Who did George Wallace’s campaign hurt more:Republican Richard Nixon or liberal Democrat Hubert Humphrey?
When George Wallace won support with his ideas that "There's not a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats," it was clear that he was a challenge to both Humphrey and Nixon. Casting himself as the anti- establishment candidate in a time in American politics when the establishment was being questioned, Wallace proved very skilled in 1968 at making his case.
As he outlined his ideas, I think that Republican Richard Nixon increasingly realized that Wallace was on a path that he himself found desirable. Nixon and other Republican strategists realized that Wallace was positioning himself to rally what Nixon would later call "the silent majority." Actively against the counter- cultural and liberalized establishment of the time period, Wallace appealed to the disenfranchised and politically frustrated White vote. Wallace was articulating a form of the rage that the traditional demographic in American politics had been experiencing. Due to this, Nixon and his handlers recognized that the rise of Wallace would damage their brand more than Humphrey's. Nixon recognized that the audience to whom Wallace was speaking was one that he coveted and felt necessary in galvanizing his constituency against the Democratic challenger. The more Wallace remained in the race, the greater the chance he was taking votes that would have otherwise gone to Nixon. It is here in which Wallace was a greater threat to Nixon than Humphrey.
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