United States presidential election, 1968
Overview
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 presidential election
United States presidential election
Elections for President and Vice President of the United States are indirect elections in which voters cast ballots for a slate of electors of the U.S. Electoral College, who in turn directly elect the President and Vice President...

. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 elected. The election was a wrenching national experience, conducted against a backdrop that included the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 and subsequent race riots across the nation, the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F.
Encyclopedia
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 presidential election
United States presidential election
Elections for President and Vice President of the United States are indirect elections in which voters cast ballots for a slate of electors of the U.S. Electoral College, who in turn directly elect the President and Vice President...

. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 elected. The election was a wrenching national experience, conducted against a backdrop that included the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 and subsequent race riots across the nation, the assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, widespread demonstrations against
Opposition to the Vietnam War
The movement against US involvment in the in Vietnam War began in the United States with demonstrations in 1964 and grew in strength in later years. The US became polarized between those who advocated continued involvement in Vietnam, and those who wanted peace. Peace movements consisted largely of...

 the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 across American university and college campuses, and violent confrontations between police and anti-war protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

 as the Democratic party split again and again.

On November 5, 1968, the Republican nominee, former Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 won the election over the Democratic nominee, Vice President Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

. Nixon ran on a campaign that promised to restore law and order
Law and order (politics)
In politics, law and order refers to demands for a strict criminal justice system, especially in relation to violent and property crime, through harsher criminal penalties...

 to the nation's cities, torn by riots and crime. The election of 1968 was a realigning election
Realigning election
Realigning election are terms from political science and political history describing a dramatic change in the political system. Scholars frequently apply the term to American elections and occasionally to other countries...

 that permanently disrupted the New Deal Coalition
New Deal coalition
The New Deal Coalition was the alignment of interest groups and voting blocs that supported the New Deal and voted for Democratic presidential candidates from 1932 until the late 1960s. It made the Democratic Party the majority party during that period, losing only to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952...

 that had dominated presidential politics for 36 years.

The election featured a strong third party
Third party (United States)
The term third party is used in the United States for any and all political parties in the United States other than one of the two major parties . The term can also refer to independent politicians not affiliated with any party at all and to write-in candidates.The United States has had a...

 effort by former Alabama Governor George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

. Because Wallace's campaign opposed federal intervention in the South to end school segregation
Racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, included the racial segregation or hypersegregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines...

, he proved to be a formidable candidate in the South; no third-party candidate has won an entire state's electoral votes since.

Historical background

In the election of 1964
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

, after serving the 14 remaining months after President John F. Kennedy's assassination
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 had won the largest popular vote landslide in US Presidential election
United States presidential election
Elections for President and Vice President of the United States are indirect elections in which voters cast ballots for a slate of electors of the U.S. Electoral College, who in turn directly elect the President and Vice President...

 history over Republican Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

. During his term, Johnson had seen many political successes, including the passage of his sweeping Great Society
Great Society
The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States promoted by President Lyndon B. Johnson and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice...

 domestic programs (also known as the "War on Poverty"), landmark civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 legislation, and the continued exploration of space. At the same time, however, the country endured large-scale black riots in the streets of its larger cities, along with a generational revolt of young people and violent debates over foreign policy. The emergence of the hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

 counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

, the rise of New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 activism, and the emergence of the Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

 movement exacerbated social and cultural clashes between classes, generations and races. Every summer during Johnson's post-election administration, known thereafter as the "long, hot summers", major U.S. cities erupted in massive race riots that left hundreds dead or injured and destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars in property. Adding to the national tension, on April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 sparking further mass rioting and chaos, including Washington, where rioting came within just a few blocks of the White House.

A major factor in the precipitous decline of President Johnson's popularity was the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, which he greatly escalated during his time in office. By late 1967 over 500,000 American soldiers were fighting in Vietnam and suffering thousands of casualties every month. Johnson was especially hurt when, despite his repeated assurances that the war was being "won", the American news media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

 began to show just the opposite. The Tet Offensive of February 1968, in which Communist Vietcong forces launched major attacks on several large cities in South Vietnam, led to increased criticism from antiwar activists that the war was unwinnable. The Johnson Administration was particularly damaged during the Tet Offensive when Vietcong forces managed to penetrate the US Embassy, Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, before being killed by U.S. troops in a fierce struggle captured on national television. In response to the Tet Offensive, the U.S. military claimed that the war could only be won by adding several hundred thousand more soldiers to the American forces already in South Vietnam. In the months following Tet, Johnson's approval ratings fell below 35%, and the Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 refused to let the President make public appearances on the campuses of American colleges and universities, due to his extreme unpopularity among college students. The Secret Service also prevented Johnson from appearing at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, because of their fear that his appearance might cause riots.

Democratic Party nomination

Democratic candidates
  • Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

    , U.S. Vice President from Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

    , President of the United States from Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

  • Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

    , U.S. senator from New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    , brother of former President John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

    , and former Attorney General
    United States Attorney General
    The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

     (assassinated)
  • Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

    , U.S. senator from Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

  • George McGovern
    George McGovern
    George Stanley McGovern is an historian, author, and former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party nominee in the 1972 presidential election....

    , U.S. senator from South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...


Enter Eugene McCarthy

Because Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 had been elected to the Presidency only once and had served less than two full years of the term before that, the 22nd Amendment did not disqualify him from running for another term; Johnson had served only 14 months following John F. Kennedy's assassination
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 before being elected in 1964 to a full term. As a result, it was widely assumed when 1968 began that President Johnson would run for another term, and that he would have little trouble winning the Democratic nomination.

