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The Shifting Bases of American Politics

  • Seymour Martin Lipset

Abstract

The 1980 election is the third presidential election out of the last four won by the Republican nominee. In 1976, Gerald Ford, running with the handicap of being the appointed successor of the Watergate villain Richard Nixon, whom he had pardoned, troubled by economic reverses for most of his two-year term, and having performed badly in the television debates, lost to a new face, the populist, yet moderate Jimmy Carter, by only two percent (50–48). More to the point, Ford carried both the Mid-West and West, and basically lost the election because Jimmy Carter captured his home region, the South, by 54 to 45 percent, the first time a Democrat had done so since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Carter did this by sharply increasing his vote among his fellow white Southern Baptists far above that received by Democratic presidential nominees in previous post-war elections. Without Carter’s religious-regional appeal, it is probable that Ford would have won the election.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Westdeutscher Verlag GmbH, Opladen 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour Martin Lipset

There are no affiliations available

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