The Campaign Trail Game Has Returned.

Some of these scenario mods are maybe a bit more swingy than would be realistic.

Apparently, Democrats could have won in a landslide in 1972 by nominating Wallace at a brokered convention
The author admitted it was by design when I asked him about it, as he didn't want it to be impossible to win. However, that said, a landslide shouldn't be possible.
 
The author admitted it was by design when I asked him about it, as he didn't want it to be impossible to win. However, that said, a landslide shouldn't be possible.
Well, a landslide is definitely possible as I just demonstrated. TBH having Wallace start 16% behind rather than 10% behind would be a decent quick fix.

Here's an example step by step guide for Wallace/Scoop Jackson ticket:

1) Talk to Shirley Chisholm (duh)
Status: 54.5% Nixon, 43.7% Wallace.
2) Attack busing and bigwigs at convention
3) "Henry Jackson is an incredibly qualified man. He's been in the Senate for two decades, and he's done a fine job there. I can't think of a better man for Vice President."
4) "They say you shouldn't punch down in politics. Right now, McCarthy is a third party candidate, and he'll only get more popular if I call attention to him. We'd be best off ignoring him entirely."
5) "Johnson needs to know that I'm a new man, not the segregationist he still thinks of when he hears my name. I'm happy to go to his ranch and see what he wants. Who knows, maybe we can have a good conversation while we're there."
Status: 48.2% Nixon 40.7% Wallace 9.5% McCarthy
6) "This just isn't a campaign to win. The party's more divided than it's ever been, and I can't tear it apart for a goal I most likely won't achieve. This campaign will be about unity and reconciliation as much as it is about taking the Oval Office."
7) "I disagree with the peace Democrats on a lot, but we can find common ground here in a number of places. I'm for a quick withdrawal, negotiations for peace, and the return of our boys from Vietnam."
8) "Absolutely not. Busing is wildly unpopular among my core base, and I'll score easy points with Republicans as well. We will come out against it, the same way we have in the primaries."
Status: 46.7% Nixon 42.3% Wallace 9.5% McCarthy
9) "We need Scoop's help with northern voters, or we're as good as dead. I'll promise him that I'll adopt some of his ideas, especially when it comes to civil rights. That should get him excited."
10) "We need to strike at the heart of the issue. Getting drugs off our streets is like pulling out weeds- you have to get down to the roots to remove them, which is why my administration would focus on smugglers, growers, and dealers."
Status: 45.7% Nixon 43.2% Wallace 9.7% McCarthy
11) "Why wouldn't we slim the budget if they have no war to fight? I'd prefer to see those funds used to help the average American at home, instead of disappearing into the pockets of war profiteers."
12) "I'm certainly in favor of Americans having good health insurance, but is federal bureaucracy really the best way to do it? This program will be a bloated mess that is better handled by private enterprise, and I can't say I'm a supporter myself."
Status: 45.4% Nixon 43.7% Wallace 9.5% McCarthy
13) "If we want any shot in this race, we need to bring Nixon’s numbers down to Earth. Let’s hit him with a nationwide attack campaign, slamming him on welfare, Vietnam, and his failed farm policies."
14) "It all comes down to leadership. If I can get people like Meany and Woodcock on board, the rest of the union men will fall into place, and we'll easily take the labor vote from Nixon."
Status: 45.4% Wallace 43.6% Nixon 9.5% McCarthy.
15) "This is less a failure of the welfare system we have in place, and more of a failure on Nixon's part. His administration has completely failed to support the common man. It's no wonder that the number of dependents has increased under his leadership."
16) "Trying to get kids to vote for you is like herding cats. They're all communists and drug freaks, anyways. I prefer to court voter blocks that will actually turn out this fall."
Status: 46.2% Wallace 42.9% Nixon 9.6% McCarthy
17) "These claims are ridiculous, and the best way to combat them is to show myself as an active campaigner. I will tour the nation, pound the pulpit, and bring crowds to their feet. Nobody can call me weak after a schedule like that." (ID 3296)
18) "Anyone can see I've changed in the last four years. I'm a reformed man. We're going to put out a televised statement addressing Nixon's false attacks, and put this to bed once and for all."
Status: 47.0% Wallace 42.1% Nixon 9.3% McCarthy
19) " Of course. I'm certain I could crush Nixon in a debate, and I'd love to make him look scared if he declines." (ID 1778)
20) "I'd like to put some region-focused ads up there. Emphasize my changed positions, my welfare stances, and my fight for the working man."
21) "I'm going to give them my standard stump speech, as I would to any worker, North or South. These big-wigs need to understand they're following me, not the other way around."
Status: 47.9% Wallace 41.8% Nixon 9.0% McCarthy
22): "Holy hell, what a break! We're going to be hammering him on this as long as we can manage, in every speech we have. I want people to know that Nixon's a crook!" (ID 3290)
23) "I'm not the right man to try and win these voters back - my record is too well known - but I think my running mate could have some real success with appealing to these voters. Let's put them out on tour."
24) "Let's lay this out for the average American. Members of the CRP broke into Democratic headquarters to steal documents and bug phones. Now, we must ask the question - did Nixon know? If so, when? And what sort of environment leads to these decisions?"
Status: 49.6% Wallace 40.1% Nixon 8.9% McCarthy
25) "This is outrageous! Just when you thought Dick Nixon couldn't go any lower, he sics the IRS on my family! Anyone can see how fishy this is, and I'm not going to waste a second attacking Nixon for his wasteful, illegal use of federal agencies!" (ID 3402)
26) "I don't want to mention this. Most people have moved on from this, and there's no way to gain ground on an issue where Nixon's actions were so popular."
27) "The Family Assistance Plan, as it stands, would actually cut back on the welfare programs we have in place. I think we can all agree that our welfare system needs reform, but this is not how we should go about it."
28) "If peace is at hand, how come American boys are still dying in Vietnam? Kissinger's peace isn't even finished, and he's praising it as if we're out. This is a blatant political move on his part, and no American should fall for it."
29) "I am not a racist, and I never have been! I am for reasonable change, unions, welfare, and an end to the endless Vietnam quagmire! Before you throw away your vote on candidates you may regret, stop and think - are you thinking of the Wallace of before, or the Wallace of no"
Status: 50.8% Wallace 39.2% Nixon 8.6% McCarthy