Despite the growing opposition to Johnson's policies in Vietnam, it appeared no prominent Democratic candidate was prepared to run against a sitting President of his own party. Even Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, an outspoken critic of Johnson's policies with a large base of support, initially refused to run against Johnson in the primaries. In time, only Senator Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

 of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 proved willing to challenge Johnson openly. Running as an antiwar candidate in the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

, McCarthy hoped to pressure the Democrats into publicly opposing the Vietnam War. Since New Hampshire was the first presidential primary of 1968, McCarthy poured most of his limited resources into the state. He was boosted by thousands of young college students led by youth coordinator Sam Brown
Sam Brown (activist)
]]Sam W. Brown, Jr. was a political activist, the head of ACTION under Carter, and ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.-Early life and education:Sam W. Brown, Jr. was born July 27, 1943 in Council Bluffs, Iowa...

, who shaved their beards and cut their hair to be "Clean for Gene." These students organized get-out-the-vote drives, rang doorbells and distributed McCarthy buttons and leaflets, and worked hard in New Hampshire for McCarthy. On March 12, McCarthy won 42% of the primary vote to Johnson's 49%, an amazingly strong showing for such a challenger. Even more impressively, since Johnson had more than 24 supporters running for the Democratic National Convention delegate slots to be filled in the election, while McCarthy's campaign organized more strategically, McCarthy won 20 of the 24 delegates. This gave McCarthy's campaign legitimacy and momentum. The momentum ended, however, when Senator Kennedy announced his candidacy four days later, on March 16, as McCarthy supporters cried betrayal and vowed to defeat Kennedy. Murray Kempton
Murray Kempton
James Murray Kempton was an influential, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist.-Biography:Kempton was born in Baltimore on December 16, 1917. His mother was Sally Ambler and his father was James Branson Kempton, a stock broker...

, an influential liberal journalist and McCarthy supporter, bitterly criticized Kennedy for waiting to enter the primaries until McCarthy had shown that Johnson was vulnerable. Kempton wrote that Kennedy "was like a man who comes down from the hills after the battle and shoots the wounded." Thereafter McCarthy and Kennedy would engage in an increasingly bitter series of state primaries; although Kennedy won most of the primaries in which he and McCarthy were in direct competition, he could never shake McCarthy and his devoted following of antiwar activists, which included many Hollywood celebrities such as Paul Newman
Paul Newman
Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast...

, Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder is an American stage and screen actor, director, screenwriter, and author.Wilder began his career on stage, making his screen debut in the film Bonnie and Clyde in 1967. His first major role was as Leopold Bloom in the 1968 film The Producers...

, Barbra Streisand
Barbra Streisand
Barbra Joan Streisand is an American singer, actress, film producer and director. She has won two Academy Awards, eight Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, an American Film Institute award, a Peabody Award, and is one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy,...

, and Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster
Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile...

.

Johnson withdraws

On March 31, 1968, following the New Hampshire primary and Kennedy's entry into the election, the President announced to the nation in a televised speech that he was suspending all bombing of North Vietnam in favor of peace talks. Johnson concluded his speech and startled the nation by announcing "With America's sons in the fields far away, with America's future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office--the Presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President
Shermanesque statement
"Sherman statement" or "Sherman speech" is American political jargon for a clear and direct statement by a potential candidate indicating that he or she will not run for a particular elected position....

." Not discussed publicly at the time was Johnson's concern he might not survive another term—Johnson's health was poor, and he had suffered a serious heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 in 1955 while serving in the U.S. Senate; indeed, he died on January 22, 1973, only two days after the new presidential term ended. Bleak political forecasts also contributed to Johnson's withdrawal: internal polling by Johnson's campaign in Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, the next state to hold a primary election, showed the President trailing badly. With Johnson's withdrawal, the Democratic Party quickly split into four factions, each of which distrusted the other three.
  • The first faction comprised labor unions and big-city party bosses (led by Mayor Richard J. Daley
    Richard J. Daley
    Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

    ). This group had traditionally controlled the Democratic Party since the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

    , and they feared their loss of control over the party. After Johnson's withdrawal this group rallied to support Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

    , Johnson's Vice President; it was also believed that President Johnson himself was covertly supporting Humphrey, despite his public claims of neutrality.
  • The second faction, which rallied behind Senator Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

    , was composed of college students, intellectuals, and upper-middle-class whites who had been the early activists against the war in Vietnam; they perceived themselves as the future of the Democratic Party.
  • The third group was primarily composed of Catholics, African-Americans
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    , Hispanics, and other racial and ethnic minorities as well as several antiwar groups; these groups rallied behind Senator Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

    .
  • The fourth group consisted of white Southern Democrats, or "Dixiecrats". Some members of this group (probably older ones remembering the New Deal
    New Deal
    The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

    's positive impact upon rural areas) supported Vice President Humphrey, but many of them would rally behind George C. Wallace and the Alabama governor's third-party campaign in the general election.


Since the Vietnam War had become the major issue that was dividing the Democratic Party, and Johnson had come to symbolize the war for many liberal Democrats, Johnson believed that he could not win the nomination without a major struggle, and that he would probably lose the election in November to the Republicans. However, by withdrawing from the race he could avoid the stigma of defeat, and he could keep control of the party machinery by giving the nomination to Humphrey, who had been a loyal Vice President. As the year developed, it also became clear that Johnson believed he could secure his place in the history books by ending the war before the election in November, thus giving Humphrey the boost he would need to win.

