The Presidential Election Of 1972 Essay

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The Presidential Election of 1972

     The Presidential election of 1972 had two strong candidates, President
Richard Nixon and George McGovern. There were many issues which had a great deal of importance to the election. The Vietnam war and the stability of the economy at the time were two main factors. The election ended in one the largest political scandals in U.S. history, being the Watergate break-in, and cover-up, by President Richard Nixon.
     The Democratic party had a large selection of candidates from which to choose for the primary elections of 1972. There were many well known candidates who entered the race for the nomination. The leading contenders were Edmund S.
Muskie of
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But McGovern won all of California's giant delegation, and beat
Humphrey 44.3% to 39.1% in the popular vote."5 That loss spelled out the end for Humphrey's Democratic nomination.
     Many felt Edmund Muskie was sure to win the Democratic nomination for the election of 1972. "All political observers agreed on the certainty that
Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine would be the Democratic party's nominee."1 "As the front-runner, he wanted to snare the nomination early and so was committed to running in all of the first eight presidential primaries. Prominent
Democratic politicians lined up eagerly to endorse him. Among them: Gov. John
Gilligan of Ohio; Leonard Woodcock, President of the United Auto Workers; Iowa
Senator Harold Hughes; and Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp."1 Muskie had many supporters, and a good chance of receiving the nomination, perhaps even becoming the next President of the United States. President Nixon knew that
Muskie had a good chance of winning and felt he had to do something to get
Muskie out of the race. Nixon had seven men who were loyal to him make up false press releases about Muskie, and his wife. These press releases claimed that
Muskie had had affairs with both men and women, that he beat his wife, and then the topper which claimed that Muskies' wife was an alcoholic. These false statements destroyed Muskies' campaign and reputation of being a calm trustworthy candidate. Then one day
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