30) Pick whereever; none of the possible regions are close

Result:

Wallace 1972.png



Basically, attract McGovernites by being anti-Vietnam, attract conservatives with some red meat, and cheat the RNG.

You can also get a larger popular vote % (but smaller margin over Nixon) by being more liberal to take away McCarthy's support. Just pick the leftist answers for Qs 2 and 4 (with everything else the same.)

Leftist Wallace.png
 
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No no, I meant it shouldn't be possible in general. I never meant to imply that it was impossible in the current version of the scenario.
Yeah, the issue is that it currently is. Way too easy for Wallace currently. It shouldn't be possible for him to be ahead on Normal before Watergate. And it's hilarious that Nixon refuses to debate you when he's behind, and the "best" answer is to say that you've accepted your loss even when it's basically a tie.

The changes I'd suggest are:
- Wallace starts further behind
- McCarthy's numbers come largely out of Wallace (rather than equally spread right as right now)
- Conservative decisions that help Wallace should also help McCarthy (as some of his leftist supporters go to McCarthy.) Leftist decisions that help Wallace should also help Nixon (as some of his conservative supporters go to Nixon.)
 
This is the best I've been able to do with McGovern in 1972 on Normal (Farenthold as VP.) Took a lot of luck to win Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio - all three by the slimmest of hairs
McGovern.png
 
Seriously what's happening with this game!, it's not letting me read the election results anymore and it goes back to the home page alone without me doing anything, it's kind of hard for me to believe that it's just me that this happens, but it's starting to annoy me....
 
Seriously what's happening with this game!, it's not letting me read the election results anymore and it goes back to the home page alone without me doing anything, it's kind of hard for me to believe that it's just me that this happens, but it's starting to annoy me....
are you playing on the old site or the new one?
 
Just did 1964 as Goldwater, the election was decided by Maine which I carried by just 72 votes. and 272 to 266 in the electoral college.
 
I pulled out a win on Normal with McGovern/Mondale in 1972.

Come Home America.png


In which McGovern is the master of winning elections extremely narrowly by cheesing the rules while losing the popular vote in a landslide. But it's alright - America came home.



I used the Optimal RNG mod, because starting positions are mildly randomnized - this mod is the equivalent of starting with the best possible position in each state. What I achieved is probably not realistically possible without the mod because the margins are so slim. Think of it as a TAS equivalent.

I visited Connecticut 15 times, Montana 3 times, and Maine once.

