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On February 9th, New Hampshire voters will be heading to the polls to cast their ballots in the First in the Nation Presidential Primary! Forty years ago, Annalee designed this set of Democratic donkeys and Republican elephants for the election year between then Governor Jimmy Carter and incumbent President Gerald Ford. After a very close race, Jimmy Carter(D) took the victory. These comical critters were enjoyed by people all across the country. Over the years, Annalee made several sets of political animals, Uncle Sam characters and other patriotic dolls. These red, white and blue clad dolls continue to be a growing category in the annual design collection!
Georgia’s Democratic Governor Jimmy Carter entered the New Hampshire primary as a total stranger who was referred to as “Jimmy Who?” With only a quarter of the total Democratic votes cast, he defeated Senators Morris K. Udall and Birch Bayh, and went on to win the presidency. Although Carter- was totally unknown when he came into New Hampshire he won the primary, from sheer perseverance in a traditional grass roots campaign.
In the Republican contest, with 119,880 votes cast, incumbent President Gerald Ford defeated former California Governor Ronald Reagan by 1,587 votes for the closest race in presidential primary history.
Check out this vintage page from Annalee’s 1972 wholesale catalog! This election was between incumbent President Nixon and Senator George McGovern of South Dakota. The results went handedly to Nixon, who remained in office until the Watergate scandal finally concluded with his impeachment and eventual resignation in 1974. At that point, Vice President Gerald Ford took over the office of the Presidency, which was short-lived when he was defeated in ’76.