McGovern '72 Peace and Ecology

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Text on Button McGOVERN '72
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White illustration of a peace dove and white text with an illustration of the ecology symbol in dark green on a light green background

Curl Text McGOVERN FOR PRESIDENT. CHGO., ILL (312)263-613 OR 288-5248 union bug
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In 1972, U.S. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota ran against the incumbent Richard Nixon in the United States presidential election. George McGovern won the Democratic nomination using a populist appeal on taxes and other reforms as well as a sharp antiwar stance. While Nixon ran on a campaign of strong economy and his success in foreign affairs, McGovern ran 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 gained strong favor among his supporters, but failed to stir enthusiasm among the larger population. McGovern’s campaign was 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 a landslide election.

The 1972 election was the 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. echoed McGovern’s stance on morality and honesty in politics.


George Stanley McGovern. (1998). In Encyclopedia of World Biography Online. Gale.…

George McGovern. (1998). In J. S. Baughman, V. Bondi, R. Layman, T. McConnell, & V. Tompkins (Eds.), American Decades. Gale.…

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

Catalog ID PO0923