Because the Optimal RNG mod removes the starting randomnization, you should be able to perfectly replicate my results with the following steps:

Initial steps:
1. Load McGovern/Mondale mod. You have to pick Eagleton instead in the selection or the game stalls.
2. Put the optimal RNG mod into the console before starting the game
campaignTrail_temp.difficulty_level_json = JSON.parse("[{\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 1, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Cakewalk\", \"multiplier\": 1.4}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 2, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Very Easy\", \"multiplier\": 1.27}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 3, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Easy\", \"multiplier\": 1.17}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 4, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Normal\", \"multiplier\": 1.04}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 5, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Hard\", \"multiplier\": 1.02}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 6, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Impossible\", \"multiplier\": 0.97}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 7, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Unthinkable\", \"multiplier\": 0.9}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 8, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Blowout\", \"multiplier\": 0.82}}, {\"model\": \"campaign_trail.difficulty_level\", \"pk\": 9, \"fields\": {\"name\": \"Disaster\", \"multiplier\": 0.75}}]"); campaignTrail_temp.global_parameter_json = JSON.parse("[{\"model\": \"campaign_trail.global_parameter\", \"pk\": 1, \"fields\": {\"vote_variable\": 1.125, \"max_swing\": 0.0, \"start_point\": 1.0, \"candidate_issue_weight\": 10.0, \"running_mate_issue_weight\": 3.0, \"issue_stance_1_max\": -0.71, \"issue_stance_2_max\": -0.3, \"issue_stance_3_max\": -0.125, \"issue_stance_4_max\": 0.125, \"issue_stance_5_max\": 0.3, \"issue_stance_6_max\": 0.71, \"global_variance\": 0.0, \"state_variance\": 0.0, \"question_count\": 40, \"default_map_color_hex\": \"#C9C9C9\", \"no_state_map_color_hex\": \"#999999\"}}]");

