Clip from the Past: Ellen McCormack for President

In 1976, a housewife from New York, Ellen McCormack ran for President.  In 18 states, her name appeared on primary election ballots as a Democrat.  Her platform was strictly based on a pro-life approach to the issue of abortion.  Even though she did not win any primaries, McCormack’s campaign was successful enough to have raised money for federal matching funds and for Secret Service protection.  The extra campaign dollars also allowed for the creation of television spots that would promote McCormack’s pro-life beliefs.

Would a commercial, such as this one, work in today’s political climate?

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16 responses to “Clip from the Past: Ellen McCormack for President

  1. Yes I do believe it would. People still have very strong views on pro life and pro women’s right to choose. Every once In a while I will see a small group standing by plAnned parenthood with signs of baby’s and make life not death or something. They make me so mad cause they are so stuck in there views that they don’t even listen to people.

  2. Soledad Cervantes

    I agree with you too Maggie. There is a building on Lasalle for abortions and you can see the protest there still happening. I believe now that we are a growing generation, the people nowadays are more open minded. I don’t think it would work because that is more of an older generation tactic. I personally and many of the students where I grew up in Pilsen Chicago have a similar view to mine, I personally would not have an abortion but it’s every humans beings choice, their bodies, their choices.

  3. I think this ad would work today. Today we see commercial that are more vulgar then this one. Even though when she said at 3 weeks a heart starts beating that does shock you and makes you think but its a good way of showing people that she is serious about complaining.

  4. I think that a commercial, such as this one, would work in today’s world because people today are more open minded and more concerned about life. I have seen many protesters and walkathons around my neighborhood occur to help stop abortion. This commercial is one that would sway a lot of people. When she said that a baby’s heart starts to beat at 3 weeks she will catch a lot of attention and make people rethink their choice, in my opinion. I know that I would never get an abortion and in my mind, that shows to me that this commercial is relevant in today’s modern society.

  5. I believe this commercial would work in today’s political world because it’s very vivid in it’s message. Especially with sound of the beating heart and the picture of an ultrasound. The main reason though why it would really work in today’s society is because social issues have really been the foundation of what people look for in candidates on how they stand in the certain issues they campaign for. Another main reason why I believe the commercial would be successful is because the fact that our generation has a more of an open mind when it comes to social issues and who’s running for president. People used to believe we wouldn’t have an African-American as the President of the United States, or that women should be able to vote. Today we have women such as Hilary Clinton who are taking huge steps into trying to break the norm of the political world.

  6. Michael McNulty

    I believe this would work. This subject is on a bigger platform then this time of filming. I don’t think this can be mistaken as controversial, and it seems down to the point. People on the anti abortion side will obviously agree, and I think pro abortionists will disagree but not be offended by this.

  7. I believe this commercial would still work to a certain extent in today’s modern-day political climate since abortion continues to be a heated controversial topic even though abortion has been legal since Roe v Wade. It causes controversy by bringing up the heated question of “When does life begin?” and through the vividness of the commercial i.e the heartbeats, the ultrasound picture. But, I also feel that the commercial is not as effective and persuasive towards those who are more open minded and tolerant about abortions and that are younger as it is on those who are of older generations and who are more close minded on these types of issues. Furthermore, I think the commercial in general would work in causing controversy in this modern day political climate but is less effective in persuading people to be against abortion since younger generations are becoming more comprehensive about abortion. It is also effective in the sense that in today’s society, social issues are critical and people look forward to seeing candidates addressing these social issues, like someone had mentioned above.

  8. The commercial is very factual and it effectively promotes McCormack’s pro-life beliefs. Although, in today’s political climate, I don’t believe a campaign strictly based on a pro-life approach would be very successful. Most americans are more concerned about the economy and an issue such as abortion wouldn’t impact how they vote.

  9. Nicholas Sumoski

    I think It would. It is the emotional things that drum up voters. abortion is still one of the bigest emotional argument today. Each side is adament that they are right and the other is wrong. People love to take sides and this would give them the opertunity to pick one.

  10. No, i believe the commercial would not work to day. Now a days the media would find this inappropriate. Also, most candidates would not base there campaign on the abortion issue. In the 1970s the issue was not as prominent as it is now, so if a camping would use this ad now it would just get negative publicity.

  11. Felicia Guajardo

    Yes I do believe a commercial like this would work in today’s political climate. This is still a very sensitive subject and a very debatable subject as well. When I see this commercials or even hear them coming on it stops me in my tracks. I stop to fully pay attention to what is being said. People still protest very strongly either way for this. #PSC110Online

  12. I believe a commercial like this would work today. We see commercials like this more and more on an everyday basis. Personal and emotional arguments like this, also gets the voters attention.

  13. Personally I don’t think this ad would get too much attention these days. I believe we have bigger issues to discuss and handle. However, I think back when this ad was made it might of had gotten a lot of attention and might have just worked.

  14. I do believe a commercial such as this one would work today. I think that this would really get people thinking. This is a very sensitive subject to talk about and the emotion from the commercial would most likely get the voters attention.

  15. In my opinion, this ad would not be very effective these days. Many people are set in their opinions when it comes to this controversial topic; as a result, I think that this ad would either get (a) no attention at all, because we hear this sort of thing all the time, or (b) very negative attention/publicity.

  16. Tiffany McLaughlin

    It would work, meaning it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see it since people still think like that. When this ad was made, the pro life opinion was almost a given so it would be accepted more at the time. However, it wouldn’t be as effective today because there are more people who think differently.

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