%538538
Needed to win270270

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

Source (Electoral Vote): "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration . Retrieved August 7, 2005.

Popular vote
Carter
50.08%
Ford
48.02%
McCarthy
0.91%
Others
0.57%
Electoral vote
Carter
55.20%
Ford
44.61%
Reagan
0.19%
1976 Electoral College Map.png

Results by state

[18]

This election represents the second time that the winning candidate has received a majority of the electoral votes although the second-place candidate carried a majority of the states. It had previously happened in the 1960 election.

States/districts won by Carter/Mondale
States/districts won by Ford/Dole
Jimmy Carter
Democratic
Gerald Ford
Republican
Eugene McCarthy
Independent
Roger MacBride
Libertarian
MarginState Total
Stateelectoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%#
Alabama 9659,17055.739504,07042.61----1,4810.13-155,10013.111,182,850AL
Alaska 344,05835.65-71,55557.903---6,7855.49--27,497-22.25123,574AK
Arizona 6295,60239.80-418,64256.37619,2292.59-7,6471.03--123,040-16.57742,719AZ
Arkansas 6499,61464.946268,75334.93-6470.08----230,86130.01769,396AR
California 453,742,28447.57-3,882,24449.354558,4120.74-56,3880.72--139,960-1.787,867,117CA
Colorado 7460,35342.58-584,36754.05726,1072.41-5,3300.49--124,014-11.471,081,135CO
Connecticut 8647,89546.90-719,26152.068-------71,366-5.171,381,526CT
Delaware 3122,59651.983109,83146.57-2,4371.03----12,7655.41235,834DE
D.C. 3137,81881.63327,87316.51----2740.16-109,94565.12168,830DC
Florida 171,636,00051.93171,469,53146.64-23,6430.75-1030.00-166,4695.283,150,631FL
Georgia 12979,40966.7412483,74332.96-9910.07-1750.01-495,66633.781,467,458GA
Hawaii 4147,37550.594140,00348.06----3,9231.35-7,3722.53291,301HI
Idaho 4126,54937.12-204,15159.884---3,5581.04--77,602-22.76340,932ID
Illinois 262,271,29548.13-2,364,26950.102655,9391.19-8,0570.17--92,974-1.974,718,833IL
Indiana 131,014,71445.70-1,183,95853.3213-------169,244-7.622,220,362IN
Iowa 8619,93148.46-632,86349.47820,0511.57-1,4520.11--12,932-1.011,279,306IA
Kansas 7430,42144.94-502,75252.49713,1851.38-3,2420.34--72,331-7.55957,845KS
Kentucky 9615,71752.759531,85245.57-6,8370.59-8140.07-83,8657.191,167,142KY
Louisiana 10661,36551.7310587,44645.95-6,5880.52-3,3250.26-73,9195.781,278,439LA
Maine 4232,27948.07-236,32048.91410,8742.25-100.00--4,041-0.84483,208ME
Maryland 10759,61253.0410672,66146.96-------86,9516.071,432,273MD
Massachusetts 141,429,47556.11141,030,27640.44-65,6372.58-1350.01-399,19915.672,547,557MA
Michigan 211,696,71446.44-1,893,74251.832147,9051.31-5,4060.15--197,028-5.393,653,749MI
Minnesota 101,070,44054.9010819,39542.02-35,4901.82-3,5290.18-251,04512.871,949,931MN
Mississippi 7381,30949.567366,84647.68-4,0740.53-2,7870.36-14,4631.88769,360MS
Missouri 12998,38751.1012927,44347.47-24,0291.23----70,9443.631,953,600MO
Montana 4149,25945.40-173,70352.844-------24,444-7.44328,734MT
Nebraska 5233,69238.46-359,70559.1959,4091.55-1,4820.24--126,013-20.74607,668NE
Nevada 392,47945.81-101,27350.173---1,5190.75--8,794-4.36201,876NV
New Hampshire 4147,63543.47-185,93554.7544,0951.21-9360.28--38,300-11.28339,618NH
New Jersey 171,444,65347.92-1,509,68850.081732,7171.09-9,4490.31--65,035-2.163,014,472NJ
New Mexico 4201,14848.28-211,41950.754---1,1100.27--10,271-2.47416,590NM
New York 413,389,55851.95413,100,79147.52----12,1970.19-288,7674.436,525,225NY
North Carolina 13927,36555.2713741,96044.22----2,2190.13-185,40511.051,677,906NC
North Dakota 3136,07845.80-153,47051.6632,9520.99-2560.09--17,392-5.85297,094ND
Ohio 252,011,62148.92252,000,50548.65-58,2581.42-8,9610.22-11,1160.274,111,873OH
Oklahoma 8532,44248.75-545,70849.96814,1011.29-----13,266-1.211,092,251OK
Oregon 6490,40747.62-492,12047.78640,2073.90-----1,713-0.171,029,876OR
Pennsylvania 272,328,67750.40272,205,60447.73-50,5841.09----123,0732.664,620,787PA
Rhode Island 4227,63655.364181,24944.08-4790.12-7150.17-46,38711.28411,170RI
South Carolina 8450,82556.178346,14043.13-------104,68513.04802,594SC
South Dakota 4147,06848.91-151,50550.394---1,6190.54--4,437-1.48300,678SD
Tennessee 10825,87955.9410633,96942.94-5,0040.34-1,3750.09-191,91013.001,476,346TN
Texas 262,082,31951.14261,953,30047.97-20,1180.49-2630.01-129,0193.174,071,884TX
Utah 4182,11033.65-337,90862.4443,9070.72-2,4380.45--155,798-28.79541,198UT
Vermont 381,04443.14-102,08554.3434,0012.13-40.00--21,041-11.20187,855VT
Virginia 12813,89647.96-836,55449.2912---4,6480.27--22,658-1.341,697,094VA
Washington 9717,32346.11-777,73250.00836,9862.38-5,0420.32--60,409-3.881,555,534WA
West Virginia 6435,91458.076314,76041.93-------121,15416.14750,674WV
Wisconsin 111,040,23249.50111,004,98747.83-34,9431.66-3,8140.18-35,2451.682,101,336WI
Wyoming 362,23939.81-92,71759.3036240.40-890.06--30,478-19.49156,343WY
TOTALS:53840,831,88150.0829739,148,63448.02240740,4600.91-172,5570.21-1,683,2472.0681,531,584US