Contest

After Johnson's withdrawal, Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

 announced his candidacy. Kennedy was successful in four primaries and McCarthy five; however, in primaries where they campaigned directly against one another, Kennedy won three primaries and McCarthy one. Humphrey did not compete in the primaries, leaving that job to favorite son
Favorite son
A favorite son is a political term.*At the quadrennial American national political party conventions, a state delegation sometimes nominates and votes for a candidate from the state, or less often from the state's region, who is not a viable candidate...

s who were his surrogates, notably Senator George A. Smathers from Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Senator Stephen M. Young
Stephen M. Young
Stephen Marvin Young was an American politician of the Democratic Party from Ohio. He was a United States Senator from Ohio from 1958 until 1971....

 from Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, and Governor Roger D. Branigin
Roger D. Branigin
Roger Douglas Branigin was the 42nd Governor of the U.S. state of Indiana from January 11, 1965 to January 13, 1969...

 of Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

. Instead, Humphrey concentrated on winning the delegates in non-primary states, where party leaders such as Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley controlled the delegate votes in their states. Kennedy defeated Branigin and McCarthy in the Indiana primary, and then defeated McCarthy in the Nebraska primary. However, McCarthy upset Kennedy in the Oregon primary.

After Kennedy's defeat in Oregon, the California primary was seen as crucial to both Kennedy and McCarthy. McCarthy stumped the state's many colleges and universities, where he was treated as a hero for being the first presidential candidate to oppose the war. Kennedy campaigned in the ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

s and barrio
Barrio
Barrio is a Spanish word meaning district or neighborhood.-Usage:In its formal usage in English, barrios are generally considered cohesive places, sharing, for example, a church and traditions such as feast days...

s of the state's larger cities, where he was mobbed by enthusiastic supporters. Kennedy and McCarthy engaged in a television debate a few days before the primary; it was generally considered a draw. On June 4, Kennedy narrowly defeated McCarthy in California, 46%–42%. However, McCarthy refused to withdraw from the race and made it clear that he would contest Kennedy in the upcoming New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 primary, where McCarthy had much support from antiwar activists in New York City. The New York primary quickly became a moot point, however, for in the early morning of June 5, Kennedy was shot shortly after midnight; he died twenty-six hours later. Kennedy had just given his victory speech in a crowded ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles; he and his aides then entered a kitchen pantry on their way to a banquet room to meet with reporters. In the narrow pantry Kennedy and five others were shot by Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is a Jordanian citizen who was convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He is serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.Sirhan was a Christian Arab born in Jerusalem who strongly opposed Israel...

, a Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 militant who disliked Kennedy because of his support for the nation of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. None of the five other gunshot victims suffered mortal wounds, but Kennedy's gunshot wound was in the head, and despite having surgery the wound proved to be fatal.

Political historians have debated to this day whether Kennedy could have won the Democratic nomination had he lived. Some historians, such as Theodore H. White
Theodore H. White
Theodore Harold White was an American political journalist, historian, and novelist, known for his wartime reporting from China and accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1980 presidential elections.-Life and career:...

 and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., have argued that Kennedy's broad appeal and famed charisma
Charisma
The term charisma has two senses: 1) compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others, 2) a divinely conferred power or talent. For some theological usages the term is rendered charism, with a meaning the same as sense 2...

 would have convinced the party bosses at the Democratic Convention to give him the nomination. Jack Newfield, author of RFK: A Memoir, stated in a 1998 interview that on the night he was assassinated, "[Kennedy] had a phone conversation with Mayor Daley of Chicago, and Mayor Daley all but promised to throw the Illinois delegates to Bobby at the convention in August 1968. I think he said to me, and Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill is an American journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator. Widely traveled and having written on a broad range of topics, he is perhaps best known for his career as a New York City journalist, as "the author of columns that sought to capture the particular flavors of New York...

, 'Daley is the ball game, and I think we have Daley. However, other writers such as Tom Wicker
Tom Wicker
Thomas Grey "Tom" Wicker was an American journalist. He was best known as a political reporter and columnist for The New York Times.-Background and education:...

, who covered the Kennedy campaign for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, believe that Humphrey's large lead in delegate votes from non-primary states, combined with Senator McCarthy's refusal to quit the race, would have prevented Kennedy from ever winning a majority at the Democratic Convention, and that Humphrey would have been the Democratic nominee even if Kennedy had lived. The journalist Richard Reeves and historian Michael Beschloss
Michael Beschloss
Michael Richard Beschloss is an American historian. A specialist in the United States presidency, he is the author of nine books.- Early life :...

 have both written that Humphrey was the likely nominee, and RFK's own campaign manager, future Democratic National Committee chairman Larry O'Brien
Larry O'Brien
Lawrence Francis "Larry" O'Brien, Jr. was one of the United States Democratic Party's leading electoral strategists when, for more than two decades, he helped reshape American politics...

, wrote in his memoirs that Kennedy's chances of winning the nomination had been slim, even after his win in California.

