Nominations & Conventions
In the wake of 1968, Democrats opened up their nominating process to ordinary voters. In 1972, the first election with the new rules, Democrats nominated George McGovern. In the general election, Nixon defeated McGovern in a landslide. By 1980, voter participation in primaries was the new norm (Democrats held 37 primary contests). In the wake of Jimmy Carter’s defeat after an intraparty primary challenge from Ted Kennedy, party leaders reformed their rules again.