Choosing the Candidates

  • John Kenneth White


Yogi Berra and Will Rogers are fondly remembered for their famous sayings. Managing the New York Mets back in 1973, Berra coined the phrase, “It ain’t over’till it’s over.” And Rogers liked to tell audiences: “I belong to no organized party. I’m a Democrat.” These aphorisms have frequently been applied to commentary surrounding the often divisive and legendary battles among the Democratic presidential contenders. In 1972, Democrats did not choose their candidate until the party’s convention, when South Dakota senator George McGovern beat former vice president Hubert H. Humphrey; in 1976, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter clinched the nomination in June; in 1980, Carter and Massachusetts senator Edward M. Kennedy carried their rivalry into the convention hall; in 1984, former vice president Walter Mondale spent several months running against ex–Colorado senator Gary Hart; and in 1992, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton secured the nomination in the late spring after a long battle with former Massachusetts senator Paul Tsongas and former California governor Jerry Brown. Only in 1996 did Democrats have an easy time of it with Clinton, as president, running unopposed. That is, until now.


Democratic Party Bush Administration Republican Party Exit Poll Midterm Election 
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Copyright information

© Kevin J. McMahon, David M. Rankin, Donald W. Beachler, and John Kenneth White 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Kenneth White

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