At the moment of RFK's death, the delegate totals were:
  • Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

     561
  • Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

     393
  • Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

     258


Total popular vote:

  • Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

    : 2,914,933 (38.73%)
  • Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

    : 2,305,148 (30.63%)
  • Stephen M. Young
    Stephen M. Young
    Stephen Marvin Young was an American politician of the Democratic Party from Ohio. He was a United States Senator from Ohio from 1958 until 1971....

    : 549,140 (7.30%)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

    : 383,590 (5.10%)
  • Thomas C. Lynch
    Thomas C. Lynch
    Thomas Conner Lynch was an American lawyer who served as District Attorney in San Francisco and then as Attorney-General of California from 1964 to 1971. He was appointed to the post by Governor Edmund G. Brown in 1964 to replace Stanley Mosk, whom Brown had appointed to the state Supreme Court...

    : 380,286 (5.05%)
  • Roger D. Branigin
    Roger D. Branigin
    Roger Douglas Branigin was the 42nd Governor of the U.S. state of Indiana from January 11, 1965 to January 13, 1969...

    : 238,700 (3.17%)
  • George Smathers
    George Smathers
    George Armistead Smathers was an American lawyer and politician who represented the state of Florida in the United States Senate for eighteen years, from 1951 until 1969, as a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life:...

    : 236,242 (3.14%)
  • Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

    : 166,463 (2.21%)

  • Unpledged: 161,143 (2.14%)
  • Scott Kelly: 128,899 (1.71%)
  • George Wallace
    George Wallace
    George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

    : 34,489 (0.46%)
  • Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

     (write-in): 13,610 (0.18%)
  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

     (write-in): 5,309 (0.07%)
  • Ted Kennedy
    Ted Kennedy
    Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

    : 4,052 (0.05%)
  • Paul C. Fisher
    Paul C. Fisher
    Paul C. Fisher was an American inventor and politician. He invented the Fisher Space Pen. He held the patent for this invention, which is the most lucrative in the history of pens.-The Fisher Space Pen:...

    : 506 (0.01%)
  • John G. Crommelin
    John G. Crommelin
    Rear Admiral John Geraerdt Crommelin, Jr. was a prominent United States Navy officer and later a frequent political candidate who championed white supremacy.-Early life and naval career:...

    : 186 (0.00%)


Democratic Convention and antiwar protests

Robert Kennedy's death altered the dynamics of the race. Although Humphrey appeared the prohibitive favorite for the nomination, thanks to his support from the traditional power blocs of the party, he was an unpopular choice with many of the antiwar elements within the party, who identified him with Johnson's controversial position on the Vietnam War. However, Kennedy's delegates failed to unite behind a single candidate who could have prevented Humphrey from getting the nomination. Some of Kennedy's support went to McCarthy, but many of Kennedy's delegates, remembering their bitter primary battles with McCarthy, refused to vote for him. Instead, these delegates rallied around the late-starting candidacy of Senator George McGovern
George McGovern
George Stanley McGovern is an historian, author, and former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party nominee in the 1972 presidential election....

 of South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, a Kennedy supporter in the spring primaries who had presidential ambitions himself. This dividing of the antiwar votes at the Democratic Convention made it easier for Humphrey to gather the delegates he needed to win the nomination.

When the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

 opened in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, thousands of young activists from around the nation gathered in the city to protest the Vietnam War. In a clash which was covered on live television, Americans were shocked to see Chicago police brutally beating antiwar protesters in the streets of Chicago. While the protesters chanted "The whole world's watching," the police used clubs and tear gas to beat back the protesters, leaving many of them bloody and dazed. The tear gas even wafted into numerous hotel suites; in one of them Vice President Humphrey was watching the proceedings on television. However, the police claimed that their actions were justified because numerous police officers were being injured by bottles, rocks, and broken glass that were being thrown at them by the protestors; the protestors had also yelled verbal insults at the police, calling them "pigs" and other epithets. The antiwar riots divided the Democratic Party's base- some supported the protestors and felt that the police were being heavy-handed, but others disapproved of the violence and supported the police. Meanwhile, the convention itself was marred by the strong-arm tactics of Chicago's mayor Richard J. Daley
Richard J. Daley
Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

 (who was seen on television angrily cursing Senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, who made a speech at the convention denouncing the excesses of the Chicago police in the riots). In the end, the nomination itself was anticlimactic, with Vice President Humphrey handily beating McCarthy and McGovern on the first ballot.

After the delegates nominated Humphrey, the convention then turned to selecting a vice president. The main candidates for this position were Senators Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, Edmund Muskie
Edmund Muskie
Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie was an American politician from Rumford, Maine. He served as Governor of Maine from 1955 to 1959, as a member of the United States Senate from 1959 to 1980, and as Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter from 1980 to 1981...

 of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, and Fred R. Harris
Fred R. Harris
Fred Roy Harris is a former Democratic United States Senator from the state of Oklahoma. He served from 1964 until 1973.-Biography:...

 of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

; Governors Richard Hughes
Richard J. Hughes
Richard Joseph Hughes was an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 45th Governor of New Jersey from 1962 to 1970, and as Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1973–1979...

 of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and Terry Sanford
Terry Sanford
James Terry Sanford was a United States politician and educator from North Carolina. A member of the Democratic Party, Sanford was the 65th Governor of North Carolina , a two-time U.S. Presidential candidate in the 1970s and a U.S. Senator...

 of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

; Mayor Joseph Alioto
Joseph Alioto
Joseph Lawrence Alioto was the 36th mayor of San Francisco, California, from 1968 to 1976.-Biography:...

