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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Monday, August 27, 2012

ABC News: ABC Evening News 1972 VP Drama: The George McGovern Convention

Howard K. Smith
ABC News: ABC Evening News 1972 VP Drama: The George McGovern Convention

George McGovern did a lot to bring in new voters to the Democratic Party. Reaching to African, Latin, Asian and Jewish Americans. As well as women and suburban voters, after the civil rights movement of the 1960s. With a large number of Southern Anglo-Saxon Protestant Americans heading to the GOP because of civil rights. And you could credit Senator McGovern with even saving the Democratic Party. Because without these new voters, all of these new people would’ve ended up Republicans, or not voting at all.

And we would’ve seen Republican Congress’s, not just a Republican Senate, but the GOP would’ve won back the House and Senate well before 1994. Perhaps even by 1980 with the Reagan Revolution, because the Democratic Party would’ve been left with a large hole to fill. With all of those Southern voters heading to the GOP, without other voters heading to the Democratic Party. So by bringing in all of these new voters to the Democratic Party, Senator McGovern deserves credit for saving the Democratic Party. From future losses in Congress and the White House after 1972.

Democrats added to their majorities in Congress in 1974. And they won back the White House while holding both the House and Senate in 1976. But the Democratic Party paid such a heavy price for it in 1972, yes President Nixon was pretty popular. But they were a very divided party between establishment Liberals who wanted a united party to face the Republicans in the fall and the anti-war New-Left Social Democrats. That wanted to take over the party and return it to where it was in the 1960s and build on the New Deal and Great Society. And George McGovern also deserves credit for running the most disorganize convention in the TV era.