Close states

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. Joe Garagiola-Gerald Ford.jpg
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. Carter Mondale button 1976.jpg
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. 1976 campaign button a.JPG
A Ford-Dole campaign button.

States where margin of victory was under 1% (35 electoral votes):

  1. Oregon, 0.16%
  2. Ohio, 0.27%
  3. Maine, 0.84%

States where margin of victory was under 5% (264 electoral votes):

  1. Iowa, 1.01%
  2. Oklahoma, 1.21%
  3. Virginia, 1.34%
  4. South Dakota, 1.48%
  5. Wisconsin, 1.68% (tipping point state)
  6. California, 1.78%
  7. Mississippi, 1.88%
  8. Illinois, 1.97%
  9. New Jersey, 2.16%
  10. New Mexico, 2.47%
  11. Hawaii, 2.53%
  12. Pennsylvania, 2.66%
  13. Texas, 3.17%
  14. Missouri, 3.63%
  15. Washington, 3.88%
  16. Nevada, 4.36%
  17. 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

Social groups and the presidential vote, 1976
Size [A 1] CarterFord
Party
Democratic437722
Independent 234354
Republican28990
Ideology
Liberal 187026
Moderate515148
Conservative 312970
Ethnicity
Black 108216
Hispanic 27524
White 884752
Gender
Female485048
Male525048
Religion
Protestant 464455
White Protestant414357
Catholic 255444
Jewish 56434
Family income
Less than US$10,000135840
$10,000–$14,999155543
$15,000–$24,999294850
$25,000–$50,000243662
Over $50,0005
Occupation
Professional or manager 394157
Clerical, sales, white-collar 114653
Blue-collar 175741
Farmer 3
Unemployed 36534
Education
Less than high school 115841
High school graduate285446
Some college 285149
College graduate274555
Union membership
Labor union household285939
No member of household in union624355
Age
18–21 years old64850
22–29 years old175146
30–44 years old314949
45–59 years old234752
60 years or older184752
Region
East 255147
South 275445
White South224652
Midwest 274850
Far West 194651
Community size
City over 250,000186040
Suburb/small city535347
Rural/town294753

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.