Starting position: Nixon 57.2%, McGovern 40.0%

Questions:
1. "Vice President Hubert Humphrey is an icon of the Democratic Party, and Walter Mondale stood by his side for much of that legendary career. Fritz will help bring this party together."
2. "You know, I want to make a speech that emphasizes how we must all unite this fall, how we must heal our wounds, and how we must all stand together. But I also think I should give that speech tomorrow, rather than doing it now in the wee hours of the morning."
Nixon 56.2%, McGovern 41.0%
Visit Maine
3. "Absolutely, my main goal is to uphold the standards of the Democratic party. To do this, I will speak extensively with those who are hesitant about this campaign, and convince them that I will alter much of my rhetoric if that’s what it takes to get them onboard."
4. "I know I can’t win this outright. The best thing I can do is to perform well enough to not embarrass myself, and more importantly, to show that the Democratic Party is still as strong as ever." (lol)
Nixon 56.0% McGovern 41.3%
Visit Montana
5. "I advocate for a complete withdrawal of all U.S. military forces, amnesty for those who evaded the draft, and to get our American POWs back home"
6. "I think that's an excellent idea. Let's take a trip to England to meet with Prime Minister Heath, President Pompidou in France, and visit the Berlin Wall in West Germany. This should boost my national profile here, and we'll arrive back just as the Republicans wrap up in Miami."
Nixon 55.3% McGovern 41.8%
Visit Montana
7. "We've got some big-name endorsements in the can. It's no secret that President Johnson’s views are anathema to my own, but he still holds a strong sway in the party, and securing his vote right now could go a long way."
8. "We cannot afford to lose this endorsement. Winning states like Illinois can only be done by getting the big unions on our side, as it seems Daley has no enthusiasm for this campaign. I will meet privately with the AFL-CIO leaders and make numerous concessions to get them onboard." (ID 3592)
Nixon 55.2% McGovern 42.0%
Visit Montana
9. "Absolutely. I'll speak to Mr. Staley directly. I think he'll find that my policies support farmers far more than any of Butz’s or Nixon’s do." (ID 3645)
10. "These are valid concerns. As President I will increase government spending in our key social programs, which affect cities like New York so much. We cannot afford to let our own citizens sleep on the streets."
Nixon 55.0% McGovern 42.4%
Visit Connecticut
11. "The bombing of critical infrastructure is undeniable, and Richard Nixon’s poor attempts to shut his eyes and stick his head in the sand are outrageous."
12. "Is there anything braver about burning up children who live north of the seventeenth parallel or who live in Cambodia or Laos? They all feel pain. They're all children of the same God. Those are the kind of conditions we have to recover if we’re going to save the soul of this nation."
Nixon 54.7% McGovern 42.6%
Visit Connecticut
13. "No. We can't win and I know that. But I greatly appreciate his commitment, and I will urge him that my primary goal is maintaining the vitality of this party." (lol)
14. "It's unfortunate that some have a problem with this, but I stand by Fritz completely. He and I will uphold the legacy of the Democratic Party as much as anyone."
Nixon 55.0% McGovern 42.4%
Visit Connecticut
15. "Eleanor is a mother, first and foremost. Our son, Steven, is as old as many of the boys being sent over to die in Vietnam. I think she can really show the effect the war has on American mothers, and the thousands of them who will never get to see their sons again."
16. "I want a slate of television ads blasted across every major network. We can really hammer Nixon for his unpopular stances on key issues like Vietnam, the minimum wage, and the social crises of our day. Emphasizing my record, particularly my vote to increase the minimum wage just a few days ago will really help."
Nixon 54.2% McGovern 42.9%
Visit Connecticut
17. "The ongoing negotiations are a highly delicate process which I will refrain from interfering with in any way. These issues will be solved at the bargaining table, not with TV ads or campaign rhetoric."
18. "Let’s give a speech all about my financial plans directly to investors in New York. Moderate a lot of my rhetoric, pledge to appoint Wilbur Mills as Treasury Secretary should I win, and drop my plan for $1,000 annually to each American."
Nixon 54.2% McGovern 43.0%
Visit Connecticut
19. "Are you kidding me? Let’s bring this up all the time. I flew dozens of combat missions in a B-24 bomber over Europe, and nearly died multiple times. I want to emphasize this frequently in ads, but in a biographical sort of way, not as any political response."
20. "This is a tragic event. My thoughts are with the families of the victims at this time, and the nation of Israel. I will always remain committed to their safety, and oppose the barbaric actions of these terrorists."
Nixon 54.0% McGovern 43.3%
Visit Connecticut
21. "Let's hit on this a lot. G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt’s indictments signal a shocking first in American history: they are the only White House aides to have ever been indicted. So in light of this news, I would like to drop the word “recent” from my previous statement characterizing the Nixon administration as “the most corrupt in recent history”."
22. "This is a spurious claim brought forward by the Nixon administration, I am in no way advocating for these things." (despite the feedback, this doesn't hurt you.)
Nixon 53.8% McGovern 43.7%
Visit Connecticut
23. "This is great. Let's let the most trusted man in America expose Nixon in a way we never could." (ID 3654)
24. "There's no way in hell Nixon would ever agree to this anyway. Let's not risk the embarrassment of being turned down, and instead pour our resources into television ads." (somehow better than the best debate result.)
Nixon 53.2% McGovern 44.0%
Visit Connecticut
25. "I'll campaign on corruption in Washington as a whole, not just Nixon’s flaws."
26. "I promise you that we are going to do whatever is necessary to provide a job for every able-bodied man and woman in this country who wants to work. Those who don’t want to work shouldn’t be paid anything in the way of public support. This is just common sense."
Nixon 53.0% McGovern 44.3%
Visit Connecticut
27. "We have a lot of star power behind our campaign, so let's put it to good use. I want us to feature our Hollywood supporters prominently in our advertising."
(this isn't as good for you nationally, but the main point is that it boosts you in Connecticut and some other useless states, helping secure it.)
28. "The Equal Rights Amendment is a force for good, but there is so much more we can do for American women. We need to ensure social security benefits and alimony for widows, job training for older women, and protect child custody for divorced mothers."
Nixon 52.5% McGovern 44.9%
Visit Connecticut
29. "I know Gary keeps putting fantastical data in front of me suggesting we’ll win among college-aged voters overwhelmingly, but we can't take anything for granted in this campaign. Let's make extensive visits to college campuses and get people like Senator Mike Gravel out campaigning for us."
(cleverly, you need to go against your advisers here to get the best results.)
30. "Of course. Let’s cozy up to reporters across the board, at every opening we can. That can provide us some good coverage and favors in return." (despite doom-and-gloom feedback, this helps you a tiny bit.)
Nixon 52.0% McGovern 45.1%
Visit Connecticut
31. "Let’s campaign on farming issues in Iowa and Ohio. Those are key to winning this fall, and I think we can push them into our column." (letting you eventually edge out a win in Ohio.)
32. "Absolutely. These types of protests are immature, and all these demonstrators are arguing for unrealistic goals. They should grow up and learn to work within the system." (lol)
Nixon 52.0% McGovern 45.2%
Visit Connecticut
33. "No comment."
34. "Emphasize our economic policies more. I will put more money into the hands of American workers, and ensure everyone pays their fair share."
Nixon 52.0% McGovern 45.3%
Visit Connecticut
35. "This is one of the areas where President Nixon and I actually agree. I think the Moon landing was an astonishing achievement for the human race, and I fully support future missions to the Lunar surface."
36. "The insults of Vice President Agnew are only part of the shameful degradation this country’s political culture is in the midst of. As president, I will guide us out of this era of partisan hectoring, and move towards a more unifying future." (despite feedback, this helps you.)
Nixon 51.8% McGovern 45.4%
Visit Connecticut
37. "While it garnered a lot of attention, for those who actually read it, our platform is pretty moderate. Our domestic policies simply promise an extension of Johnson’s Great Society programs, which remain broadly popular. Let’s play up how we’re not a serious departure from Democratic administrations of the past."
38. "This is yet another deeply cynical move by the Nixon administration. Not only has the current peace agreement been offered for years, but this is also premature, as they haven’t formally come to a conclusion yet."
Nixon 52.0% McGovern 45.2%
Visit Connecticut
39. Excellent (ID 9991733)
40. The industrial Midwest is our only chance at victory. Let’s spend a lot of time with the UAW in Detroit, make a brief appearance in Madison, then head to Ohio and hold a huge rally in Cincinnati to finish the day. (I think any of the options should work, but I pick this to make Ohio "safe.")


