Is Senator Obama more like George McGovern (1972) or Jimmy Carter (1976)? Andrew Busch at No Left Turns thinks it's Carter:
Like Carter, Obama is a substantively vacuous charmer with minimal big-time experience. Carter had four years in the Georgia governor's mansion; if he is elected, Obama will have had four years in the U.S. Senate.
Like Carter, Obama has based his campaign on a general promise of change and a general posture of piety.
Like Carter, Obama is devoted to "healing" the nation after a harsh period of divisiveness.
Like Carter, Obama has suffered gaffes, but has maintained a reservoir of support that refuses to desert him. Like Obama waxing eloquent about the benighted folks in small-town Pennsylvania, Carter uttered his comment about maintaining the "ethnic purity" of neighborhoods in the weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania primary. Carter won Pennsylvania; Obama lost but retained his national lead in delegates and polls.
And, like Carter, despite his flaws, he is still the odds-on favorite to win the presidency in November. Republicans have not gone into a presidential election facing such stiff headwinds since-well, 1976. On Election Day of that year, Carter squeaked by Gerald Ford after possessing a large set of objective advantages. Obama, should he go on to win the Democratic nomination, will go into the election with at least as large a set of objective advantages.
Busch sees other similarities which you can read at the link.RLC