“Sailing against the Wind”: A Reappraisal of Edward Kennedy's Campaign for the 1980 Democratic Party Presidential Nomination

Stanley, Timothy (2009) “Sailing against the Wind”: A Reappraisal of Edward Kennedy's Campaign for the 1980 Democratic Party Presidential Nomination. Journal of American Studies, 43 (2). pp. 221-253. ISSN 0021-8758

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Abstract

In 1980 Senator Edward Kennedy challenged incumbent President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Kennedy's defeat has often been used as evidence of a philosophical realignment within the American electorate in the late 1970s away from Democratic liberalism, which culminated in the election of Ronald Reagan as President. However, Kennedy performed better than this interpretation suggests. His defeat was caused by historical accident: a poor campaign, international crises and Carter's use of the incumbency. The strengths of the Kennedy campaign cast doubt upon the theory of realignment and suggest that liberalism enjoyed greater support among the US electorate than has previously been considered.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > American Studies
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:15
Last Modified: 30 May 2012 11:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19770
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