McGoverning

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Yes, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: McGoverning: Appendix to Chapter 3, or, How to Butterfly an Election Like a Shrimp...

    Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

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    The first of two appendices to the chapter above: this one covers the gritty allohistorical details of the presidential election. You'll get a scorecard on other major races in the next appendix.



    So how did they do it? How did this TL come to its particular end of the wild ride through a very different 1972 presidential election? What are the demographic breakdowns? When do we get some sweet, sweet Electoral College porn? The answer to that last question is, right now you lucky people:

    [​IMG]

    This totals out as:

    Sen. George S. McGovern (D-SD)/Sen. Philip A. Hart (D-MI), 271 EVs, 43.36%
    Pres. Richard M. Nixon (R-CA)/Vice Pres. Spiro T. Agnew (R-MD), 219 EVs, 42.71%
    Gov. George C. Wallace (AIP-AL)/Rep. John G. Schmitz (AIP-CA), 48 EVs, 13.88%

    For starters, in the end the AIP ticket outperformed the party's 1968 results, notably in their popular-vote total. Numbers were up at least slightly for the AIP nationwide and the number of states in which they made the critical difference was frankly huge, given later second-preference polling of declared Wallace voters in different parts of the country. Local quirks late in the race denied Wallace Arkansas' electoral votes, chiefly former governor Winthrop Rockefeller deciding to go in for the Nixon ticket in an anti-Wallace effort and the one state in the country where an uptick in McGovern voting actually pulled down Wallace, rather than Wallace enabling McGovern pluralities. Wallace did in the end mobilize a conservative anti-Nixon vote, to the ends that he sought, it just wasn't quite enough in the end when matched up with the very late McGovern surge. Otherwise, the AIP got as close as they could while falling short of their goal in the end.

    What about those McGovern numbers? Well, the national numbers reflect my methodology in general. First there's a portion of the shift (between OTL's final McGovern numbers and these numbers) of a little less than 0.5% that's a combination of improved turnout by McGovern partisans who don't feel discouraged here plus some low-information voters who decide that at least they haven't heard anything morally bad about McGovern. That gets the distance between OTL and this down to about 5%. Of that 5%, slightly less than half is voters McGovern keeps because there's no Eagleton disaster and he runs a more disciplined campaign in the fall that makes those voters feel it's worth sticking with him. Those are the numbers -- about 2-3% of the final vote total -- that electoral demographers and most reputable pollsters figure McGovern lost IOTL to the knock-on consequences of the Eagleton affair. So now we're inside of 3% in the gap. That gets closed by a combination of increased turnout among what we could call motivated voters (not "I'll vote for McGovern if I don't think it'll suck" but "I want to get rid of Nixon but need to believe my vote counts"), particularly under-25s and minority voters. And the under-25s who do bother to vote end up tending towards the ones who back McGovern (from the very start there was always a strong conservative element in the Baby Boom generation, they were just often politically lazy until Saint Ronnie turned up and made hippie-punching fun.) That accounts for some of the difference and it makes a critical difference in some states, for example in California and also, to some surprise, in Missouri. There are also more farmers and union workers who stick with the ticket in the end, but many of those can be reckoned in the lost-to-Eagleton column. The last vital difference, probably the entirety of the small margin between McGovern and Nixon above of just under 500,000 voters are a combination of self-declared independents and very, very liberal Republicans (still registered Republican but by '72 they vote Democratic about as often as they do for the GOP), more women among them than men, who decide that while they have reservations about McGovern they also have a civic duty to vote and he's better than these other two morally tainted candidates, Nixon and Wallace. This is the kind of voting that nets McGovern some very important states: to move with the time zones, Connecticut first, then Pennsylvania, then Iowa, then California and to a lesser degree (because McGovern is already strong there) Oregon.

