Hey @wolverinethad I have a question about Rejection and Revenge timeline, since it ended in April 1994 did you plan for Clinton to be re-elected, and how would the list of alternate presidents play out in that universe? Would Al Gore win in 2000? I don't want to sound rude but I really enjoyed your timeline and would love to see a conclusive end brought to it like a post credits scene/summary.
There is a sequel, but it isn't too far along. You can find it here.
 
Is this thread dead? I was off for a while and am just getting back into ah.com, and this was one of the most interesting TLs I was following...
 
Updates of comings and goings
Greetings, everyone. The midterms are upon us. I've created a spreadsheet of every House and Senate seat, tinkered and gamed out scenarios, and in general planned an interesting, somewhat unpredictable result. Big John is going to be in San Antonio to watch it all go down. Larry O'Brien is going to spend his last election as DNC chairman watching in DC. Pundits will pundit, some familiar faces will end up in unfamiliar situations, and the sands of time will be even more scattered from OTL than before.

Strap in, it's going to be eventful.
 
Welcome back! Looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.

Is it safe to assume that if this is O'Brien's last hurrah at the DNC is it because the party underperformed?
 
Greetings, everyone. The midterms are upon us. I've created a spreadsheet of every House and Senate seat, tinkered and gamed out scenarios, and in general planned an interesting, somewhat unpredictable result. Big John is going to be in San Antonio to watch it all go down. Larry O'Brien is going to spend his last election as DNC chairman watching in DC. Pundits will pundit, some familiar faces will end up in unfamiliar situations, and the sands of time will be even more scattered from OTL than before.

Strap in, it's going to be eventful.
It Lives! I'm very excited to see you back!
 
Greetings, everyone. The midterms are upon us. I've created a spreadsheet of every House and Senate seat, tinkered and gamed out scenarios, and in general planned an interesting, somewhat unpredictable result. Big John is going to be in San Antonio to watch it all go down. Larry O'Brien is going to spend his last election as DNC chairman watching in DC. Pundits will pundit, some familiar faces will end up in unfamiliar situations, and the sands of time will be even more scattered from OTL than before.

Strap in, it's going to be eventful.
Some predictions: Jerry Brown isn't getting elected in California, McGovern loses, as does Birch Bayh. Eckerd wins in Florida. NH isn't the legal mess it was in OTL and Leahy isn't elected either.
 
Welcome back! Looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out.

Is it safe to assume that if this is O'Brien's last hurrah at the DNC is it because the party underperformed?
Nah, just as in OTL, he's retiring from politics to go be NBA commissioner.

Also, I'm not sure what constitutes "underperforming" in this environment. I think to many of us, the baseline is our OTL elections, except that we've had a lot of butterflies flapping.

1. Nixon didn't resign, he was removed from office
2. There was no pardon of Nixon
3. Connally began to tackle inflation sooner than Ford did
4. Chrysler began its Iacocca turnaround four years faster than OTL
5. Connally isn't exactly a wildly popular president, but he's excited the base with his Reagan pick, and demonstrated a competent, proactive approach to the challenging issues. It puts him in a better position than Ford was at this point, who was falling fast from grace post-pardon.

All of those things are a major influence on voters, turnout, etc.
 
Nah, just as in OTL, he's retiring from politics to go be NBA commissioner.

Also, I'm not sure what constitutes "underperforming" in this environment. I think to many of us, the baseline is our OTL elections, except that we've had a lot of butterflies flapping.

1. Nixon didn't resign, he was removed from office
2. There was no pardon of Nixon
3. Connally began to tackle inflation sooner than Ford did
4. Chrysler began its Iacocca turnaround four years faster than OTL
5. Connally isn't exactly a wildly popular president, but he's excited the base with his Reagan pick, and demonstrated a competent, proactive approach to the challenging issues. It puts him in a better position than Ford was at this point, who was falling fast from grace post-pardon.

All of those things are a major influence on voters, turnout, etc.
I wasn't being critical or anything, just observing. Also, I didn't put two and two together that it was that Larry O'Brien - as in the one the NBA's trophy is named after.

OTL the Democrats in 1974 went +49 in the House and +4 in the Senate. I honestly have no idea what they should do here. They already have very healthy majorities going in so there's not a ton of meat left on the bone so to speak. Total ballpark guess but I think they might go something like +12 in the HoR and +1 or +2 in the Senate but again, that's a ballpark guess.

