Election of 1972

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Presidential Elections 1972
President Nixon was renominated, with only token opposition, at the Republican convention in Miami Beach. Richard Nixon stated in his acceptance speech: "It has become fashionable in recent years to point out what is wrong with the American system. The critics contend that it is unfair, so corrupt, so unjust that we should tear it down and substitute something else in its place. I totally disagree, I believe in the American system."

Senator George McGovern was nominated after a long series of primary battles, as a result of which, Senators Muskie and Humphrey withdraw from the campaign. Both Senators were considered more moderate than McGovern. McGovern received the Democratic nomination on the first ballot. However, the McGovern campaign began on a sour note, when it was discovered that his Vice Presidential running mate, Senator Thomas Eagan, had received electroshock treatment for depression. Eagan resigned and was replaced by Sargent Shriver on the ticket.

The Republicans successfully depicted Senator McGovern as a radical leftist. McGovern was unable to shake that depiction. Thus, regardless of the charges that McGovern made, most Americans paid little attention to him. Nixon made few campaign appearances. Nixon also refused to debate McGovern.

As part of the 1972 campaign “CREEP” (Committee for the Reelection of the President) engaged in illegal fundraising. Members of CREEP were arrested during a break-in of the Democratic National Committee offices. That break-in, which took place in the Watergate Complex, led to the Affair that eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon.

The break-in, however, had no impact on the election. Two weeks before the election Secretary of State Kissinger announced that "peace was at hand". The result lead to one of the most one-sided elections in American history.

Participation of Eligible Voters: 55.2%

Marc Schulman

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