1976 Presidential Election

Timeline: The Campaign Trail

This timeline charts Gerald Ford's path in the 1976 election, from competing for the Republican nomination in the primaries to his fight against Jimmy Carter in the general election. Follow along to learn more about the key moments in his campaign.

March 2

Primary: Massachusetts, Vermont

Ford Wins

ballot box illustration
March 5


Campaign Stops: Springfield, Peoria

President Ford and Terry O’Donell in the Lincoln bedroom, Abraham Lincoln Home National Historical Site, Springfield, IL.

March 6


Campaign Stop: Thomasboro

President Ford visits the Lyle Grace Farm in Thomasboro, IL.

March 9

Florida Primary

Ford Wins

ballot box illustration

March 10


Campaign Stop: San Diego

First Lady Betty Ford at the opening of the PFC Headquarters in San Diego, CA.

March 11


Campaign Stops: Libertyville, Rockford

First Lady Betty Ford meets with her staff enroute to Libertyville, IL.

March 12


Campaign Stops: Libertyville, Rockford, Chicago, Wheaton, Buffalo Grove

March 13

Illinois to North Carolina

Campaign Stops: Greensboro, Winston Salem, Millers Creek

President Ford is presented with a Bicentennial Rifle by a descendant of Daniel Boone in Miller's Creek, NC.

March 16

Illinois Primary

Ford Wins

ballot box illustration
March 20

North Carolina

Campaign Stops: Charlotte, Ashville, Morrison Field, Hickory

President Ford and Rep. James Broyhill onstage at a Citizens Forum in Hickory, NC.

March 23

North Carolina Primary

Reagan Wins

ballot box illustration

March 26


Campaign Stops: San Francisco, Los Angeles

March 27

California to Wisconsin

Campaign Stops: Los Angeles, Fresno, LaCrosse, WI

President Ford’s campaign trip to LaCrosse, WI.