Either way excited to see this timeline continue! Was a very pleasant surprise to see the notification a day or so ago.
 
1. Nixon didn't resign, he was removed from office
2. There was no pardon of Nixon
3. Connally began to tackle inflation sooner than Ford did
4. Chrysler began its Iacocca turnaround four years faster than OTL
5. Connally isn't exactly a wildly popular president, but he's excited the base with his Reagan pick, and demonstrated a competent, proactive approach to the challenging issues. It puts him in a better position than Ford was at this point, who was falling fast from grace post-pardon.
6. The Brezhnev stroke, puts foreign policy front and center just before the election and creates a chance for a last minute 'make it or break it' moment.
 
November 5th-6th, 1974 -- Midterms, part one
Midterm elections for presidents have historically been one thing: an exercise in damage control. Presidents know they’re going to lose seats. It’s almost guaranteed. The degree to which it happens is small (Nixon in 1970 only lost twelve House seats while miraculously gaining two Senate seats) or massive (eighty years prior, Grover Cleveland somehow managed to lose an astonishing 127 House seats and four Senate seats, taking Democrats from control of the House to a mere footnote for the next two years). John Connally woke up that day, though, with the confidence that he’d be like Nixon and not like Cleveland. There had already been a number of successes, such as keeping the two Koreas from shooting at each other, and keeping SALT on track despite Brezhnev’s untimely departure from the stage. More importantly, the people were beginning to trust their government again, against all odds. Marvin Kalb held court daily in the press room and the delight of having one of their own, who wasn’t arrogant and secretive, had muted a press corps that had grown vicious in Nixon’s last days. While criticisms and tart questions abounded, Kalb’s decency often won the day. The clips of Kalb on the nightly news broadcasts were a stark departure from the terse, persnickety Ron Ziegler, and that, in turn, influenced the feelings of the electorate.

Most helpful of all, perhaps, was that Watergate had been brought to a close with real justice, the impeachment and conviction of Richard Nixon. It had been a demonstration of government working as designed, of justice winning out. Connally had seamlessly taken office, and won the hearts of the conservative base by naming Ronald Reagan as his vice-president, while acting moderately enough to not scare off the many true independents that still existed amongst the American voters. It was as good of a transition as the GOP could’ve hoped for. By the same token, the choice of Reagan had put off a sizable number of liberal Republicans, people who were already appalled at how the party aided, abetted, and protected Nixon. That would prove decisive in some close races.

By midday, President Connally had flown to San Antonio and then driven to his polling place in Floresville, the small town southeast of the city where his ranch was located. After casting his ballot and doing his bit for the cameras, he drove back to San Antonio, where he’d rented out one of the hacienda-themed suites at the top of the Hilton Palacio del Rio on San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk. It had views of both the city and the river below. The Secret Service had the two suites on either side, one for operations/monitoring and the other for off-duty agents to sleep in. The agents in the motorcade parked underneath the hotel at the service entrance, and the service elevator went straight up to the top floor. The President walked in and tossed his jacket on a chair. Ben Barnes came in behind him, inspecting the room to make sure the hotel staff had brought the right bourbon up, added the extra phone lines for calls during the night, and had the three televisions set up in the living room area. He needn’t have worried. This location was the last big project of Old Man Conrad himself, and everything had been done with precise detail. Barnes smiled, and then phoned room service for lunch to be sent up. In a few hours, the room would fill up with local political allies and the big donors. Amongst them would be David Parr from AMPI, and he’d shake hands with the President, they’d smile, lean in close, chuckle over something only the two of them knew, and Parr would move on to conduct business. Connally would not be here without Parr, and AMPI would not have survived a few years ago without Connally. That a man died in the process was of no concern. Jake Jacobsen had been weak and he died in a way that only a weak man would thirteen months ago, helping set all of this in motion. The fun part was, the President thought, nobody else knew. It would just be something else to smile about, he hoped. With that, he sat down to read over economic figures sent over by Rockefeller. Nelson had done as good as he’d hoped, showing his sharp business intellect while also presenting the moderate image that Connally wished to project to get his legislation passed.


