17 Democrats Ran for President in 1976. Can Today’s GOP Learn Anything From What Happened?

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Media Outlet: Politico

With 17 candidates in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee, many have mused that the contest looks more like a Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Baily circus than an orderly competition to decide who will govern the nation. Conservatives worry the unruly competition will undermine the capacity of any person to unite the party and win the general election. “We’re in a danger zone,” one Republican establishment figure complained. “What we’ve got … is a confederation of a lot of candidates who aren’t standing out.”

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Julian Zelizer is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and writes a weekly column for CNN.com.