Comparison of 1968 elections with other US elections

Comparing the events of 1968 to those of previous elections indicate that the 1968 introduced a transition into issue-based politics as opposed to tradition adherence. Although the election of Eisenhover and Kennedy, the predecessors of Johnson were mainly based on charisma, hence a departure from a principle of loyalty to tradition and party (Nicholas 9), the 1968 elections were the ones that buttressed the aspect of issue-based politics in the American society. In this respect, the foreign policy with respect to Vietnam War became a core concern for all parties. Such concern was for instance noted by the failure of the Democratic Party to sway voters into winning the election even with the post-convention campaigns that ultimately appeared to favor Humphrey on his dis association from Johnson’s foreign policy (Small 525-527). In an analysis of the effect of post-convention campaigns, Campel (437) found out that post-convention campaigns did not have a significant effect when compared to the campaigns of 1960 and 1940.

Another aspect of comparison between the 1968 elections and other elections relates to the continued feasibility of a two-party electoral system. During the 1968 election campaigns, Wallace, the independent candidate is noted to have drawn and sustained large crowds during his campaigns (Nicholas 9). Such an effect has led to subsequent evaluations of whether the two party system in America was moving towards its death. Analyzing such a concept, Abramson, Aldrich, Paolino and Rohde, note that though the election did not erode the trust in the two party system, it indicated that voters were moving more towards an issue-based political system, thus remaining averse to individuals who espoused practices the voters did not align with (504 – 507). A study by Hartwig, Jenkins and Temchin buttresses the noted effects of loss of partisanship from the 1968 elections (553). Additionally, the study indicates that the 1968 elections ushered in an era of issue-based politics gaining importance and candidate evaluations continuing to influence the voter decisions in elections (553).

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