The bicentennial of American independence coincided with the quadrennial election of a president. It was customary for the incumbent, if he sought reelection, to run unopposed by anyone of his own party. Gerald Ford, the first appointed president, was serving the remainder of Richard Nixon's second term following Nixon's resignation in August 1974. Though Ford was well received by the public, he was unpopular with the right wing of the party for having appointed Nelson Rockefeller vice president. In the primaries, he was challenged for the nomination by former California governor Ronald Reagan, a conservative in the mold of Barry Goldwater. The party ended up standing by Ford, but a unified opposition would give Jimmy Carter a narrow victory in November. Reagan, of course, would deprive Carter of a second term in 1980, and usher in the modern renaissance of the Republican Party after 50 years of decline.
A scarce pinback that circulated during the 1976 Republican primaries.