 of San Francisco, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

; former Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Roberts Vance was an American lawyer and United States Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1980...

 of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

; and Ambassador Sargent Shriver
Sargent Shriver
Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., known as Sargent Shriver, R. Sargent Shriver, or, from childhood, Sarge, was an American statesman and activist. As the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he was part of the Kennedy family, serving in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations...

 of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

. Another idea floated was to tap Republican Governor Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, one of the most liberal Republicans. Ted Kennedy was Humphrey's first choice but the senator turned him down. After narrowing it down to Senator Muskie and Senator Harris, Vice President Humphrey chose Muskie, a moderate and environmentalist
Environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

 from Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

, for the nomination. The convention complied with the request and nominated Senator Edmund Muskie
Edmund Muskie
Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie was an American politician from Rumford, Maine. He served as Governor of Maine from 1955 to 1959, as a member of the United States Senate from 1959 to 1980, and as Secretary of State under Jimmy Carter from 1980 to 1981...

 of Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 as Humphrey's running mate.

However, the tragedy of the antiwar riots crippled Humphrey's campaign from the start, and it never fully recovered. Before 1968 the city of Chicago had been a frequent host for the political conventions of both parties; since 1968 only once has a national convention been held in the city (in 1996, the Democrats held their convention for Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 there). Many believe that this is due in part to the violence and chaos of the Democratic Convention that year.
Balloting
Presidential tally Vice Presidential tally:
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

 
1759.25 Edmund S. Muskie 1942.5
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

601 Not Voting 604.25
George S. McGovern 146.5 Julian Bond
Julian Bond
Horace Julian Bond , known as Julian Bond, is an American social activist and leader in the American civil rights movement, politician, professor, and writer. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, during the early 1960s, he helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating...

 
48.5
Channing Phillips 67.5 David Hoeh 4
Daniel K. Moore 17.5 Edward M. Kennedy 3.5
Edward M. Kennedy 12.75 Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

 
3.0
Paul W. "Bear" Bryant
Bear Bryant
Paul William "Bear" Bryant was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of the University of Alabama football team. During his 25-year tenure as Alabama's head coach, he amassed six national championships and thirteen conference championships...

 
1.5 Others 16.25
James H. Gray 0.5
George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 
0.5

Source: Keating Holland, "All the Votes... Really," CNN

Endorsements

Hubert Humphrey
  • President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

     Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

     of Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

  • Mayor Richard J. Daley
    Richard J. Daley
    Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

     of Chicago
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...



Robert F. Kennedy
  • Senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

  • Senator George McGovern
    George McGovern
    George Stanley McGovern is an historian, author, and former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party nominee in the 1972 presidential election....

     of South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

  • Governor Harold E. Hughes of Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

  • Senator Vance Hartke
    Vance Hartke
    Rupert Vance Hartke was a Democratic United States Senator from Indiana from 1959 until 1977.-Early life, education, military service:...

     of Indiana
    Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

  • Writer Norman Mailer
    Norman Mailer
    Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S...

  • Labor Leader Cesar Chavez
    César Chávez
    César Estrada Chávez was an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers ....

  • Actor Robert Vaughn
    Robert Vaughn
    Robert Francis Vaughn, , is an American actor noted for stage, film and television work. His best known roles include the suave spy Napoleon Solo in the 1960s television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., wealthy detective Harry Rule in the 1970s television series The Protectors, Albert Stroller in...

  • Singer Bobby Darin
    Bobby Darin
    Bobby Darin , born Walden Robert Cassotto, was an American singer, actor and musician.Darin performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk and country...



Eugene McCarthy
  • Representative Don Edwards
    Don Edwards
    William Donlon Edwards is an American politician of the Democratic Party, formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives from California.-Biography:...

     of California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

  • Actor Paul Newman
    Paul Newman
    Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, professional racing driver and auto racing enthusiast...



George McGovern (during convention)
  • Senator Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

  • Governor Harold E. Hughes of Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...


Republican Party nomination

  • Republican candidates
    • Richard Nixon
      Richard Nixon
      Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

      , former Vice President
      Vice President of the United States
      The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

       and 1960 presidential nominee from New York
      New York
      New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    • Nelson Rockefeller
      Nelson Rockefeller
      Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

      , Governor of New York
      Governor of New York
      The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

       and candidate for the 1960 and 1964 nominations
    • Ronald Reagan
      Ronald Reagan
      Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

      , Governor of California
      Governor of California
      The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

    • George W. Romney
      George W. Romney
      George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

      , Governor of Michigan
      Governor of Michigan
      The Governor of Michigan is the chief executive of the U.S. State of Michigan. The current Governor is Rick Snyder, a member of the Republican Party.-Gubernatorial elections and term of office:...

       and candidate 1964 nomination
    • Harold Stassen
      Harold Stassen
      Harold Edward Stassen was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943. After service in World War II, from 1948 to 1953 he was president of the University of Pennsylvania...

      , former Governor of Minnesota
      Governor of Minnesota
      The Governor of Minnesota is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Minnesota, leading the state's executive branch. Forty different people have been governors of the state, though historically there were also three governors of Minnesota Territory. Alexander Ramsey, the first territorial...

       and candidate for the 1948, 1952 and 1964 nominations

Primaries

The front-runner
Front-runner
Front-runner is a term to describe the leader in a race, whether political or athletic. The term arose from the close symbolism between political campaigns and athletic running events. The term is used in the U.S...

 for the Republican nomination was former Vice President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, who formally began campaigning in January 1968. To a great extent the story of the 1968 Republican primary campaign and nomination is the story of one Nixon opponent after another entering the race and then dropping out. Nixon was always clearly the front runner throughout the contest because of his superior organization, and he easily defeated the rest of the field.

