Social Issues in Politics

Here is an ad from the 1976 Presidential season.  It is from the Presidential campaign of Ellen McCormack, a New York housewife, who was able to raise enough money to run television spots such as this in states that she qualified for in the Democratic Party primaries.  She did not win any primaries, but McCormack did receive 22 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention.  The Democratic nominee for President in 1976 was Jimmy Carter.

This ad brings up several questions:
1.  Can any candidate run on social issues and expect to win in election?  For McCormack, she ran almost exclusively as an anti-abortion candidate.
2.  Today, the Democratic Party supports more a pro-choice platform and the Republican Party favors a pro-life platform.  Is there a place for both platforms in each party?
3.  Would candidates today venture and run an ad like this today?

18 responses to “Social Issues in Politics

  1. 1. I would have to say in today’s day in age, no. There is too much diversity within our social structure. By this, I am saying that there are Dem’s that are pro-life and there are GOP that are pro-gay . I think in today’s time the candidates stick to hard party line issues, like the economy and jobs and only touch the social issues when prompted, like abortion.
    2. Well there would have to be a place for them, but I think some people get tired of the same issues, like abortion, and want to deal with things that directly affect them. There are a lot of people with out a jobs that weren’t their choices and the same for hunger and abortion is a choice issue. People want the economy to gain strength so that we can go back to issues such as abortion.
    3. I would say NO a candidate wouldn’t be caught dead creating an ad like this today.

  2. 1. I would find it highly unlikely if someone would be able to run on social issues alone. Social issues are important but it’s hard to compare them to foreign affairs and other domestic issues. I don’t believe that a strong enough base could be created to get someone elected when only focusing on social issues.
    2. There is a place for both platforms of each party. Just because someone is a democrat doesn’t mean they will necessarily support a pro-choice law, same goes for republicans.
    3. I think if they want what happened to Rick Perry in 2012 happen to them then yes they would, but no sane candidate would do that. (Rick Perry- Anti-Gay ad . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V78ReJbjdxo)

  3. Thaddeus Johnson

    1. Someone would be able to run on a social issue. You just need to find what appeals to the public and make a campaign around it. It would be really hard to win but there’s always a possibility.
    2. Yes there is a place for both platforms in each party. There is because there are some candidates that would say it depends on the situation on how you got pregnant.
    3. I don’t think that any politician would run an ad like that today. There are people that would think that it is wrong to run a campaign on a single idea. And to put an ad up to say that your against something that people choose for themselves wont help.

  4. Zeferino Martinez

    1. I do not think that a candidate would be able to solely run on a social issue and get elected. I believe that is part of the equation to winning, but the candidate would need to make sure he had a good economic plan as well.
    2. I think there is a place for both platforms in each party, because everybody is entitled to their own opinion, even if there is an established view in a party’s platform.
    3. A politician would not run ad like that today, because of the amount of controversy which would accompany an ad like that. This type of ad could ruin candidate’s campaign over night.

  5. 1. While social issues are important, they are not enough to run on and win an election. A candidate needs to be able to address issues concerning the economy, jobs, foreign affairs, and national security.

    2. At the present time, there seems to be more room for both platforms in each party but not only when it comes to abortion but other social issues as well. Just like some republican are coming out in support of same sex marriage. Same sex marriage is typically a democratic stance. Pro-choice democrats are coming out in support of banning abortions after 20 weeks and Pro-life Republicans may supporter abortion in the case when a mother’s life is in danger, rape, or incest.

    3. An ad of this magnitude gives little room for a candidate to “evolve” or have a change of heart. I think they run the risk of alienating some constituents and therefore candidates would not run an ad like this today.

  6. 1. I don’t believe a candidate can run or win by supporting one social issue, such as Ellen McCormack did in 1976. When a candidate gives a speech, they do discuss social issues, that is one way they draw in supporters. A candidate needs to be well-rounded and have a variety of issues to discuss in order to appeal to a diverse nation.
    2. Yes, I feel there is a place for both platforms in both parties. I’m sure there are Democrats that are Pro-Life and Republicans that are Pro-Choice. They may not give their opinion publicly, but I’m sure each exist in both parties.
    3. I don’t know if they would, but I feel it’s an option. Candidates today talk about gay rights and there are many people against gay rights. This nation is still divided on many subjects and you just can’t make everybody happy. Candidates need to be honest and speak from their hearts, and understand that they shouldn’t make promises to the American public, that they can’t keep.

  7. 1. Candidates should run on social issues, yes. But make sure that there is a majority of people out there to support it. Theres nothing worse than trying to throw a point across to 75% of people that do not support what you think.
    2. Sure, theres a place for both platforms. In todays world, I believe in pro-choice for sure. Its easy to believe in pro-choice because of the way that we must have an education, a job, and enough money financially to provide before anything.
    3. There is no way someone would run an ad like this today. In my eyes, they would be shut down day 1 in there campaign. Even though its straight to the point, the topic is very touchy and will always be.