*****

In Washington, the DNC brass were gathered at the Hay-Adams Hotel, in their own suite, watching the same results as they began to come in. Larry O’Brien and Jean Westwood, the previous two chairpersons, were up there with the current one, Robert Strauss, who, irony of ironies, had been close with John Connally when they both worked for Lyndon. Now they were political adversaries, and Strauss’s job was to keep strong congressional majorities to leverage for 1976. Kennedy had already declared, and there’d be some others joining him based upon what happened tonight. Strauss had, along with Albert and Mansfield, designed the common program to run the midterms on--Honesty. Integrity. Belief in the will of the people.

As both sides gathered, and it struck nine p.m. in the east, the picture started to become clearer. Marlow Cook was getting thumped in Kentucky, and Wendell Ford was going to waltz into the Senate. Jacob Javits was ahead, narrowly, in one of those divided races that only New York seemed to have. Charles Mathias would hold in Maryland, and in New Hampshire, Louis Wyman and John Durkin were in a knife fight. Shockingly, the same was happening next door in Vermont, where the expected win by Democratic prosecutor Patrick Leahy over the state’s lone congressman, Republican Richard Mallary, was being disrupted by a bespectacled social worker from Burlington named Bernard Sanders. In a state where just over 173,000 people would vote, every last voted really did count, and Sanders had peeled off a little over five percent of the electorate with his calls to democratic socialism. Speculation abounded that a recount might be necessary. By midnight, 11 pm in San Antonio, Connally and his inner circle, along with the donors, were unsure whether to be happy that things weren’t worse or gravely concerned that the right flank of the party was in danger of being tossed on its ear in the Midwest, of all places. Milton Young was down narrowly to his Democratic challenger, the former three-term governor William L. Guy. In Kansas, Bill Roy was beating Bob Dole, against what seemed to be all odds. Connally blurted out, “He was a damn fool to not vote for conviction. Bob’s not likeable enough to be principled, especially after Dick’s meltdown on the floor.” Nobody was terribly surprised. They knew the President valued pragmatism above all else. Either way, losing Senate seats was not something they wanted. Too much of that and a filibuster couldn’t even be sustained. Ben Barnes, making notes at the conference table while making calls, had heard his boss, and privately thought a big loss would be a positive. He thought Hugh Scott was a weasel, unable to show any courage or lead anyone to anything.

Just as the DNCers were about to erupt with glee, Florida came in with a surprise. Reagan’s strong campaigning there for Jack Eckerd had brought a corresponding drop in some of the American Independence Party (George Wallace’s segregationist creation) vote for its candidate, a true spoiler who’d been polling at 15-18%, John Grady. Grady wound up with only about 11.5%, and Eckerd pulled off the victory, holding a seat thought lost. The Midwest continued to be tighter than Nixon’s sphincter upon hearing about the ITT indictments—Roy had the slightest of leads on Dole, but with the city vote more Democratic, he was expected to hold it. Milton Young and William Guy were literally a couple hundred votes apart. In Iowa, David Stanley looked like he was going to pull off a heist of the seat Harold Hughes was retiring from. It was just a few thousand votes, but compared to the other two races, it felt like a landslide. Henry Bellmon looked to be clinging to his Oklahoma seat by his fingertips, but a win would be a win. Richard Schweiker, who’d assiduously courted the union vote for years in Pennsylvania, had parlayed that into a comfortable re-election. Ohio, a state with a deeply conservative governor, where Nixon had swept to victory two years before, had resoundingly chosen Apollo astronaut John Glenn as its next senator. He’d deposed Howard Metzenbaum in the primary and then destroyed Ralph Perk, a hapless Republican who only polled 30% of the vote.

