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United States 1976 - Alternate History


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I thought this might make an interesting scenario.

RFK and MLK are not assassinated in 1968, and RFK goes on to lost the Democratic Nomination to Humphrey at the Convention. Nixon is elected. RFK is widely expected to run in 1972 but doesn't, and Nixon wins re-election aganist George McGovern in a landslide. Watergate never happens, and Nixon is leaving office as a fairly popular President, but the Vietnam War doesn't look set to end anytime soon. RFK has announced that he will contest the Democratic Nomination in 1976. MLK has announced that he will run as an Independent.

Candidates:

Republicans:

Vice President Spiro Agnew of Maryland

House Minority Leader Gerald Ford of Michigan

Governor Ronald Reagan of California

Governor John Connally of Texas

Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona (Off)

Senator Bob Dole of Kansas (Off)

Democrats:

Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York

Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia

Governor George Wallace of Alabama

Governor Jerry Brown of California

Representative Morris Udall of Arizona

Senator Henry M. Jackson of Washington

Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts (Off)

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Good idea for a scenario. I don't know about MLK running and i am not sure how strong he would be seeing as his and RFK's support base was essentially the same. He would be more likely to be an important endorser or powerful Crusader for RFK (despite rifts they did have a good relationship with one another).

With Vietnam ongoing after Nixon promised to end the war and RFK running I imagine the Democrats would be quite far ahead in the polls (equivalent of George H. W. in '88) and Nixon would be somewhat unpopular (important endorser though). This would presumably mean that Agnew would be somewhat tainted and would make the GOP primary a toss up between Ford and Reagan (possibly with an edge to Reagan). The idea of a close Kennedy V Reagan election is very exciting. It also seems feasable that Robert Kennedy would skip the '72 election due to Chappaquiddick rather than risk having the spotlight too firmly on Edward.

With no Watergate that would presumably mean Carter (as an Washington outsider) would not be as potent a candidate and probably behind Udall (and obviously RFK).

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This sounds like it would be a fun scenario.

I actually think if RFK ran the Democratic field would be a bit more narrow, maybe Mo Udall and Bentsen get dropped, and I think any momentum Carter had in RL would be gone since he was largely only popular because he was so far out of the way of being a Washington insider and didn't have any Watergate-esque taint.

I'm also not exactly sure if Connally would have run just yet, considering it was in '73 that he became a Republican.

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