The Campaign Trail Game Has Returned.

The above Mondale 1984 result is a good result. Its better than the OTL 1988 Dukakis result, both in the popular vote and electoral votes.

Its the game system, but I don't think a New Deal Democrat in the 1980s who got within 2% of winning the nationwide popular vote was going to lose West Virginia. I could buy Mondale with that nationwide popular vote percentage carrying West Virginia but losing Maryland, which Dukakis lost narrowly with a slightly lower nationwide popular vote percentage.

My guess this is a Reagan does badly in the second debate result.
 
There are some very biased or broken decisions in the 1980 scenario. When playing Carter on Disaster difficulty, changing VP to Kennedy and choosing the most self defeating responses possible, I still end up getting 150 votes compared to the historical 49, carrying New York and huge swathes of the South, comfortably. I’ve chased it down to the Mount St Helens eruption, which causes a uniform +11 jump across the country. A bit much, really.

This is with no debates, no Desert One and choosing the silliest options available for a self sabotage.

Edit: The same responses and choices at the second highest difficulty given a 535-3 sweep for Reagan.
 
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Just ran an instance of the 1972 Campaign with McGovern and Askew, and somehow managed to get extremely lucky and win the RNG lottery for all but one question, the initial Watergate reporting where Nixon received a weak malus instead of a big one. Unfortunately it only pushed me up to around the (43.2%) vote mark compared to Nixon's (55.0%), and (120) Electoral votes by managing to nab Pennsylvania and New York among others. Barring a smarter play for California though, I'm not sure how you can attain a higher count in either case.
 
I tried doing McGovern/ Askew just now, but the site is not responding.

Someone posted earlier that the way to win as Clay is to come out in favor of annexation of Texas on the second question, but not the first. I have no idea what the reasoning is to make this the case. But I just had the most success playing Clay as normal, carrying 14 of the 15 states Clay has any chance of carrying (the miss was Indiana), by not addressing the issue at all on the first question, and then coming out in favor of annexation, and keeping close to the Democratic line on annexation, slavery, and immigration, while attacking Birney for splitting the vote. I mention the attack on Birney, because I assume without it, with this platform, Birney will draw enough votes to cost Clay New York and Pennsylvania.
 

Vince

Monthly Donor
The above Mondale 1984 result is a good result. Its better than the OTL 1988 Dukakis result, both in the popular vote and electoral votes.

Its the game system, but I don't think a New Deal Democrat in the 1980s who got within 2% of winning the nationwide popular vote was going to lose West Virginia. I could buy Mondale with that nationwide popular vote percentage carrying West Virginia but losing Maryland, which Dukakis lost narrowly with a slightly lower nationwide popular vote percentage.

My guess this is a Reagan does badly in the second debate result.

Just saw this. Mondale won the second debate, Clinton won the VP debate. Everything went right but I still lost. I think the scenario is setup that it's impossible to win on Normal with Mondale.
 
Just saw this. Mondale won the second debate, Clinton won the VP debate. Everything went right but I still lost. I think the scenario is setup that it's impossible to win on Normal with Mondale.
I understand certain elections are going to be difficult but I fail to see a reason to make scenarios that are literally unwinnable
 
I understand certain elections are going to be difficult but I fail to see a reason to make scenarios that are literally unwinnable
I mean it makes sense if they are going for a degree of realism, to at least make it unwinnable on "normal", with the idea that normal difficulty is intended to most resemble real life conditions, and with the idea that in real life, even with far better strategies, some candidates in some elections simply wouldn't have stood a chance, with their opponent simply being in too strong a position

Look at 1860 in the base game, for example, where the best you can do (even on easy) is deadlock the electoral college as Douglas, with the idea that maybe he'd be elected in the house in that scenario. Or for a more extreme example, Nader in 2000, where it might not even be possible to just win 5% of the vote in at least some difficulties

Looking at it in that way, you could just look at it as a "win" in order to do significantly better than OTL if playing as normal with some of those elections where your candidate lost in a massive landslide OTL

Also, iirc even those ones are at least winnable on some of the easier difficulties
 
I think there have been presidential elections where the winning party was going to win, baring some outside event, that neither side had control over, breaking against them.

There are other elections where the winning party would win unless they screwed it up really badly. And that is without getting into the fixed elections.

I'm not sure how a historical election simulation game would handle the issue of fixed elections. I think at a minimum it has to be dealt with in a 1876 scenario, since the only reason the election is known at all is because it was fixed. Also 1864, since regardless of what Lincoln may have put in his letters, the GOP was simply not going to let Lincoln lose that one, though they might have allowed a McClellan win without the Copperhead plank and a different running mate.

In the specific case of 1984, how to make it competitive has been debated on this forum. Assuming the first Reagan term goes IOTL, and the game scenario tends to assume these things, Reagan as running as a Republican incumbent president during the Cold War, when incumbent Presidents who were not thought "weak" (Carter) would win, and often win big, and Republicans tended to win as well. And the economy was as good as it could have gotten, though people thought the Democrats had a chance earlier in the year, when the economy was in a worse condition. So with these parameters, Reagan is going to win and the issue with playing Mondale is if he can do anything to make it closer.

So for a situation like this, you need a random event where Reagan's dementia is both worse and more obvious than IOTL, which with a POD after March 1984 was the only thing that was going to stop him. This could happen in maybe a fifth of the games. If this happens when playing as Reagan, the player would have the option of replacing Reagan with another presidential candidate (the Vice Presidential candidate doesn't automatically replace a Presidential nominee who withdrawals, though in this case the Republican National Convention would almost certainly have reconvened and nominated Bush and a new vice presidential candidate), or toughing it out. When playing Mondale, when this event occurs, sometimes there is a new Republican candidate and sometimes there isn't. Otherwise you are trying to do better than Mondale's historical result though there is another issue that the only real break that campaign got historically was the first debate, everything else broke against it.

And since some player made scenarios explore different nominees, there could always be a scenario where the race is between Bush and Mondale, where the Republicans would have the advantage, but Reagan's charisma is removed. Reagan opting for a single term due to worse health or his wife's wishes is a plausible POD.

The 1956 election is similar, there is one wildcard, which is Eisenhower's health, and that is it. You have to have Eisenhower withdraw to make it competitive. I don't think you can even do this for 1952, which was actually not a blowout in the final results, but its hard to see a path for victory for Stevenson. With 1972 you have to have Watergate and other scandals blow open in a way that the Nixon player can't get control of. With 1964 there is nothing you can do to give Goldwater a chance except to have LBJ plan the JFK assassination and get caught, which other than the CT is still ruled out as being an event that occurs before the scenario.

To look at other postwar elections, the incumbent is probably going to win in 1996 and 2012, and lose in 1980, but in these cases if the player playing Dole/ Romney/ Carter makes a lot of good decisions, the random of the algorithm might push him over the top. I don't know how the algorithm works.

Before World War 2, there wasn't the Cold War incumbent advantage, but there were cycles of dominant and out parties and periods where things were pretty stacked in favor of the dominant and against the out party.
 
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