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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

The Way Things Were

I’m starting to agree with Josh Kraushaar that “This election still shaping up much along the lines of ’80, but Romney/ “HW Bush” could be the winner this time around.”i think, fundamentally, this primary season is rather close to 1980. You have an activist, angry Republican base in a bad economy unhappy with the GOP establishment almost as much as they are with the Democrats. You’ve got the establishment GOP scared to death of the conservative alternative to their safe pick — George H. W. Bush. Then there is Gerald Ford who could be compared to this year’s Chris Christie boomlet.All things being equal, Perry is clearly no Reagan. Reagan stayed upbeat, optimistic, and was good on his feet. Perry not so much. At least he has not been and perhaps has now had a wake up call. In any event, as a fun exercise, let’s go back to 1979.

October 19, 1979’s Facts on File World News Digest:

Formation of The New Hampshire Primary Committee to Draft President Ford in 1980 followed a Boston Globe poll of New Hampshire voters that showed Ford defeating former California Gov. Ronald Reagan 38% to 34%.On Oct. 12, Gov. Richard A. Snelling (R, Vt.) announced a personal effort to persuade Ford to run, telling reporters that he was spending $4,000 to $6,000 of his own money to send out letters to Republicans nationwide to build sentiment for a Ford candidacy. Snelling said that only Ford could unify the party.

New York Times on October 16, 1979:

George Bush wins straw poll conducted by Iowa Daily Press Assn. Is favored for Republican Presidential nomination by 35.7% of party members attending fund-raising dinner in Ames, Iowa. John B Connally receives 15.3% in poll, Sen Bob Dole gets 14.8% and Ronald Reagan, who did not attend, gets 11.3%

New York Times on October 1, 1979:

Ex-Pres Ford is considering entering ’80 Republican Presidential race with low-intensity campaign. Rules out exhausting load of personal campaigning, partially out of concern that it might threaten his wife’s recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Supporters are concerned that Ford is understaffed and politically isolated, but are buoyed by fact that he consistently runs better than Ronald Reagan in national polls.

Associated Press, September 17, 1979:

A telephone survey of New Hampshire voters indicates that former President Gerald Ford still is the favorite Republican presidential candidate in that state. But without Ford as a candidate, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan is stronger than ever, pulling half the vote among a field of seven prospective candidates.

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