    At state-by-state level, then, with a few local variations based on what I set out as the local conditions in the race (like Arkansas), that governs the results. Take a slightly improved 1968 AIP percentage, take this McGovern total typically modified by a hair over 5%, and see what happens. Now, there are four key exceptions to that. In two cases it's only a slight difference, and that's in Connecticut and Missouri. In CT it's a combination of more union loyalty to the Democrats and Liberals-For-McGovern GOP turncoats. In Missouri it's more farmers who decide to go with the most objectively pro-small farmer candidate of either major party since 1945, plus increased youth and minority turnout in the urban areas, and holding the line on Catholics thanks to Phil Hart's campaigning and getting buy-in from the state's still-Democratic establishment in the end (the "we need to get Nixon out and McGovern will owe us one" argument.) Pennsylvania reflects this on a larger scale, in part because there are more Liberals-For-McGovern Republican types, in part because McGovern actually gets advised to wade in and align with the Miners For Democracy movement, most popular in PA because that's where the late Jake Yablonsky was from, and this gets more blue-collar types on his side who are far enough out of the South to calculate that a Wallace vote is ultimately wasted in their state. The big difference of anywhere in the country, the place where I've gotten closest to true handwavium rather than a different set of practical dynamics, is Maine. McGovern could certainly overperform in Maine in a TL like this, above his average national improvement. But that would still likely leave him short. In this case, Muskie and the state party pull out all the stops to encourage (untypical in Maine) straight-ticket votes for McGovern and Hathaway at the top of the ballot and then on down. Even then it's hairy. McGovern takes ME-1 with a small but clear majority. In the back country of ME-2 he just loses, and with it an electoral vote, but this is also the area where Wallace is strongest in the state. So when you tally up the Maine totals McGovern ends up winning by a plurality, which gives him three out of the four electoral votes and enough for the victory.

    So despite the popular-vote margin it's really desperately close, because that margin's in places like New York and California and Illinois, where even one percent of the vote is a lot of people and places where his margin's any bigger helps, because a lot of the states where Nixon would otherwise crush McGovern have substantial Wallace votes that bite into Nixon's numbers. Really it's just over 9,000 votes in Missouri and a little over 3,000 in Maine that make the difference for an Electoral College victory. So in the end really you could shift just a hair over 20,000 votes in three states and come up with a hung Electoral College that looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    McGovern/Hart 256 EVs
    Nixon/Agnew 228 EVs
    Wallace/Schmitz 54 EVs

    Or, indeed, McGovern could win MO and take ME-1 by only a plurality and end up on 269 EVs, where all it takes is a faithless Elector to put him over -- or a deal with Wallace for one of the two or three Wallace states where Electors were not legally bound by their votes in 1972 (Louisiana comes to mind, Fear, Loathing, and Gumbo indeed....) The latter could potentially have Eagleton-ed McGovern, damaged the view that he was a different, more principled kind of politician. But in the longer term some of it would depend on the substance of the deal. So the degree to which this avoids a damned mess is wafer-thin.

    How much difference, for that matter, does Wallace make in the end? A huge one. Based on second-preference numbers for Wallace voters and more sense among undecideds that there's only McGovern to go to if you want to vote against Nixon, you get something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Nixon/Agnew 423
    McGovern/Hart 115

