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Reagan vs Carter 1976


TZMB
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Here's my prediction on what would have happened if Reagan faced Carter in '76. keep in mind that 1980 and 1976 are two completely different worlds.

 

I'd say Reagan would start off behind and catch up in the debates. I think Carter would narrowly defeat Reagan due to his strength in the south. I think Reagan would have overall performed better than Ford but, without an inflation crisis, I don't think his economic ideas would have helped him.  That said, Reagan may very well win the popular vote and this would have put him in a great place to beat Carter in '80.

Carter's only pickup would be Maine along with it's second district. I just don't think Reagan's unapologetic conservatism would have bode him well in the north and Carter's strength with rural voters in ME-02 would narrowly give him the state.

Reaganvscarter.PNG

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3 hours ago, TZMB said:

Here's my prediction on what would have happened if Reagan faced Carter in '76. keep in mind that 1980 and 1976 are two completely different worlds.

 

I'd say Reagan would start off behind and catch up in the debates. I think Carter would narrowly defeat Reagan due to his strength in the south. I think Reagan would have overall performed better than Ford but, without an inflation crisis, I don't think his economic ideas would have helped him.  That said, Reagan may very well win the popular vote and this would have put him in a great place to beat Carter in '80.

Carter's only pickup would be Maine along with it's second district. I just don't think Reagan's unapologetic conservatism would have bode him well in the north and Carter's strength with rural voters in ME-02 would narrowly give him the state.

Reaganvscarter.PNG

I'm sure Reagan knew that Soviet Union had control over Eastern Europe (except Yugoslavia).😁

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1 hour ago, Timur said:

I'm sure Reagan knew that Soviet Union had control over Eastern Europe (except Yugoslavia).😁

This is true. But he also has the disadvantage of 1976 simply not having caught up to his ideas yet.

It took an inflation crisis, staggering unemployment, Carter's weakness as President, among other factors that led to Reagan's landslide win.

None of these factors exist in 1976. Watergate is still fresh on everyone's mind, the GOP is dealing with party exhaustion, holding the presidency since 1968. 1964 is a lot fresher in the minds of voters and Reagan evokes Goldwater to a lot of people at this time.

 

That said '76 Reagan has his own disadvantages and advantages compared to Ford.

Reagan, for one will probably start much further behind than Ford. This will help and hurt him. The Carter camp would likely underestimate him significantly. The GOP on the other hand, would be in disarray and many would have a hard time supporting Reagan after defeating an incumbent president. The money would come in pretty slow at first in my opinion. Shifting establishment support from Ford to Reagan would be painful and slow.

Reagan would definitely make up for a lot of his polling defecit with Carter in the debates. I think it goes without saying that Reagan is one of the most skilled political debaters of the 20th century, perhaps all time.

Also Reagan is going to do better in some areas and worse in others than Ford. I think Reagan would do better in the industrial Midwest (aside from Michigan, Fords home state), parts of the south, and assuredly the west coast. Ford does much better in places like New York, Maine and New Jersey. Places that are generally a lot more liberal on social issues.

Overall this was a winnable election for Reagan no doubt and the margins here are super close. It wouldn't surprise me if Reagan would have managed an upset. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Patine said:

If you qualify that with, "most skilled AMERICAN political debaters of the 20th century, perhaps all time," I would likely agree. But I must point out, even though I'm not a fan of his policies or platform, when the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, Brian Mulroney, turned the Canadian General Election of 1984 that, by the polls at that time, still seemed to be able to produce a majority for possibly either the Progressive Conservative or Liberal Parties, and turned it into the biggest landslide, in popular vote and seats, for a single party in Canadian Federal history, with one sharp, probing question to Liberal leader John Turner (as well as Turner's flustered, and damning, reaction), at the last debate.

It's sometimes funny how that in the 1980s, the UK, the US, and Canada all had landslide elections for their conservative parties.

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