1956 Republican Primaries
Wait, you're making another timeline?!?
Yeah... All my other ones have pretty much been canceled. Well, 110th time's the charm! Right? Right?

So what's the POD?
In 1955 Eisenhower announces that, due to heath issues and age he will not be running for re-election.

How long will this last if you don't quit

It'll last until the 2016 election, or if it lasts that long, the 2020 election

Alright, let's get started before you quit in a week

Let's go!

After the announcement that president Eisenhower wouldn't run in 1956 the candidates announced their beginning of their campaigns. On the Republican side their was only one option: Vice President Nixon. The other candidates were really just favorite sons. Nixon managed to blow through the primaries with ease.
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1956 Democratic Primaries
The Democratic Primaries
In the Democratic primaries Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey dominated. Humphrey's pro-civil rights stance made him popular with Northeasterners and he also won the Midwestern primaries due to his popularity in the Midwest. His only real opponent was Estes Kefauver, a senator from Tennessee. Humphrey also went against Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic nominee from 1952. Stevenson had gotten blown out in 1952 and didn't seem like a legitimate candidate anymore.

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This is an interesting POD, I would root for Humphrey, but I think that Nixon will win. The country had only seen four years of Ike in 1956 and he was very popular at that point. This could have some interesting ramifications, such as an earlier southern strategy, due to Humphrey's vocal support for civil rights. I suppose that the south could run a third party candidate, but Tricky Dick may capitalize on southerners' grievances. It will be interesting to see how each candidate would handle civil rights, the arms race, Cuba, the U2 Incident and the Space Race.
 
1956 Presidential election
For Hubert Humphrey’s running mate he selected Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy to gain northeastern votes. On the Republican side Richard Nixon’s campaign decided that they could gain southern votes because Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy were both pro-civil rights and not candidates from the south. So the Nixon campaign selected Kentucky senator John S. Cooper. Strom Thurmond announced that because neither candidate was in the best interests of the south he was going to run as the Dixiecrat party candidate. Thurmond selected Virginia governor Jon S. Battle as his running mate.


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Hubert Humphrey/John F. Kennedy (D): 286 EVs

Richard Nixon/John S. Cooper (R): 188 EVs

Strom Thurmond/John S. Battle (Dixiecrat): 57 EVs
 
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I think Ike would try to get Robert B. Anderson elected, especially considering that he considered swapping Nixon and Anderson on the ticket. However, this is an interesting concept.
 
This ain't 1968. How on earth is Nixon sweeping the Upper South and Texas while losing the Northeast outside Vermont?
 
Thurmond's presence in 1956 would have unusual effects. Perhaps he steals votes from Humphrey in texas, giving Nixon the state with something like 38% of the vote to 35% for Humphrey. Same with the Upper South; his running mate is from Kentucky.

OTOH, Thurmond is possibly going to steal some votes from Nixon and foil that Southern strategy some in a few states, too.

Any info ont he percent of popular vote each candidate got?
 
1958 Senate elections
Hubert Humphrey’s presidency had began with a rocky start. Humphrey was having a hard time passing his civil rights bills and in 1957 a recession began. However the Republicans only gained two seats, in Hawaii and Alaska, which lead to a tied senate. Vice President Kennedy broke the tie and the Democrats were barely ahead in the senate.


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The Democrats had begun to gain a reputation of going back on their campaign promises. The Civil Rights legislation proposed by Hubert Humphrey had died in congress. The economy was in recession. The Democrats looked like they were going to be in trouble in the next presidential election…
 
1960 Primaries
In the 1960 Republican primaries John S. Cooper had an impressive showing. His opponents were Barry Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller, and the usual mix of favorite sons. But Goldwater seemed too radical to win an election, even against a failing administration. While Rockefeller seemed too liberal and would likely spark a third-party run from a more conservative candidate. Not only that but party leadership liked Cooper because he could take southern votes away from the Democrats and was a moderate.

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On the Democratic side Hubert Humphrey had one opponent. Ross Barnett. Barnett was the candidate for people who opposed Humphrey’s civil rights legislation. But he failed to gain support and didn’t win a single primary.

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John S. Cooper’s campaign selected senate minority leader Everett Dirksen as his running mate to steal Midwestern votes away from Hubert Humphrey.
 
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