    A herculean effort delivers Phil Hart's home state by a plurality, and elsewhere Iowa and Illinois are really quite close but not close enough. With even more doom and gloom about Nixon you could probably snag both of them, which takes the McGovern total for the Electoral College to 149, a respectable effort with a national vote total maybe around 44% but even then the whole conservative-coalition phenomenon makes the difference. All for a GOP ticket whose Vice President will be lucky to make it to the inauguration without resigning and a President with ... some serious explaining to do. Really because of OH NOES TEH HIPPEHS and McGovern's positions on national security issues. What would that mean, ITTL, for the political future of the Dems? McGovern himself would probably give some serious consideration to a "buyer's remorse" run in 1976 and, if not, he would likely back the same kind of effort by Ed Muskie who in this 'verse has Loeb v. Segretti as well as Nixon's own mess to encourage people that Muskie Wuz Robbed. At the level of the Democratic establishment, there would be a lot of pressure for something like a Scoop Jackson/Reubin Askew ticket: the New Dealer hawk who was against busing at the top and an integrationist liberal Southerner who's into government reform but also anti-abortion on religious grounds (so in the comfort zone of "Catholic ethnics") to try and take the old Democratic coalition for one last ride because people flee to the familiar under stress. On the Republican side when Agnew goes there's still a very good chance that Ford ends up as the 25th-ed VP, and if not him Nixon either gambles on Reagan as an insurance policy against impeachment (and a chance to make this look even more like a partisan witch hunt if Democrats vote against him) or picks someone like Chuck Percy on the same general grounds as Ford, though Ford has more credibility with old-line (in other words pre-New Right) Republican conservatives. Really in most 'verses an Agnew-less Nixon finds Gerry Ford in the frame more often than not. I suspect, in-universe here where people remember the shock of McGovern's mythic, insurgent run for the presidency and the crazy election night that actually brought him into office, these are the AH discussions people would have later. And their content -- the propositions they make -- will have repercussions here as people mull over what alternatives to the fact of a McGovern Administration might look like.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  2. Threadmarks: McGoverning: Appendix to Chapter 3 the Second, or, You Can't Tell the Players Without a Scorecard...

    Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

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    Here are the additional races, because of course there's this level of granular detail, would you ever think otherwise? You're lucky I don't inflict the full run of changes in the House of Representatives on both of us....

    United States Senatorial Elections, 1972

    Alabama: John Sparkman (D) def. Winton M. Blount (R)
    Alaska: Ted Stevens (R) def. Gene Guess (D)
    Arkansas: John McClellan (D) def. Wayne H. Babbitt (R)
    Colorado: Floyd Haskell (D) def. Gordon L. Allott (R)
    Delaware: Joe Biden (D) def. Caleb L. Boggs (R)
    Georgia: Fletcher Thompson (R) def. Sam Nunn (D) (in the end Nixon breaks his Southern Strategy rule for fear of Wallace and Thompson just edges it out)
    Idaho: James McClure (R) def. William E. Davis (D)
    Illinois: Charles Percy (R) def. Roman Pucinski (D)
    Iowa: Dick Clark (D) def. Jack Miller (R)
    Kansas: James B. Pearson (R) def. Arch Tetzlaff (D)
    Kentucky: Walter Dee Huddleston (D) def. Louie B. Nunn (R)
    Louisiana: J. Bennett Johnston (D) def. John McKeithen (I) and Ben Toledano (R) (pre-jungle primary days)
    Maine: William Hathaway (D) def. Margaret Chase Smith (R)
    Massachusetts: Edward Brooke (R) def. John J. Droney (D)
    Michigan: Frank Kelley (D) def. Robert P. Griffin (R) (much easier for you to win when McGovern takes your state...)
    Minnesota: Walter Mondale (D) def. Phil Hansen (R)
    Mississippi: James Eastland (D) def. Gil Carmichael (R)
    Montana: Lee Metcalf (D) def. Henry S. Hibbard (R)
    Nebraska: Terry Carpenter (D) def. Carl Curtis (R) (possibly the marquee upset of the night)
    New Hampshire: Thomas J. McIntyre (D) def. Wesley Powell (R)
    New Jersey: Clifford P. Case (R) def. Paul J. Krebs (D)
    New Mexico: Pete Domenici (R) def. Jack Daniels (D)
    North Carolina: Jesse Helms (R) def. Nick Galifianakis (D) (Jesse wins yet so does Skipper Bowles -- conservative NC Dems are still feeling their way in this new world)
    Oklahoma: Ed Edmonson (D) def. Dewey F. Bartlett (R) (boosted by the Wallace factor despite his personal moderation)
    Oregon: Mark Hatfield (R) def. Wayne Morse (D) (Hatfield actually, quietly, plays on his past ties to McGovern to outdistance the prickly Morse)
    Rhode Island: Claiborne Pell (D) def. John Chafee (R)
    South Carolina: Strom Thurmond (R) def. Eugene N. Ziegler (D)
    South Dakota: James Abourezk (D) def. Robert W. Hirsh (R)
    Tennessee: Howard Baker (R) def. Ray Blanton (D)
    Texas: John Tower (R) def. Barefoot Sanders (D)
    Virginia: William B. Spong, Jr. (D) def. William L. Scott (R) (another unintended beneficiary of the Wallace run, or at least a dissatisfaction with the GOP among late deciders)
    West Virginia: Jennings Randolph (D) def. Louise Blount (R)
    Wyoming: Clifford Hansen (R) def. Mike Vinich (D)

