The year was 1976; the one decade national nightmare of Vietnam was still fresh in the minds of the people, the economy was on a steady decline and the decade's long Cold War was marching on. It was an election season, and the choices were clear; a President whose action to pardon his predecessor caused massive controversy throughout the nation, or a dark horse democratic governor from the deep south who the people had little understanding of. The names of these men were Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, and his immediate successor, Jimmy Carter, 39th President.
In probably the closest election since 1960, Gerald Ford's campaign fell in on itself, as blunder after blunder, caused either by himself or his running mate Bob Dole, whose constant misfiring statements, either wrong or misplaced, lost the American public's trust. Jimmy Carter's campaign sprung into action following the second round debate, and despite close polls, defeated the incumbent Ford to win the White House.
This timeline will explore a universe in which Ford's campaign made far less blunders than in OTL, and won the re-election in 1976.