How would George McGovern fair in today's political climate?
This is not a Democratic primary OP but rather an observation that 4 to 8 years ago the thought of Sen. Sanders being a viable candidate would have been considered unthinkable. Obviously there has been a dramatic shift in a sizeable portion of the American electorate.
Admittedly, I'm too young to have any familiarity with McGovern apart from what I have read but it seems he presaged the Sanders candidacy.
Comments would be appreciated.
That was my last paid-staff campaign job, but it was SO over by the time the 'kids' were brought in (twas 24 at the time). I deeply admired Senator McGovern in many similar ways to Bernie.
In 1972 there were more delegates chosen by state conventions and fewer by primaries. The McGovernites packed the local party meetings and took over the state conventions. It was an amazing organizational triumph. In the primaries McGovern was so-so. Total popular vote for all of the state primaries added together was pretty much split between McGovern, Humphrey, and George Wallace. Where the state conventions were taken over by the McGovernites, they froze out anyone as a delegate except their true believers. Democratic governors and senators were denied their courtesy positions as members of the delegations as were labor leaders. This probably was the genesis of the idea of "super delegates" to permit senior office holders to have a say. It was also the beginning of the split between white blue collar workers and the progressive wing of the party.
After the convention, the "movement" wanted to run the campaign 100% freezing out the normal party machinery in the states and localities. The party machinery then concentrated on the down ticket races. Despite the landslide debacle in the election (McGovern won one state and DC), there was little change in the composition of the House, Senate, or state governors.
If Bernie is the nominee I think the outcome will be similar. McGovern's supporters, of which I was one, were just as fervent as Bernies. Everybody I knew voted for McGovern and We were shocked at the landslide.