Characteristics

It was also the first election that New Mexico did not back the winning candidate and the last time until 2000 (and 2016) and the only election that New Mexico did not back the winner of national popular vote since it had achieved statehood in 1912. In 2000 and 2016, the national popular vote winner eventually lost the electoral vote and thus the presidency.

See also

Notes

  1. Seven more won the plurality of the popular vote: Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton. Al Gore and Hillary Clinton won the plurality of the popular vote in 2000 and 2016 respectively, but their opponents, George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016, each 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.
  2. 1 2 Mike Padden, a Republican faithless elector from Washington, gave Ronald Reagan one electoral vote.
  3. 1 2 The running mate of McCarthy varied from state to state.
  4. Research has not yet determined whether Anderson's home state was Tennessee or Texas at the time of the 1976 election.


Related Research Articles

1984 United States presidential election 50th quadrennial presidential election in the United States

The 1984 United States presidential election was the 50th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1984. Incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan defeated former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate.

Walter Mondale 42nd Vice President of the United States

Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American politician, diplomat and lawyer who served as the 42nd vice president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A United States senator from Minnesota (1964–1976), he was the Democratic Party's nominee in the United States presidential election of 1984, but lost to Ronald Reagan in an Electoral College landslide. Reagan won 49 states while Mondale carried his home state of Minnesota and District of Columbia. He became the oldest-living former U.S. vice president after the death of George H. W. Bush in 2018.

United States presidential debates

During presidential elections in the United States, it has become customary for the main candidates to engage in a debate. The topics discussed in the debate are often the most controversial issues of the time, and arguably elections have been nearly decided by these debates. Candidate debates are not constitutionally mandated, but it is now considered a de facto election process. The debates are targeted mainly at undecided voters; those who tend not to be partial to any political ideology or party.

Electoral history of Ronald Reagan

This is the electoral history of Ronald Reagan. Reagan, a Republican, served as the 40th President of the United States (1981–89) and earlier as the 33rd Governor of California (1967–75). At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his first inauguration, Reagan was the oldest person to assume the presidency in the nation's history, a distinction now held by Donald Trump, who was 70 years, 220 days old at the time of his 2017 inauguration. Even so, Reagan remains the oldest person ever elected president, in 1984 at 73.

1976 United States presidential election in North Carolina

The 1976 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on November 2, 1976, and was part of the 1976 United States presidential election. Voters chose 13 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1976 United States elections Election in the United States on 1976

The 1976 United States elections was held on November 2, and elected the members of the 95th United States Congress. The Democratic Party won the presidential election and retained control of Congress.

1976 United States presidential election in Vermont

The 1976 United States presidential election in Vermont took place on November 2, 1976, as part of the 1976 United States Presidential Election which was held throughout all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Voters chose three representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1976 United States presidential election in New York

The 1976 United States presidential election in New York took place on November 2, 1976. All 50 states and The District of Columbia, were part of the 1976 United States presidential election. New York voters chose forty one electors to the Electoral College, which voted for President and Vice President.

1976 United States presidential election in Massachusetts

The 1976 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 2, 1976, as part of the 1976 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all 50 states and D.C. Voters chose 14 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1976 United States presidential election in New Jersey

The 1976 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 2, 1976. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1976 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 17 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

1976 United States presidential election in Minnesota

The 1976 United States presidential election in Minnesota took place on November 2, 1976, in Minnesota as part of the 1976 United States presidential election.

