If RFK had lived would he have been President?

Would RFK have been president had he lived?

  • No

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Probably not

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Impossible to tell

    Votes: 6 23.1%
  • Almost certainly

    Votes: 11 42.3%
  • Definitely.

    Votes: 4 15.4%

  • Total voters
    26
Dec 2011
3,556
#1
I'm going to give a qualified no, Nixon won on a law and order platform based on the 'silent majority' (although his percentage victory was tiny he won the electoral college but a clear margin), RFK and his supporters were even further to the left than Humphrey and would have alienated them even further.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,454
Las Vegas, NV USA
#2
Hubert Humphrey began closing in on Nixon in polls after he declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. It was said that if election was a week later, he would have won. The war was unpopular and Humphrey showed his independence (from Johnson ) with this belated stance. Since RFK was against the war from the time he announced his candidacy, it seems he would have not fallen so far behind Nixon early in the race. It still it would have been close IMO.
 
Jun 2017
2,909
Connecticut
#3
Hubert Humphrey began closing in on Nixon in polls after he declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. It was said that if election was a week later, he would have won. The war was unpopular and Humphrey showed his independence (from Johnson ) with this belated stance. Since RFK was against the war from the time he announced his candidacy, it seems he would have not fallen so far behind Nixon early in the race. It still it would have been close IMO.
RFK could have beat Nixon(wouldn't have needed to make any such proclamation everyone knew where he stood). The 68 primaries turned Humphrey into a symbol of a policy he opposed(quite a frustrating way to lose an election) and it wouldn't surprise me if the McCarthy and Kennedy people weren't convinced.

Issue for RFK is beating Humphrey in the primary which was impossible. Democratic nominee could have won and Kennedy would have been a stronger nominee.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#4
Worth noting that if RFK lived and lost the convention to Humphrey, he would likely have campaigned energetically for Humphrey; he actually liked Humphrey personally.
 
Jun 2017
2,909
Connecticut
#5
I'm going to give a qualified no, Nixon won on a law and order platform based on the 'silent majority' (although his percentage victory was tiny he won the electoral college but a clear margin), RFK and his supporters were even further to the left than Humphrey and would have alienated them even further.
RFK and Humphrey were pretty close on the issues, the difference was the supporters, Humphrey was shut up about Vietnam by the LBJ administration. Nixon only achieved resounding electoral success in 72 which can be attributed to a lot of different things. It was the first time a Republican got the south, 68 still had George Wallace as the third party, McGovern's VP thing was a serious issue and McGovern was pretty far to the left and Nixon was actually center left by today's standards and was doing things that could attract a large cross section of American society(his policies are pretty close to a modern Democratic administration minus the southern strategy and his personality/scandals).

Nixon's victory in 72 wasn't a resounding referendum IMO on those policies, Nixon's first four years had been pretty successful and you could find a list of his achievements that would be seen as positive by almost anyone on the American political spectrum and McGovern was running far to the left and was perceived as not only an extremist but wasn't really liked. He was an inferior version of RFK(in 68 he was the replacement for RFK's delegates).
 
Mar 2012
1,576
City of Angels
#6
Worth noting that if RFK lived and lost the convention to Humphrey, he would likely have campaigned energetically for Humphrey; he actually liked Humphrey personally.
Indeed. So much so Humphrey could have tried to make RFK his Veep. RFK then could have bolted the party and run as a third party candidate. He would have picked a moderate from a border state as Veep to keep some of the middle from going to Nixon.

'68 was a close election. With RFK as a third party candidate the election could have gone to the House of Representatives, which was then controlled by the Dems. I think RFK, with his money and influence could win there in a squeaker.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,197
SoCal
#7
Indeed. So much so Humphrey could have tried to make RFK his Veep. RFK then could have bolted the party and run as a third party candidate. He would have picked a moderate from a border state as Veep to keep some of the middle from going to Nixon.

'68 was a close election. With RFK as a third party candidate the election could have gone to the House of Representatives, which was then controlled by the Dems. I think RFK, with his money and influence could win there in a squeaker.
Why exactly would RFK piss off Humphrey's supporters by running as a third party candidate after Humphrey would have picked him as his VP?

It simply doesn't make any sense.
 
Dec 2011
3,556
#8
Hubert Humphrey began closing in on Nixon in polls after he declared his opposition to the Vietnam War. It was said that if election was a week later, he would have won. The war was unpopular and Humphrey showed his independence (from Johnson ) with this belated stance. Since RFK was against the war from the time he announced his candidacy, it seems he would have not fallen so far behind Nixon early in the race. It still it would have been close IMO.
They always said one of the factors which destroyed Humphrey's campaign was the rioting outside of the Chicago convention, simultaneously angering the left whilst pulling people towards Nixon, the silent majority increasingly getting sickened by the counter culture. Am I right in thinking that after this they changed the rules about the nomination?
 
Dec 2011
3,556
#9
Why exactly would RFK piss off Humphrey's supporters by running as a third party candidate after Humphrey would have picked him as his VP?

It simply doesn't make any sense.
Well, Wallace did it to Nixon? One wonders if RFK had stood for the Democrats how would Wallace have reacted? Abandoned his campaign to give Nixon a clear run or throw his hat in with him? Look how sweepingly Nixon took the south the next time when there was no 3rd candidate?
 
Dec 2011
3,556
#10
Indeed. So much so Humphrey could have tried to make RFK his Veep. RFK then could have bolted the party and run as a third party candidate. He would have picked a moderate from a border state as Veep to keep some of the middle from going to Nixon.

'68 was a close election. With RFK as a third party candidate the election could have gone to the House of Representatives, which was then controlled by the Dems. I think RFK, with his money and influence could win there in a squeaker.
Actually it would have been a 4 way split with Wallace. Had RFK entered as an independent it probably would have been walkover from Nixon.
 

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