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Humphrey experienced a surge in the polls in the days prior to the election, largely due to incremental progress in the peace process in Vietnam and a break with the Johnson war policy, but was defeated by Nixon on Election Day.Hubert Humphrey was first elected to public office in 1945 as Mayor of Minneapolis.His aides Max Kampelman and Bill Connell began to set up an organization and held meetings with Humphrey and his advisors, encouraging him to start a campaign.
But Humphrey was able to convince Johnson to speak to the influential National Farmers Union in Minneapolis, ahead of the Wisconsin Primary.As Vice President, Humphrey oversaw turbulent times in America, including race riots and growing frustration and anger over the large number of casualties in the Vietnam War.President Johnson's popularity had plummeted as the election grew closer.which led many Americans to believe that the North Vietnamese were stronger than had been reported, and that the war was not nearing an end.From this point, most Americans either believed that the war should be escalated to completely destroy the enemy or that all American troops should be withdrawn from Vietnam to prevent the use of any more resources for the "hopeless task".
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The contest between the men featured a battle for control of the Democratic Party, and cast Humphrey's "old politics", against the "new politics" of Mc Carthy and Kennedy.