How Ronald Reagan’s 1976 Convention Battle Fueled His 1980 Landslide

How Ronald Reagan’s 1976 Convention Battle Fueled His 1980 Landslide

On the second day of the hotly contested 1976 Republican National Convention, it was still far from clear which candidate party delegates intended to choose: incumbent President Gerald Ford or his challenger, former actor and California Governor Ronald Reagan. . In the midst of this close and harsh political battle, a brawl broke out between the two camps – over a campaign billboard – and reporters rallied around then-vice president Nelson Rockefeller, trying to get a feel for what had happened.

“Someone came by, none of us knew, and just said [chairman of the New York delegation] Dick Rosenbaum that if he didn’t get this sign back, he was going to tear up the phone, ”Rockefeller told reporters at the conference.

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