Connally was not drunk, as he’d carefully managed his bourbon intake throughout the night so he could look over all the results with a gimlet eye. By a little after two in the morning, it was clear that the GOP had minimized their losses in the Senate. Vermont and New Hampshire would both go to a recount, but at the moment, Republicans had kept both seats. That was better than they could say in the Plains states. Milton Young had lost in North Dakota to William Guy. Further south in Kansas, Bill Roy had received stronger than expected turnout in Topeka and Kansas City/Overland Park, enough to overcome Bob Dole’s strong support in the farm counties. Next door in Iowa, though, David Stanley had narrowly snatched away Harold Hughes’ seat from Democrats. The last Senate race to be called was Nevada, and once again, the AIP was a factor, this time hurting Republicans. Jack Doyle, the AIP candidate, was only expected to poll about 6% at the ballot box. Doyle, like Sanders had in Vermont, punched above his weight, pulling in 7.1% of the vote, almost exclusively drawn from the GOP’s base, allowing the clean-living, anti-Mafia crusader and lieutenant governor, Harry Reid, to beat out Ronald Reagan’s dear friend Paul Laxalt, the former governor. Connally shared a look with Barnes about that. The AIP was a threat to their right flank and they had to make sure that threat was neutralized in time for 1976.

*****

CRONKITE:
Last night’s midterm elections featured a large number of extremely close races, some of them being Democrats who narrowly won in historically Republican seats. Others include Republicans who held onto their seats against all odds, and even taking a half dozen Democratic House seats, despite losing many of their own. It appears that Republicans who voted for the impeachment of President Nixon did the best amongst those that retained their seats. In the Senate, it appears to be a much smaller Democratic gain than expected, with only three certain pickups and two seats facing recounts. In Vermont and New Hampshire, Republicans very narrowly appeared to hold those seats. The battle for Vermont’s Senate seat was shockingly upended by a bushy-haired socialist carpenter named Bernard Sanders, who has built a following in the very liberal community of Burlington. Mr. Sanders used his popularity in Vermont’s most populous city to win about 5.5 percent of the statewide vote, all drawn from the base of Democratic candidate Patrick Leahy. This left Leahy a scant .04% behind Republican Richard Mallary, the incumbent congressman who declined to run for reelection so he could contest the seat of retiring moderate Republican George Aiken. Next door in the New Hampshire vote, as currently counted, Republican candidate Louis Wyman is 0.2% ahead of Democratic candidate John Durkin in the battle to replace the retiring Norris Cotton. By law in many New England states, any vote margin 0.5% or less requires a recount by hand, so that is expected to happen in both of these races.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, the fight over the seat vacated by Alan Bible between the current lieutenant governor, Democrat Harry Reid, and the former governor, Republican Paul Laxalt, ended with a shocking result, as American Independence Party candidate Jack Doyle won just over seven percent of the vote statewide, a result that no pollster forecast. Perhaps surprised most of all by this result was Vice-President Ronald Reagan, who is extremely close with Mr. Laxalt and campaigned heavily for him, especially in Las Vegas, where Mr. Reagan was once a regular performer. Mr. Doyle, a far-right candidate running under the banner of the party that George Wallace built, siphoned enough support from Laxalt for Lieutenant Governor Reid to win, with the final margin resting just outside of Nevada’s requirements for an automatic recount. While many urged Mr. Laxalt to contest the race, the former governor put out a statement late last night stating that “in a democracy, it is important for the person who lost to recognize they did so and support the winner. The lieutenant governor won a very tight race last night in part because I did not keep my base together. That isn’t the fault of the votes, or the people that cast them. The fault alone is mine. I wish Mr. Reid well and I intend to spend some time with my family and consider the next chapter in my life.”

Finally, before we move on to gubernatorial elections, a last look at some House races of note last night. Ten-term incumbent Representative, Democrat Frank Clark, lost his bid for reelection in Pennsylvania’s 25th district by a resounding margin, stunning many observers of Pennsylvania politics. Another seat that switched sides unexpectedly was in Michigan’s Sixth District, a staunch Republican seat that was won by 0.6% by Democrat Milton Robert Carr. Carr’s victory margin was less than the combined vote share of the left-wing third parties that ran and got 1.8%. In the end, though, most of the seats that changed hands were swing districts that had not been held by the incumbent long. There were many close calls in places like Nebraska’s Third District, where Virginia Smith, running to replace the retiring David Martin, eked out a miniscule victory in a longtime Republican district. Sometimes, as the Democrats discovered in the Louisiana Sixth, pushing an incumbent out in a primary is a good way to lose a seat.

If all counts hold, the new Congress will feature 286 Democratic congressmen and 149 Republican congressmen, while in the Senate, Democrats will hold sixty seats to forty of those for the Republicans. When we come back, we'll run down the gubernatorial election results, and our panel will discuss what the elections mean for the future of the Connally Administration.
 
Top