    In special cases:
    Frank E. Denholm (D) is appointed to replace President-elect McGovern from South Dakota
    Robert P. Griffin (R) is returned to the Senate by Michigan's Republican governor Bill Milliken to replace Vice President-elect Hart

    U.S. Senate now Democrats 57, Republicans 43


    United States House of Representatives Elections, 1972


    Democrats: 250, - 5 seats

    Republicans: 185, + 5 seats
    (Yes I have actually gone through it seat by seat. The most notable event -- "highlight" is a relative term -- is that in the TBTverse Dennis Kucinich gets into the House sooner. I don't think any of us want me to do a blow-by-blow on this. Just trust I've run the numbers and the local factors.)

    United States Gubernatorial Elections, 1972

    Arkansas: Dale Bumpers (D) def. Len E. Blaylock (R)

    Delaware: Sherman Willard Tribbit (D) def. Russell W. Peterson (R)
    Illinois: Richard B. Ogilvie (R) def. Dan Walker (D) (Ogilvie does a little better pulling AIP voters to his side)
    Indiana: Otis Bowen (R) def. Matthew Empson Welsh (D)
    Iowa: Robert D. Ray (R) def. Paul Franzenberg (D)
    Kansas: Robert Docking (D) def. Morris Kay (R)
    Missouri: Christopher "Kit" Bond (R) def. Edward L. Doud (D) (Bond does a little better with Wallace voters than the average Republican)
    Montana: Thomas Lee Judge (D) def. Ed Smith (R)
    New Hampshire: Roger J. Crowley (D) def. Meldrim Thompson, Jr. (R) and Malcolm McLane (I) (say buh-bye, Mel...)
    North Carolina: Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles (D) def. James Holshouser (R) (more tribal Southern Dems vote for not-the-Republicans again)
    North Dakota: Arthur A. Link (D) def. Richard F. Larsen (R)
    Rhode Island: Philip W. Noel (D) def. Herbert F. DeSimone (R)
    South Dakota: Richard F. Kneip (D) def. Carveth Thompson (R)
    Texas: Dolph Briscoe (D) def. Henry Grover (R) and Ramsey Muniz (LRU)
    Utah: Calvin L. Rampton (D) def. Nicholas L. Strike (R) (a last hurrah for the Utah Dems)
    Vermont: Thomas P. Salmon (D) def. Luther Fred Hackett (R)
    Washington: Daniel J. Evans (R) def. Albert Rosselini (D) and Vick Gould (T) (Evans has the closest escape of his career)
    West Virginia: Jay Rockefeller (D) def. Arch A. Moore, Jr. (a Rockefeller surfs the wave of popular discontent. Go figure.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  3. Usili Carry On Wayward Son

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    Goddamn, that was just amazing in going through the pinnacle of the election. You could just feel all the separate emotions and such raging through the election and I could at least picture myself in it and watching everything coming together at once.
     
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  4. Israel Well-Known Member

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    Best triple update ever!
     
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  5. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

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    You're both much too kind but I do appreciate it. It's a crazy ride there at the end, and I hope more -- the level of confusion out there in the land, the conflicting issues, the mines still waiting to go off, the "more luck than judgment" character of all three campaigns' successes and failures. Contingency, contingency, contingency. If I didn't already have so much planned for the actual meat of the TL -- a world with a McGovern Administration in it -- I might well have let chips fall differently in Maine at least and sent the whole damn thing to Congress. But as it is like... certain recent elections only different, there's that tip of momentum at the end, especially after Agnew's unmasked as just this cheap crooked pol, where both conservative Democrats (and a few Republicans) head for the Wallace exit and the most liberal Republicans (parents of modern-day professional-class Democrats) hold their nose for McGovern on Pat Cadell-ian grounds (the honest man in a broken system.) Even so there are still plenty of folks out there ready to either stay "safe" with what they know or even angrily defend Nixon. That will have repercussions over the whole life of the TL.

