Gerald R. Ford

Post Presidency

Did Ford try to keep his presidency?

Yes, President Ford ran in 1976 to stay in the White House. Robert Dole, a U.S. Senator from Kansas, was his running mate. First, he survived a very tough challenge from California governor Ronald Reagan in the Republican primary. Ford narrowly captured the nomination by a vote of 1,187 to 1,070. However, he lost the general election to Democrat Jimmy Carter from Georgia. Ford was way behind in the polls—as much as 30 percent in some—but managed to close the gap by emphasizing Carter’s lack of experience.

Carter won the election in an electoral vote count of 297 to 240. Ford actually won more states (27 to Carter’s 23) but lost the key states of New York, Texas, and Ohio.

President Ford at the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing concerning Richard Nixon’s pardon. At the time, many Americans were irate at Ford’s decision, but more recently historians have felt that Ford did the right thing to help restore a sense of normalcy to a long-troubled nation.


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