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|-+  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
| |-+  Presidential Election Trends (Moderators: Mr. Morden, Bacon King)
| | |-+  Worst Candidates in Modern History
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Author Topic: Worst Candidates in Modern History  (Read 15108 times)
Derek
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« on: May 05, 2010, 12:22:49 am »
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Ok, let's take a look at who the worst presidential candidates were considering the following things in combination: performance in the election, charisma, experience, credentials, and political base of followers. I've really narrowed it down in my view.

Adalai Stevenson- ran against extremely popular Eisenhower both times
Richard Nixon- almost won in 1960 and was one of the best candidates a few elections later
Barry Goldwater- clearly had a large base and the GOP today is much more like him as a result
Hubert Humphrey- too close to winning
George Wallace- too big a base
George McGovern- large base helping the Dems today becomeverything he would ever want
Gerald Ford- lost by Ohio I believe and was close to winning
Jimmy Carter- won a term in 1976
Walter Mondale- boring
Michael Dukakis- putts
George H.W. Bush- won a term in 1988 and really didn't do THAT bad in 1992
Bob Dole- always remembered for his military service and senate career over losing
Al Gore- dangerously close to being president
John Kerry- 87 billion dollars cost him the election (in case you didn't know he was in Vietnam)
John McCain- Vietnam hero who spent years reaching across the aisle and didn't do THAT bad

Having said that I can narrow it down to:

A. Walter Mondale
B. Michael Dukakis
C. John Kerry

I'm leaning toward Mondale even though he ran against a popular Reagan let's face it. He had no base, no charisma, no military heroics, and would have lost his home state if Reagan campaigned there even once. Dukakis was bad too. He ran against a mediocre candidate and lost some states that Democrats should have had no problem winning like Maryland and California. I've never heard of any political groups who went in herds to support this guy either. He also needed an army tank to show his toughness lol ok I'll stop on him. John Kerry who in case you didn't know was in Vietnam, had a record of treason after returning, was dull, unattractive, and his senate record was full of inconsistencies.

You decide and have fun. Remember to focus on candidates since 1952 who represented their party in the national election.
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 12:26:49 am »
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George Wallace didn't make your list for what reason?
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Derek
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 12:35:32 am »
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He is on it by the year 1968. His base was huge in the south though. That would clearly disqualify him from what I would consider a terrible candidate. He also had experience governing a state which helps as well.
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Derek
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 12:36:29 am »
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oh all the losing candidates are on the list. Who do you think was the worst candidate considering a combination of all of those things?
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 12:37:10 am »
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He is on it by the year 1968. His base was huge in the south though. That would clearly disqualify him from what I would consider a terrible candidate. He also had experience governing a state which helps as well.

I don't see how blatant discrimination based on colour makes a good policy or candidate. Segregation now and forever should be instant grounds for worst, end of story.
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2010, 12:39:58 am »
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wow, what a surprise you picked three democrats. I think bad candidates come equally from both parties, but I can just as easily pick three republicans.

3. Thomas Dewey- lost the election after the media practically gave it to him before the polls closed
2. Alf Landon- only got 36% of the vote against Roosevelt.
the big number 1. BARRY GOLDWATER! "...sometimes I wish I could just saw off the entire eastern seaboard." (2 states on the eastern seaboard voted for him out of 6 total)
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Derek
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2010, 12:42:05 am »
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I was only going back to 1952! I agree that Landon would've been worse he got about what 3 states? As for Wallace, if you think he is the worst candidate then I respect your view. I'm considering attributes and performance over policies because I'm referring to candidates who weren't elected to office.
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 12:51:23 am »
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You might as well stick Perot on there.  As the saying goes, "He coulda been a contendah."  His antics shoved him back into a distant third.
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 12:58:49 am »
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1. Al Gore
2. Richard Nixon (in 1960)
3. Ross Perot
4. McGovern
5. Dukakis
6. Mondale
7. Carter (in 1980)

Based on what the results should have been under the cirumstances.
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Derek
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2010, 01:09:22 am »
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That's a good point ^^. I like this discussion.
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2010, 01:12:23 am »
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That's a good point ^^. I like this discussion.

Are you talking to me?
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Derek
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2010, 01:18:31 am »
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Yes, you had a good point about the nature of the times. I'm not including that on here but that's an interesting way to look at things.
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2010, 01:22:52 am »
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Yes, you had a good point about the nature of the times. I'm not including that on here but that's an interesting way to look at things.

Even though Mondale and McGovern lost in landslide, both 1972 and 1984 were bad years for any candidate from their party (due to the good economy and stable world stage). In contrast, due to the good economy, lack of foreign threats, and Clinton's high approval ratings, Gore should have won in 2000 by a large margin, but he ended up narrowly losing. Thus, I think Gore is a worse candidate than either McGovern or Mondale.
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Derek
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2010, 01:27:41 am »
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I see what you mean. I over looked him. Come to think of it he really doesn't seem that enthusiastic or base built. In fact I think he way over performed on election night anyhow. I thought Bush would go over 300 based on polls. You have some good points on here my friend.
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Sewer
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2010, 01:36:27 am »
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had a record of treason after returning

lol
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 07:28:44 am »
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This is weird.
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tb78
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 08:41:26 am »
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1. Mondale
2. Landon
3. McGovern
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2010, 09:32:36 am »
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Al Gore, Ford, H. Bush, Dole, and McCain.
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hcallega
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2010, 09:40:09 am »
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1960 on is really "modern" i suppose.
1-Al Gore, 2000
2-Walter Mondale, 1984
3-Jimmy Carter, 1980
4-George McGovern, 1972
5-Ross Perot, 1996

HHH actually ran a fantastic campaign, considering at one point it looked like it would be a landslide in Nixon's favor. He really pulled blue-collar whites in the North away from Wallace and back into his side.
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2010, 10:15:14 am »
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Barack Obama
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cope1989
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2010, 10:34:48 am »
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I am literally shocked that no one besides me has mentioned Goldwater.
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Derek
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2010, 10:45:17 am »
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Goldwater started a movement that evolved into modern day conservatism. Reagan's revolution began with him. He may have done poorly but the GOP has been more conservative ever since. Say what you want about that but the bottom line is the started a movement. As for Ross Perot, remember he was a 3rd party candidate and that's why I didn't include Ralph Nader and several others. Let's focus on Ds and Rs.
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2010, 12:05:34 pm »
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So...by this logic, McGovern's campaign would also be considered a success, having started a movement that thoroughily transormed the party?
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Derek
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2010, 12:10:53 pm »
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So...by this logic, McGovern's campaign would also be considered a success, having started a movement that thoroughily transormed the party?

not a success, just not the worst ever
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2010, 12:14:03 pm »
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McGovern and Mondale are clearly the worst; Barry Goldwater wasn't a particular good nominee either.
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