    I'm glad it held its suspense -- it is by far the longest chapter in the whole damned "book," in large part because at least in the AH.com version here there was no good place towards the middle to split it.
     
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  6. Charcolt Canvassing for Maverick Case

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    Wow. Just wow. I'm blown away by the detail and depth of this timeline. You have a brilliant writing style and I can't wait to see where this America is heading.

    Only twelve years of Republican Presidents in the forty since the Depression - that's got to sting.
     
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  7. King of the Uzbeks Charles Curtis is my Baby Daddy

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    Yaaay
     
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  8. Electric Monk Does Your Believing For You

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    A phenomenal chapter.

    Fantastic use of the cast of characters you’ve assembled, and how *Watergate is happening in a world where McGovern actually has a shot. Utah with two Democratic Senators! [teach me too read to fast, thought the Governor hopped to the Senate —Ed] (It’d be nice for western & farm Dems to remain stronger ITTL.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  9. King of the Uzbeks Charles Curtis is my Baby Daddy

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    It seems this TL has a nicer future for Eagleton then what he got IOTL
     
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  10. Gentleman Biaggi Leader of the bisexual agenda

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    YEAHHHHHHHH BABY
     
  11. andry2806 Well-Known Member

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    It has been breathtaking.
     
  12. John Farson The Good Man

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    Now with McGovern as the victor, I wonder what this will mean for all the investigations? On the one hand, no one wants to set a precedent of the victorious candidate going after the losing one via investigations. On the other hand, well, a lot has already come to light; I suppose, at the very least, Agnew is boned.

    Interesting to see how the election affects the Paris peace talks. It's clear that Thieu was hopping mad, even moreso than IOTL. If the talks get further FUBAR:ed, well... there are the B-52s... And Nixon's now a man with nothing left to lose.
     
  13. Mr.J Well-Known Member

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    Time did it for HRC in 2016, I think a few were accidentally sold.
     
  14. Gonzo Grumpy Poujadist Norn Person

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    I haven't really been following this TL until recently, and all I can say is wow. This is genuinely great and the description of election night is brilliant. This time period in terms of US politics has always been a favourite a mine, and this TL just shows how hectic and peculiar the '72 race really was.
     
  15. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

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    You're very kind. Thank you. And you're on to something at the end there. What do we know about the hard right in America, dating back at least to Calvin Coolidge days and through the Depression with the Old Right on up to the New? When they lose they don't back off, they double down. Double down on the ideology, on the tactics, on the commitment, on the grievance, on the belief that they stand at Armageddon and battle for the Lord (even the irreligious ones.) So now you've had another defeat, and one that to their minds has a lot to do with not only the ethical but the ideological shortcomings of Dick Nixon. Now, on the other hand, Nixon is all set to be a martyr to various forces at this point which is a role he was really good at, so we may not have heard the last of Nixonian ideology in the GOP. But the general response on the right of NOT PURE ENOUGH PURE HARDER MOAR PURE FOR THE PURE GOD will very much rear its head. Well spotted.

    :)

    Thanks! Well, it's really that "Watergate" (and I will point out now for anyone who missed it that via "Brookingsgate" the people of TTL are still stuck in a world where every major political scandal in the United States has a frigging "-gate" in it ;)) happens in the ... dramatic and unavoidable (in terms of press coverage) way that it does. It's not a dull black-bag job that maybe links to maybe something else ooh look Up With People are doing a medley of Glen Miller tunes isn't that nice, it's that Chuck Colson blew up a goddamn building in *LBJ's inimitable words. That by itself not only gives McGovern a chance, it catalyzes a variety of things including McGovern's own focus and resolve, often lacking IOTL after primaries season, it throws a whole series of other things into whack to make this possible. All the elements fall into place but it's entirely contingent that they do, just like it was entirely contingent that they panned out like they did IOTL. As a minor correction it's one senator and one governor in Utah but they're still there which is a big thing. As McGovern not only comes from a farm state but has some pretty big ideas about US farm and food policy and several key advisers also from the same background, there will be more oomph in farm-state Dems. How that pans out overall, YMMV, but they will have more juice in them ITTL.