  8. I wouldn’t vote for a candidate that just promoted themselves on social issues. Everyone has their own opinions on social issues, which means you can have different platforms in the same party. I don’t care about the social issues if our economy is in the crapper. Fix the economy, let the country thrive, then we could combat the problems that seem so little compared to the realization that our country is falling behind the rest of the world and people care more about abortions and same sex marriage. A candidate shouldn’t run an ad like this because it is so one sided, the people who agree with you are already voting for you, be negative then.

  9. Yousef Dahleh

    1) I do not believe a candidate can run solely based on social issues. A country is based off of much more than social issues. A majority of the country’s issues must be addressed.
    2) There is a place for both platforms in each party. A party is not organized, therefore a republican with the political ideology of a libertarian would possibly be pro-choice like a democrat.
    3) No because it could possibly lead to them losing votes from the people that support their party.

  10. A presidential candidate could not simply run on one social issue because the position requires so many other qualifications to be successful. One must have knowledge of business, law, foreign affairs, and education as opposed to only being very passionate about a social issue.
    There is room for both platforms within a party, but the party leaders would not allow the other side to be publicized. That is the unfortunate side-effect of political parties: one belief on all subjects.
    It would be very courageous for a candidate to run an ad like this because he or she would really be opening up their opinion to the world and subject to criticism from the other side. Everyone today seems way too scared to perform any action like that.

  11. Rob DiDomenico

    No people need to explain of their positions on all topics and not just one. People need to know where you stand on everything. Yes, but there has to be a time limit like 3 weeks like it said when the baby has a heart beat. Yes, they would run an ad like this today because the Democratic party would run ads like these.

  12. In answering the first question, no I don’t believe you can run just on social issues and except to win an election, there are too many other issues that just focusing on one will leave voters with a sliver of what else you stand for. In regards to the second question, I believe that there is room in a party for both sides of an issue, just because you don’t agree with one ideal of a party does not mean you can’t find the rest of a party’s ideals fitting what you stand for. Finally, I believe that some candidate would run an ad like this today, overtly religious and third-party candidates would most likely run these type of ads as they try to get left over and fringe voters.

  13. 1. I do not believe that a politician can win an election basing their campaign purely on social issues. While they must make a stand on some of these issues there are too many problems in this country that they just cannot take on bold stand on one issue
    2. There is definitely room on both platforms for each party, especially on issues as gripping as abortion. In today’s politics we see Republicans and Democrats go against their parties general notion all the time, but they tend to only do this on a select number of issues
    3. There is no way that any politician could run an ad this controversial today. While there is many pro-life organizations out there that would support this official based on the ad, there are just as many pro-choice groups that would protest them just for running this ad.

  14. 1. A candidate cannot run only based on social issues. Sure some ideas are much more important than others to certain people, but to capture a nations attention much more needs to be done.
    2. There is a place for both candidates. Democrats and Republicans have some of the same certain small beliefs, but notall details are the same.

  15. 1 I don’t believe a candidate could run on a topic such as this alone. sure it will get them some votes but over all people care about more topics than only one.
    2 There has to be room for both sides in each party. one side can favor one over the other, but they both need to make room for both sides.
    3 i don’t think any candidate who was serious about a spot in office would do this. the voter are more intelligent than to make a decision off of one thing like that.

  16. 1. A candidate cannot run only based on social issues. Sure some ideas are much more important than others to certain people, but to capture a nations attention much more needs to be done.
    2. There is a place for both candidates. Democrats and Republicans have some of the same certain small beliefs, but notall details are the same.
    3. At the time this ad was released, abortion just became legal in the USA (in 1973). Now if a candidate did an ad about an issue that has recently been changed such a gay marriage, then it would get more attention than an abortion ad.

  17. 1. I don’t think a candidate can run on one social topic in order to win presidency.However, I think for this being an add for 1976 is pretty impressive, and does catch viewer attention.
    2. Personally, I do think there is room for both, yet there is always going to be confrontation between both parties.
    3. In today’s society you would never see an add ran like this. Abortion is a very touchy topic because many people have different views on it.

  18. 1. No, it wouldn’t be a good call for a candidate to run on social issues to win because many social issues are two sided and it’s not always a good idea to point out to the voters what your personal views are on topics like abortion.
    2. I agree that there is some elbow room for pro-choice/pro-life support in each party. I am sure both parties are agreeable when it comes to certain scenarios and facts in regards to this issue, either way both parties claim to be one-sided on the issue.
    3. No, i think it would be candidate suicide if an ad like that were to be televised today. Although, this issue is more commonly talked about than ever before, candidates normally like to stick to publicizing issues such as, jobs, healthcare, environmental issues etc.

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