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Alternate History

1986 U.S. Presidential Election (Nixon's Early Resignation)

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The 1986 U.S. Presidential Election saw the Democrat party winning its first presidential election in more than 20 years.

Republican Nomination

Republican candidates

  • Phillip M. Crane, Vice President of the United States from Illinois
  • Howard H. Baker Jr., former U.S. Senate Majority Leader from Tennessee
  • Peirre S. de Pont IV, former Governor of Delaware
  • Benjamin Fernandez, businessman from Michigan
  • Paul D. Laxalt, U.S. senator from Nevada

Vice President Crane was the favorite and in spite of an early loss in Iowa to Baker, Crane went on to when the nomination by Super Tuesday. For VP, Crane chose Howard Baker.

Democrat Nomination

Democrat candidates

  • Bruce E. Babbitt, Governor of Arizona
  • Joseph R. Biden Jr., U.S. senator from Delaware
  • John H. Glenn Jr., U.S. senator from Ohio
  • Jesse L. Jackson Sr., political activist from Illinois
  • Samuel A. Nunn Jr., U.S. senator from Georgia
  • Patricia N.S. Schroeder, U.S. representative from Colorado

John Glenn was the front-runner from the beginning and easily won the Iowa caucus with Babbitt and Biden coming in second and third. New Hampshire saw Glenn winning over Babbitt 38% to 33%, and Babbitt went on to win primaries in Maine, Vermont and South Dakota and soon seen as the liberal alternative to the more moderate Glenn. Super Tuesday saw Glenn winning the large states like Texas and Florida plus most of the upper south, Babbitt carried New England and the far west, and Nunn and Jackson split the southern states.

Glenn won the primaries in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California and by June had secured the nomination. Glenn chose fellow moderate Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate to help ensure victory for the ticket.

General Election

Glenn lead throughout the campaign by appealing to moderates. By November, Crane had nearly closed the gap but it was not enough.

Candidate Party Popular Vote PV% Electoral Vote Running Mate
John Herschel Glenn Jr. Democrat 46,034,843 50.% 305 Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr.
Phillip Miller Crane Republican 42,523,198 48.0% 332 Howard Henry Baker Jr.
Lloyd Millard Bentsen Jr. Democrat - - 1 John Miller Glenn Jr.
Other - 987,213 1.1% - -

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