Nixon's first challenger was Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 Governor George W. Romney
George W. Romney
George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

. A Gallup poll in mid-1967 showed Nixon with 39%, followed by Romney with 25%. However, Romney told a news reporter that he had been "brainwashed" by the military and the diplomatic corps
Diplomatic corps
The diplomatic corps or corps diplomatique is the collective body of foreign diplomats accredited to a particular country or body.The diplomatic corps may, in certain contexts, refer to the collection of accredited heads of mission who represent their countries in another state or country...

 into supporting the Vietnam War; the remark led to weeks of ridicule in the national news media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

. Since he had turned against American involvement in Vietnam, Romney planned to run as the antiwar Republican version of Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

. However, following his "brainwashing" comment Romney's support faded steadily, and with polls showing him far behind Nixon he withdrew from the race on February 28, 1968.

Nixon won a resounding victory in the important New Hampshire primary on March 12, winning 78% of the vote. Antiwar Republicans wrote in the name of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 Governor Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

, the leader of the GOP's liberal wing, who received 11% of the vote and became Nixon's new challenger. Nixon led Rockefeller in the polls throughout the primary campaign. Rockefeller defeated Nixon in the Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 primary on April 30 but otherwise fared poorly in state primaries and conventions.

By early spring, California Governor
Governor of California
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, the leader of the GOP's conservative wing, had become Nixon's chief rival. In the Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 primary on May 14, Nixon won with 70% of the vote to 21% for Reagan and 5% for Rockefeller. While this was a wide margin for Nixon, Reagan remained Nixon's leading challenger. Nixon won the next primary of importance, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, on May 15 with 65% of the vote and won all the following primaries except for California (June 4), where only Reagan appeared on the ballot. Reagan's victory in California gave him a plurality of the nationwide primary vote, but his poor showing in most other state primaries left him far behind Nixon in the actual delegate count.

Total popular vote:

  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

    : 1,696,632 (37.93%)
  • Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

    : 1,679,443 (37.54%)
  • James A. Rhodes: 614,492 (13.74%)
  • Nelson Rockefeller
    Nelson Rockefeller
    Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

    : 164,340 (3.67%)
  • Unpledged: 140,639 (3.14%)
  • Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene McCarthy
    Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

     (write-in): 44,520 (1.00%)
  • Harold Stassen
    Harold Stassen
    Harold Edward Stassen was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943. After service in World War II, from 1948 to 1953 he was president of the University of Pennsylvania...

    : 31,655 (0.71%)
  • John Volpe: 31,465 (0.70%)
  • Others: 21,456 (0.51%)
  • George Wallace
    George Wallace
    George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

     (write-in): 15,291 (0.34%)

  • Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert F. Kennedy
    Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

     (write-in): 14,524 (0.33%)
  • Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

     (write-in): 5,698 (0.13)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

     (write-in): 4,824 (0.11%)
  • George W. Romney
    George W. Romney
    George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

    : 4,447 (0.10%)
  • Raymond P. Shafer
    Raymond P. Shafer
    Raymond Philip Shafer served as the 39th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1967 to 1971. He had previously served as Lieutenant Governor from 1963 to 1967...

    : 1,223 (0.03%)
  • William Scranton
    William Scranton
    William Warren Scranton is a former U.S. Republican Party politician. Scranton served as the 38th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1967. From 1976 to 1977, he served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations.-Early life:...

    : 724 (0.02%)
  • Charles H. Percy
    Charles H. Percy
    Charles Harting "Chuck" Percy was president of the Bell & Howell Corporation from 1949 to 1964. He was elected United States Senator from Illinois in 1966, re-elected through his term ending in 1985; he concentrated on business and foreign relations...

    : 689 (0.02%)
  • Barry Goldwater
    Barry Goldwater
    Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

    : 598 (0.01%)
  • John Lindsay
    John Lindsay
    John Vliet Lindsay was an American politician, lawyer and broadcaster who was a U.S. Congressman, Mayor of New York City, candidate for U.S...

    : 591 (0.01%)


Republican Convention

As the 1968 Republican National Convention
1968 Republican National Convention
The 1968 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Dade County, Florida, from August 5 to August 8, 1968....

 opened in Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter which separates the Beach from Miami city proper...

, the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 estimated that Nixon had 656 delegate votes - only 11 short of the number he needed to win the nomination. His only remaining obstacles were Reagan and Rockefeller, who were planning to unite their forces in a "stop-Nixon" movement. However, the strategy fell apart when neither Reagan nor Rockefeller agreed to support the other for the nomination. Nixon won the nomination on the first ballot. Nixon then chose Spiro T. Agnew
Spiro Agnew
Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Richard Nixon, and the 55th Governor of Maryland...

, the Governor of Maryland
Governor of Maryland
The Governor of Maryland heads the executive branch of the government of Maryland, and he is the commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard units. The Governor is the highest-ranking official in the state, and he has a broad range of appointive powers in both the State and local governments,...

