The American presidental election of 1972, Nixon and McGovern

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 1997

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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 Maine, Senator George McGovern of South

Dakota and Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota. Other candidates who didn't

receive quite as much recognition were Alabama governor George C.

Wallace, Mayor Sam Yorty of Los Angeles, Rep. Wilbur D. Mills of

Arkansas, Sen. Vance Hartke of Indiana, former Senator Eugene J.

McCarthy of Minnesota, Mayor John Lindsay of New York City and Rep.

Shirley Chisholm of New York. Chisholm was the first black to run in a

series of presidential primaries.' (Congressional Quarterly, 'Guide to U.S.

Elections', Third ed., 1994, pg.603-605.) 5

Governor Wallace had a devastating moment in his campaign while in

Maryland. 'In early May a sick young man named Arthur Bremer altered the

politics of 1972. As Governor Wallace campaigned toward certain victory in

the Maryland primary, Bremer stepped forward out of a shopping-center

crowd and shot him four times. Wallace survived, but at the cost of being

paralyzed from the waist down. Maryland's voters surged out on election day

to give Wallace a huge victory, his last of 1972. While Wallace recuperated,

the millions who would have voted for him as a Democratic or independent

candidate began to move in...