On August 9, 1974, Republican President Richard Nixon was forced to resign following the Watergate Scandal. Vice President Gerald Ford ascended to the presidency, leaving the office of vice president vacant. Under the terms of the 25th Amendment, a vice presidential vacancy is filled when the president nominates a candidate who is confirmed by both houses of Congress, which were controlled by the Democrats.
On August 20, 1974, Ford announced his nomination of former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller to fill the vacancy. Ford also considered picking Tennessee Senator Howard Baker and former Republican National Committee Chairman George H.W. Bush. Rockefeller was generally considered to be a liberal Republican, and Ford decided that picking Rockefeller would help his candidacy gain support in the 1976 presidential election. Rockefeller's nomination angered many conservatives, many conservative Democrats and Republicans opposed the nomination.
The confirmation hearings for Rockefeller lasted for months, but Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st Vice President of the United States on December 19, 1974. Due to the pressure on Ford by the party conservatives, Rockefeller was ultimately passed over for the 1976 ticket, and Ford instead chose Bob Dole as his running mate. Ford, however, regretted this move later.
|1974 U.S. Senate
|1974 U.S. House
|Elections by year|
|Elections by state|
|Primaries and caucuses|
and Popular vote