Close states.png

The clutchest of all wins. Perhaps Nixon now knows how Richard Daley felt when he was unseated in favor of an unelected McGovern delegation. A new conspiracy theory claims that McGovern traveled back in time to design the Electoral College, just as he designed the Democratic delegate nomination rules.


This is such a narrow win that I'm quite certain it's impossible with any other VP candidate. The only other one that I've been able to get close with is Shirley Chisholm - but she performs a bit worse in the Midwest, sufficient that you have to pick specific regional options to boost yourself there at the opportunity cost of national performance (visit Italy/Ireland/Israel for the Illinois boost, UAW endorsement for the Ohio boost, etc.) That was the hurdle I couldn't overcome with herself earlier before I realized I could skip those options with VP Mondale.

If you want to skip the ID sleuthing, you have a 1/3 chance to get the AFL-CIO endorsement, 1/3 chance to get the Staley boost, 1/3 chance to get the Cronkite first boost, and 1/2 chance to get the Cronkite second boost. So you'll get this 1/54 (2%) of the time. (You might be able to win without the first Cronkite boost - I haven't tried it.)
 
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Decided to play some of the old scenarios for the first time in a while. Won a commanding electoral victory with Nixon/Dirksen on Normal by triaging the South (but winning Texas anyway) and putting almost everything into the Midwest, but lost the popular vote by 459 votes. When playing as Nixon, Kennedy seems to get a slight extra boost in the "Pro-Catholic" states, which is why I lost New Jersey and why Wisconsin was the closest state in the Midwest even though Nixon won it IOTL.
1641385112260.png
 
FYI on the 1936 scenarios on the New Campaign Trail (use the mod loader).

There is a question on Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, and if you give the "they are based and red-pilled" answer, its an instant loss. As FDR, you will lose fairly narrowly, as Landon you will win no states and get under 30% of the national popular vote. The question alone seems to knock about 10% of the historical national popular vote percentage. Playing around with self sabotage, nothing else you can do does nearly that amount of damage.

Based on my reading about the period, I happen to think there was more interest and admiration in what Hitler and Mussolini were doing in the 1930s, particularly among the American elites, than the scenario creator thinks. There was a real sense that totalitarian dictatorship was the wave of the future, and one important aspect of FDR's historical legacy is that he headed that off. FDR would have been hurt by a favorable comment towards Italy/ Germany, since it contradicted his policies and people were attacking him for being a dictator anyway. I actually don't think Landon would have been hurt that much, and might even have gained support on net.

Anyway, if you are try9ng to be competitive, give any answer but the red-pilled one to the fascism question. Landon seems to have no chance on Normal whatsoever, and its hard to get FDR to lose even with self-sabotage.
 
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