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The New Left Democrats was a progressive faction of the Democratic Party that existed during the 1960s and 1970s. The New Left Democrats supported the "Dump Johnson" movement during the Vietnam War, and Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern emerged as their leaders in politics. McGovern ran for president in 1968, seeking to fight for the values that the late presidential nominee Robert F. Kennedy had championed before his assassination, and he opposed the Vietnam War. McGovern lost the primaries and endorsed the pro-war candidate Hubert Humphrey in an act seen as a betrayal by some anti-war figures, but he again enjoyed popularity in 1971 when he announced his candidacy for president. He defeated Humphrey in the presidential primary this time, but his campaign was branded as "amnesty, abortion, and acid" for his radical views, and Humphrey decried McGovern as a radical. McGovern called for withdrawal from Vietnam in exchange for the release of US prisoners of war, amnesty for draft dodgers, a 37% reduction in defense spending over three years, the legalization of marijuana, and abortion rights. However, he only won Massachusetts and Washington DC in the disastrous election, securing just 17 electoral votes to Republican Party challenger Richard Nixon's 520. The New Left Democrats would suffer a heavy defeat during the election, but the Progressive Democrats would continue their legacy.

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