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McGOVERN FOR PRESIDENT. CHGO., ILL (312)263-613 OR 288-5248 union bug
In 1972, U.S. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota ran against the incumbent Richard Nixon in the United States presidential election. George McGovern would win the Democratic nomination using a populist appeal on taxes and other reforms as well as a sharp antiwar stance. While Nixon would run on a campaign on the strong economy and his success in foreign affairs, McGovern would run on a platform that called for end to the Vietnam war, the institution of a guaranteed minimum income, amnesty for Vietnam War resisters, and increased integration. These ideals would curry strong favor among his supporters but would fail to stir enthusiasm among the larger population. McGovern’s campaign would be damaged by the revelation that his running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had undergone electroconvulsive therapy as a treatment for depression. Eagleton was replaced on the ballot by Sargent Shriver. McGovern managed to get 37.5% of the popular vote, losing to Nixon in what would be a landslide election.
The 1972 election would be first after the passage of the Twenty-sixth Amendment, which lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen, allowing student volunteers who had aided Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 political crusade against the Vietnam War to back McGovern in the 1972 election.
McGovern’s emphasis on personal character and morality become central to presidential politics. After the events of Watergate, the next presidential election campaign from Jimmy Carter, Jr. would echo McGovern’s stance on morality and honesty in politics.
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George McGovern. (1998). In J. S. Baughman, V. Bondi, R. Layman, T. McConnell, & V. Tompkins (Eds.), American Decades. Gale. https://link-gale-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/apps/doc/K1602000102/BIC?u...
Giglio, J. N. (2009). The Eagleton Affair: Thomas Eagleton, George McGovern, and the 1972 vice presidential nomination. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 39(4). doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2009.03731.x
Graebner, N. A. (1973). Presidential politics in a divided America: 1972. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 19(1). doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1973.tb00722.x