    Possibly. In the near term, absolutely: he can stand at a bit of a distance and make private jokes about his "amnesty, abortion, and acid" line as Permanent Washington harrumphs its way towards a stare-down with McGovern's policy idealism, and whatever (in the words of the chapter) They say about the skeletons in Eagleton's closet will stay out of the news. Indeed right now after all that work on turning out St. Louis and environs, the "senator from McDonnell Douglas" is fixin' to cash in some chips...

    :cool: It's baaaaaack...

    There may not be a single, quiet, untrammeled space in the multiverse where Agnew is not boned. A dear test-threader friend expressed it in a video where a low-level mook is down on the floor getting kicked repeatedly by a higher-level mobster who shouts again and again "HOW COULD YOU FUCK THIS UP !?!??!?" This. The lesson, however, is that generally Angew Will Always Fuck This Up. Partly because he has done so for so long, and out of such habit, that a POD otherwise lies well outside this TL. As late as January 1973 the "boys on the bus" already entertained themselves with the idea of an Agnew vs. Reagan vs. Connally vs. Rockefeller battle royale in the 1976 Republican primaries. That is a far distant country hard now to imagine. Also it shows how thin and brittle the structure around Agnew was, if he somehow survived a while longer Nixon's venom or John Sears's oppo research in 1976 was set to bring him down.

    As for the investigations you're right, it would be a bad precedent. Not everyone in the new administration will avoid having power go to their heads, although Permanent Washington, especially in those days, could offer some powerful correctives. Mostly it's a case where TTL has unleashed so many different angles on those investigations, in full flow by this point, that they really do have a life of their own. The McGovern folk will have to find a way to do their official duties without looking too partisan ... which Nixon will of course make as difficult as possible because he is the honey badger of American politics. Not only can he kill three lions at one go but also, he just don't care.

    Whatever do you mean? Richard Milhous Nixon is a very stable genius, don't you know. All other explanations are now inoperative (thank you, Mr. Ziegler, it's good to hear from you.) It will of course have an effect. You have a North who figure they can get what they want from McGovern, within reason, although they would probably prod him here and there just to see how he reacts. Thieu is more or less a cornered animal at this point, he has Nixon after him from sheer spite, other South Vietnamese bigwigs angling for his job, the PRG measuring him for a pine box, and a McGovern administration-in-embryo that wants to throw him (Thieu) personally to the wolves in order to change the political dynamics of the region even if a red flag does not fly over Saigon. Nixon has all that, plus his own demons to deal with. And, oh, look. I wonder if the next chapter might deal with events between, say, election night 1972 and the 20th of January 1973. It is to think on;);). Even if Nixon's goose is cooked, Hanoi may find that its duck is hooked (google "duck hook" and page past the golf-slang entries.) I want you to think big here, Henry. (Google that phrase too and stop when you find the Nixon reference.)

    Wow. Thanks.

    Indeed so. That's one that will show up in some TLs soon no doubt.

    *Kneels.* You have my sword. This from half of the duo who graced AH.com with No Southern Strategy (not to mention a series of delightfully batshit Irish scenarios) is very high praise. Election night was fun to write, the claustrophobia and the pinball of bouncing from data point to data point unmoored, especially in a three-way race within what's built to be a two-track system. It is a wonderful time period to mess with because the potential for ripples is so big. ITTL, a fire metaphor suits not just because of the inaugural entry (Strung-Out Henchman Make Election Go Boom) but as a general descriptive -- the POD is an accelerant, for many things, and if you speed them up (which puts them into a different temporal context, with very often different people dealing with them) you can get all manner of differences. Somebody might even get to see, as the larger TL somehow eventually progresses past McGoverning, a fully-functional Fianna Fail branch in the Six Counties, not that I'm promising, mind....
     
