John Glenn's Campaign Plagued by Missteps and Disorganization

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NBC Nightly News
John Palmer/Connie Chung
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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NBC's Connie Chung reports on the gaffes and missteps by John Glenn's campaign before the New Hamsphire primary that could lead to his early exit from the 1984 Democratic race.



"John Glenn's Campaign Plagued by Missteps and Disorganization." Connie Chung, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 26 Feb. 1984. NBC Learn. Web. 29 January 2015.


Chung, C. (Reporter), & Palmer, J. (Anchor). (1984, February 26). John Glenn's Campaign Plagued by Missteps and Disorganization. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"John Glenn's Campaign Plagued by Missteps and Disorganization" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 02/26/1984. Accessed Thu Jan 29 2015 from NBC Learn:


John Glenn’s Campaign is in Deep Trouble in New Hampshire

JOHN PALMER, anchor:

The latest political polls show Walter Mondale, the odds on favorite to win the year’s first presidential primary on Tuesday in New Hampshire. Gary Hart is running second and says he’ll emerge from the state as Mondale’s prime challenger, and John Glenn is on the spot. As Connie Chung reports, his whole campaign could hinge on Tuesday’s outcome.

Democratic Presidential Candidate JOHN GLENN: I wouldn’t want to get skunked in New Hampshire and come in dead last in new Hampshire that would not be a good omen for the future I think, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

CONNIE CHUNG, reporting:

That’s John Glenn today on how he sees Tuesday’s primary. But many political observers believe that for Glenn, this race is win, place or go home.

DAVID GARTH (Pollster): My feeling is that if Glenn doesn’t finish second in New Hampshire he’s finished.

CHUNG: This weekend Glenn shipped in 500 Ohio campaigners, plus more from Washington, Maine and the south. But it may not be enough. One important state Democrat does not believe his New Hampshire organization is doing its job. Meet Holly Abrams. She is the second highest official in the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

HOLLY ABRAMS: I haven’t met the man, personally, and have not heard him speak firsthand.

CHUNG: She is also an unpledged delegate to the convention. All the other candidates have been courting her face to face, but not John Glenn.

ABRAMS: At this point the other candidates, I’ve been dealing with for over a year and I’ve had many opportunities to really sit and have a conversation with them.

CHUNG: Paul Shone has been running the Glenn campaign here since January. Has he ever heard of Holly Abrams?

PAUL SHONE: Who is Holly Abrams?

CHUNG: The Mondale campaign has hardly missed a beat. Mondale’s phone banks have been keeping in touch with the voters, and getting them out when the candidate shows up. Everyone here expects him to come in first. And Gary Hart has been campaigning here with new enthusiasm and money that poured in after his showing in Iowa. A second place here could demonstrate momentum for Hart. At this point, Glenn’s only momentum seems to be downward. Voters know who he is, but don’t necessarily know where he’s from

REPORTER: Do you know anything about John Glenn?

Unidentified Woman: Nope, not really, except he’s from Derry, New Hampshire.

CHUNG: Even his own people have difficulty spelling out his strengths. This woman is in charge of Glenn headquarters in Claremont, New Hampshire.

THEO SPANOS (Glenn Campaign): In general the New Hampshire voter is more conservative and I think that this state was made for John Glenn.

CHUNG: Can you tell me a little bit more about why?


CHUNG: And she ran Glenn’s campaign in the entire western part of the state until last month. There seems to be a pattern of disorganization in the Glenn campaign. Here in Manchester, Glenn headquarters opened in this building, only to discover it was zoned for warehouse storage. And when Glenn’s New Hampshire campaign manager was replaced last year, he heard about it from a reporter who read it in a Glenn press release in Washington.

Sources say Glenn’s southern strategists are telling him to drop out immediately if he falters in New Hampshire, but Glenn denies that and says he’s in this race to stay. Connie Chung, NBC News in New Hampshire.