, to be his Vice-Presidential
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 candidate, although Agnew was not well known in national circles at that time. It was also reported that Nixon's first choice for running mate was his longtime friend and ally, Robert Finch, who was the Lieutenant Governor of California
Lieutenant Governor of California
The Lieutenant Governor of California is a statewide constitutional officer elected separately from the Governor who serves as the "vice-executive" of California. The Lieutenant Governor of California is elected to serve a four year term and can serve a maximum of two terms...

 at the time, but Finch declined the offer. Finch would later serve as the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in Nixon's Administration.

Candidates for the Vice-Presidential nomination:

  • Spiro T. Agnew, Governor of Maryland
  • Howard Baker
    Howard Baker
    Howard Henry Baker, Jr. is a former Senate Majority Leader, Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee, White House Chief of Staff, and a former United States Ambassador to Japan.Known in Washington, D.C...

    , U.S. senator from Tennessee
    Tennessee
    Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

  • Edward Brooke
    Edward Brooke
    Edward William Brooke, III is an American politician and was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican from Massachusetts in 1966, defeating his Democratic opponent, Endicott Peabody, 60.7%–38.7%...

    , U.S. senator from Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

  • George H. W. Bush
    George H. W. Bush
    George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

    , U.S. representative from Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

  • David F. Cargo
    David F. Cargo
    David Francis Cargo the 22nd Governor of New Mexico, having served between 1967 and 1971.Cargo was born in Dowagiac, Michigan, the eldest of three children born to Francis and Mary Cargo...

    , Governor of New Mexico
  • John Chafee
    John Chafee
    John Lester Hubbard Chafee was an American politician. He served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, as the 66th Governor of Rhode Island, as the Secretary of the Navy, and as a United States Senator.-Early life and family:...

    , Governor of Rhode Island
  • Daniel J. Evans
    Daniel J. Evans
    Daniel Jackson Evans served three terms as the 16th Governor of the state of Washington from 1965 to 1977, and represented the state in the United States Senate from 1983 to 1989....

    , Governor of Washington
  • Robert H. Finch, Lieutenant Governor of California
  • Mark Hatfield
    Mark Hatfield
    Mark Odom Hatfield was an American politician and educator from the state of Oregon. A Republican, he served for 30 years as a United States Senator from Oregon, and also as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee...

    , U.S. senator from Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

  • Jacob K. Javits
    Jacob K. Javits
    Jacob Koppel "Jack" Javits was a politician who served as United States Senator from New York from 1957 to 1981. A liberal Republican, he was originally allied with Governor Nelson Rockefeller, fellow U.S...

    , U.S. senator from New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

  • Warren P. Knowles
    Warren P. Knowles
    Warren Perley Knowles , born in River Falls, Wisconsin, was an American lawyer and politician from New Richmond, Wisconsin.-Biography:...

    , Governor of Wisconsin
    Governor of Wisconsin
    The Governor of Wisconsin is the highest executive authority in the government of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The position was first filled by Nelson Dewey on June 7, 1848, the year Wisconsin became a state...


  • John Lindsay
    John Lindsay
    John Vliet Lindsay was an American politician, lawyer and broadcaster who was a U.S. Congressman, Mayor of New York City, candidate for U.S...

    , Mayor of New York City
    Mayor of New York City
    The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city and state laws within New York City.The budget overseen by the...

    , New York
  • John A. Love, Governor of Colorado
    Governor of Colorado
    The Governor of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the...

  • Rogers C.B. Morton, U.S. representative from Maryland
  • Charles H. Percy
    Charles H. Percy
    Charles Harting "Chuck" Percy was president of the Bell & Howell Corporation from 1949 to 1964. He was elected United States Senator from Illinois in 1966, re-elected through his term ending in 1985; he concentrated on business and foreign relations...

    , U.S. senator from Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

    , Governor of California
    Governor of California
    The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

  • James A. Rhodes, Governor of Ohio
  • Nelson Rockefeller
    Nelson Rockefeller
    Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

    , Governor of New York
    Governor of New York
    The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

  • George W. Romney
    George W. Romney
    George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

    , Governor of Michigan
    Governor of Michigan
    The Governor of Michigan is the chief executive of the U.S. State of Michigan. The current Governor is Rick Snyder, a member of the Republican Party.-Gubernatorial elections and term of office:...

  • John G. Tower, U.S. senator from Texas
  • John A. Volpe
    John A. Volpe
    John Anthony Volpe was the 61st and 63rd Governor of Massachusetts and a U.S. Secretary of Transportation.-Early life and education:Volpe was born in 1908 in Wakefield, Massachusetts. He was the son of Italian immigrants Vito and Filomena , who had come from Abruzzo to Boston's North End in 1905;...

    , Governor of Massachusetts
    Governor of Massachusetts
    The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the executive magistrate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States. The current governor is Democrat Deval Patrick.-Constitutional role:...



Convention tally
President (before switches) (after switches) Vice President
Richard M. Nixon 6921238 Spiro T. Agnew 1119
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

 
27793 George Romney
George W. Romney
George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

 
186
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

1822John V. Lindsay 10
Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 Governor James A. Rhodes
55Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 Senator Edward Brooke
Edward Brooke
Edward William Brooke, III is an American politician and was elected to the United States Senate as a Republican from Massachusetts in 1966, defeating his Democratic opponent, Endicott Peabody, 60.7%–38.7%...

