Liz from the True Adventures of the Doorbell Queen blog asks:
Which was the first presidential election you voted in and who you voted for?
Which was the first presidential election you were aware of and who the candidates were?
I remember the 1976 campaign; I was 8 at the time. The peanut iconography associated with the Carter campaign made an impression on me, and I remember making the observation that both Ford and Dole shared names with familiar brand names. (As, I suppose, did Carter, though at the time I didn't realize it.)
My first Presidential election was 1988, and I voted for Michael Dukakis via absentee ballot. (Interestingly, Dukakis lost the state in which I was registered, Illinois, but won the state I was actually living in, Iowa.) But in the primary, I took a Republican ballot and voted for Bob Dole. My rationale was that since everyone knew Paul Simon was going to run away with the Democratic primary in Illinois, it made more sense for me to vote in an election where my vote might actually make a difference. (Also, I was living in a county so heavily Republican that there may not have been any other races on the Democratic ballot, whereas the GOP ballot had a lot of contested races, which was appealing to me as a first-time voter.) It remains the only time I've ever voted for a Republican Presidential candidate.
What about you?