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  16. Temeraire Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, great update!

    I have two questions, hope you don't mind!

    1) Speaking of Time, do you know a good place to find these sorts of covers? I'd be interested in doing some of my own digging.

    2) Since they've now stood at two elections, what do you think the likelihood of the Dixiecrats staying on as a third party are?
     
  17. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

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    Thanks!

    1) I would bet that's a general one for Teh Google, "alternate magazine covers" will often just have different front-page stories an editor might have gone with, but will once in a while turn up something like the Hillary covers from 2016, or at the very least someone's else's fun with Photoshop and Inkscape. But I would bet the further back you go there will be some occasional ones (I for example would love to see a "President Mondale" cover just to satisfy my inner lefty Gen-Xer...)

    2) More than just two, even, when you add in '48 and the various alternate-slate electors in the early Sixties. Things are in a transitional phase across the South at this point, all the more so because of the hitch in the Southern Strategy caused by Richard Nixon's unexpected immolation. On the one hand, a McGovern win gives Southern GOPers tremendous ammunition they can use with the slogan that they are the real opposition to That Got-Damn Hippie Lover in Washington, that even the yellowest of Southern Democratic dogs otherwise has to do at least some business with McGovern on some issues. At the same time, there are a lot of Southern conservatives put off (1) by the whole lingering "party of Lincoln" thing and (2) by the notion that they might be treated as second-class citizens within the party by OG Southern Republicans and by the Sagebrush-Rebellion folk from the Goldwater/Reagan West. (Not to mention the remains of the Eastern Establishment.) So especially at the state level there may be some experimentation, with splitter Dem factions or with trying to make the AIP or something like it into something that's not just George Wallace's vanity ride. This is even more true in Texas (with its "Shivercrats" who were already ticket-splitting for Ike in the Fifties) and Louisiana, where people may hop back and forth between party affiliations like chameleons depending on what's more advantageous in a given race. It will get messy, and interesting.
     
  18. Gonzo Grumpy Poujadist Norn Person

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    Location:
    Béal Feirste, Tuaisceart Éireann
    Aww shucks... :p One of my most prized possessions is a tattered old anniversary edition copy of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 and one of my favourite parts of the books is when HST recounts the mood of the McGovern campaign on election day and night. With their mood shifting from cautious optimism in certain states, to disbelief and the holding out of hope that their top campaign coordinator (in Illinois) would at least deliver that state. After that failed they began to assume they'd only win a handful of seats, then it became apparent that the election was going to be an almighty landslide and that the only solace (for Thompson) was the unseating of Republican Senator Gordon Allott by Floyd Haskell in Colorado. You've really made the election here contrast strongly with that and the realisation dawning on the assembled McGovern staff that Nixon won't sneak through like he did in 1968. So I applaud you strongly for it all. I do however love the original as well... what can I say... Nixon Now More Than Ever!
    Another thing I like about the results (I mean Nixon winning would be more up my alley... :p) is that you didn't do a basic shift from RL 1972 - its fair I think to have Vermont remain Republican as I think it would be unlikely to shift to the Democrats at this time unless it were a wave election (1964 for instance). I'm curious though, what was the vote in Arkansas like to produce a result like that compared to 1968?
    I mean if you could get Fianna Fail to win the 1973 general election in Ireland, that would be nice. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  19. Avalanches Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2017
    Location:
    Tampa
    [​IMG]

    What an update, what an update! Some fantastic prose there, really gets the tension going as it nears Election Day. Also, big ups for the demographic breakdown right afterwards, offers some nice outside analysis into the results.

    I will say I'm surprised that the soft-spoken McGovern campaign greenlit that "Chess" ad; they were real PO'd about Chennault, weren't they?
     
    Yes likes this.
  20. Stuyvesant #Gillibrand2020

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Location:
    The Place Beyond the Pines
    @Yes "People Died, George" is Turtledove-worthy on its own.
     
    BippyTheGuy, Zioneer, JTFG and 10 others like this.
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