After Kennedy/Nixon, there would not be another presidential debate until 1976. Lyndon Johnson feared that he would not be as dynamic as Barry Goldwater in 1964, and Nixon had bad memories of the 1960 exchange. When debates resumed in 1976, with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, they again proved important. The 1976 race was a close one, perhaps closer than it should have been given the long shadow of Watergate and Mr. Ford's controversial pardon of Nixon. But Mr. Ford had battled Mr. Carter to a draw in national polls. The first debate had little impact on the race, but when the two men met in early October for their second encounter, Mr. Ford answered a question about Eastern Europe in which he flatly denied that the region was dominated by the Soviet Union, though it was. This fed a perception that Mr. Ford, the accidental president, was not ready. Mr. Carter won a narrow victory three weeks later.