Bumper sticker from Senator Robert C. Byrd's 1980 Presidential Campaign



Bumper sticker from Senator Robert C. Byrd's 1980 Presidential Campaign


In 1980, Byrd ran as a "favorite son" or "uncommitted" candidate in West Virginia only, a political strategy that allows a particular state representative control over the delegates from that state as a means of leverage in the election against the convention delegation. In her book, Primary Politics: How Presidential Candidates Have Shaped the Modern Nominating System, Elaine C. Kamarck argues that this strategy's use precipitously dropped in the early 2000s because of its lack of effectiveness as most voters would cast votes for serious candidates in primary elections (153-154). In the earlier 1976 presidential campaign, Byrd also ran as a favorite son, successfully winning West Virginia's primary nomination and the delegates that went along with it. It is unclear if any leverage opportunities were available to him as he only received the backing of 33 out of over 2,300 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Evidently, Byrd found his run fruitful and in the 1980 election, he decided to run again as a favorite son candidate, leading to the creation of this bumper sticker. In the 1980 primaries, Bryd won none of the delegates and ended his bids for delegates through a favorite son run.





Political Campaigns and Elections Material, 1948-2002, West Virginia and Regional History Center



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