1976 United States presidential election in New Hampshire

The 1976 United States presidential election in New Hampshire took place on November 2, 1976, as part of the 1976 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all 50 states and D.C. Voters chose 4 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1976 United States presidential election in Connecticut

The 1976 United States presidential election in Connecticut took place on November 2, 1976. All 50 states and The District of Columbia, were part of the 1976 United States presidential election. Connecticut voters chose eight electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1976 United States presidential election in Maryland

The United States presidential election in Maryland, 1976 was held on November 2, 1976. Incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford of Michigan and his running mate Senator Bob Dole of Kansas lost to the Democratic challengers, Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia and Senator Walter Mondale of Minnesota. Carter and Mondale won the state with 53.04 percent of the vote compared to Ford and Dole’s 46.96 percent – a comfortable margin of 6.08 percent.

1976 Republican Party vice presidential candidate selection

This article lists those who were potential candidates for the Republican nomination for Vice President of the United States in the 1976 election. At the 1976 Republican National Convention, incumbent President Gerald Ford narrowly won the presidential nomination over former California Governor Ronald Reagan. Ford had decided not to pick Vice President Nelson Rockefeller as his running mate, due to Rockefeller's unpopularity with the right wing of the Republican Party. Ford chose Kansas Senator Bob Dole as his running mate, instead. Dole was acceptable to the conservative wing of the party, and Ford hoped that Dole would help the ticket win the western states and the agricultural vote. The Ford-Dole ticket lost the general election to the Carter-Mondale ticket. Though he did not win the nomination, Reagan announced before the convention that he would pick Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running mate.

1976 United States presidential election in Mississippi

The 1976 United States presidential election in Mississippi was held on November 2, 1976. The Democratic Party candidate Jimmy Carter won the state of Mississippi, as well as the other 9 southern states which one comprised the Confederacy in the general election due to his ties to the south as being the former Governor of Georgia. He won the state with 49% of the vote, and all 7 of the state's electors were pledged to Carter.

1976 United States presidential election in South Carolina

The 1976 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 2, 1976. All fifty states and the District of Columbia were part of the 1976 United States presidential election. South Carolina voters chose eight electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

1976 United States presidential election in Arkansas

The 1976 United States presidential election in Arkansas took place on November 2, 1976, as part of the wider United States presidential election of 1976. Voters chose six electors to represent them in the Electoral College.

1976 United States presidential election in Nevada

The 1976 United States presidential election in Nevada took place on November 2, 1976, as part of the 1976 United States presidential election. Voters chose three representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

References

  1. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  2. A faithless Republican elector voted for Reagan for president. The same elector voted for Dole for vice president as pledged.
  3. "The President and the Vice President have a complete understanding between them regarding the Vice President's decision. The letter speaks for itself. The initiative was the Vice President's" (PDF). Fordlibrarymuseum.gov. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  4. "1976 Presidential General Election Results". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  5. "Election of 1976: A Political Outsider Prevails". Archived from the original on August 2, 2003. Retrieved August 2, 2003.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link) C-SPAN. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  6. "Commercials - 1976 - Essence". The Living Room Candidate. August 9, 1974. Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  7. 1 2 Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. pp. 321–322. ISBN   0-465-04195-7.
  8. Chapter three The Bicentennial election. Archived May 2, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Debating Our Destiny: The Second 1976 Presidential Debate – October 6, 1976". Pbs.org. October 6, 1976. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  10. "The First VP Debate: Dole-Mondale, 10-15-76". Janda.org. October 15, 1976. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  11. Bob Dole interview, November 10, 1999. PBS.org.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 "CPD: 1976 Debates". www.debates.org. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  13. "1976 Debates Overview". AllPolitics. CNN. 1996. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  14. "The Daily Diary of President Gerald R. Ford - October 22, 1976" (PDF). Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum . Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  15. Jules Witcover. Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency, 1972–1976 (New York: Viking), p. 11.
  16. "How Close Were U.S. Presidential Elections?". Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2012.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  17. Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  18. "1976 Presidential General Election Data - National" . Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  19. "1976 Presidential General Election Results - Virginia". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  20. https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html

Further reading