1
Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 Governor George Romney
George W. Romney
George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

50James A. Rhodes1
New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 Senator Clifford Case
22 Not Voting 16
Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 Senator Frank Carlson
Frank Carlson
Frank Carlson was an American politician who served as the 30th Governor of Kansas and United States Representative and United States Senator from Kansas.-Biography:...

 
20
Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 Governor Winthrop Rockefeller
Winthrop Rockefeller
Winthrop Rockefeller was a politician and philanthropist who served as the first Republican Governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction. He was a third-generation member of the Rockefeller family.-Early life:...

 
18
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 Senator Hiram Fong
Hiram Fong
Hiram Leong Fong , born Yau Leong Fong , was an American businessman and politician from Hawaii. He is most notable for his service as Republican United States Senator from 1959 to 1977, and for being the first Asian American and Chinese American to be elected as such...

 
14
Harold Stassen
Harold Stassen
Harold Edward Stassen was the 25th Governor of Minnesota from 1939 to 1943. After service in World War II, from 1948 to 1953 he was president of the University of Pennsylvania...

2
New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay1


As of 2008, this was the last time two siblings (Nelson and Winthrop Rockefeller) ran against each other in a Presidential primary
United States presidential primary
The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses is one of the first steps in the process of electing the President of the United States of America. The primary elections are run by state and local governments, while caucuses are private events run by the political parties...

.

Other parties and candidates

The American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

, which was established in 1967 by Bill
Bill Shearer
William Kennedy Shearer of California was the chairman of the Constitution Party from 1996 to 1999, and founded the American Independent Party in 1967 with his wife Eileen to support George C. Wallace's presidential campaign. In 1970 Shearer was the California AIP's first candidate for Governor,...

 and Eileen Shearer, nominated former Alabama Governor George Wallace
George Wallace
George Corley Wallace, Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, serving four terms: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. "The most influential loser" in 20th-century U.S. politics, according to biographers Dan T. Carter and Stephan Lesher, he ran for U.S...

 – whose pro-segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 policies had been rejected by the mainstream of the Democratic Party – as the party's candidate for president. The impact of the Wallace campaign was substantial, winning the electoral votes of several states in the Deep South. Wallace was the most popular 1968 presidential candidate among young men. Wallace also proved to be popular among blue-collar workers in the North and Midwest, and he took many votes which might have gone to Humphrey. Although Wallace did not expect to win the election, his strategy was to prevent either major party candidate from winning a preliminary majority in the Electoral College, which would then give him bargaining power to determine the winner. Wallace's running mate
Running mate
A running mate is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. The term is most often used in reference to the person in the subordinate position but can also properly be used when referring to both candidates, such as "Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen were...

 was retired U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay
Curtis LeMay
Curtis Emerson LeMay was a general in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968....

. LeMay embarrassed Wallace's campaign in the fall by suggesting that nuclear weapons could be used in Vietnam.

Also on the ballot in two or more states were black activist Eldridge Cleaver
Eldridge Cleaver
Leroy Eldridge Cleaver better known as Eldridge Cleaver, was a leading member of the Black Panther Party and a writer...

 for the Peace and Freedom Party
Peace and Freedom Party (United States)
The Peace and Freedom Party is a minor political party in California. Its first candidates appeared on the ballot in 1966, but the national party was officially founded in 1967 as a left-wing organization opposed to the Vietnam War. The party nominated Ralph Nader for President in the 2008 U.S...

, Henning Blomen
Henning A. Blomen
Henning A. Blomen was a candidate for United States President of the Socialist Labor Party of America in 1968 and for Vice President of the United States in 1964. Blomen was also an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Massachusetts 14 times...

 for the Socialist Labor Party
Socialist Labor Party of America
The Socialist Labor Party of America , established in 1876 as the Workingmen's Party, is the oldest socialist political party in the United States and the second oldest socialist party in the world. Originally known as the Workingmen's Party of America, the party changed its name in 1877 and has...

, Fred Halstead
Fred Halstead
Fred W. Halstead was a candidate for President of the United States of the Socialist Workers Party in 1968. His running mate was Paul Boutelle.Halstead played a very significant role in the movement against the Vietnam War...

 for the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (United States)
The Socialist Workers Party is a far-left political organization in the United States. The group places a priority on "solidarity work" to aid strikes and is strongly supportive of Cuba...

, E. Harold Munn
E. Harold Munn
Earle Harold Munn , also known as E. Harold Munn, was a United States politician and a longtime leader of Prohibition Party, for which he was Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominee.-Biography:...

 for the Prohibition Party
Prohibition Party
The Prohibition Party is a political party in the United States best known for its historic opposition to the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is the oldest existing third party in the US. The party was an integral part of the temperance movement...

, and Charlene Mitchell
Charlene Mitchell
Charlene Mitchell is an African-American international socialist, feminist, labor and civil rights activist...

 – the first African-American woman to run for president – for the Communist Party
Communist Party USA
The Communist Party USA is a Marxist political party in the United States, established in 1919. It has a long, complex history that is closely related to the histories of similar communist parties worldwide and the U.S. labor movement....

. Comedians Dick Gregory
Dick Gregory
Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory is an American comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and entrepreneur....

 and Pat Paulsen
Pat Paulsen
Patrick Layton "Pat" Paulsen was an American comedian and satirist notable for his roles on several of the Smothers Brothers TV shows, and for his campaigns for President of the United States in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996, which had primarily comedic rather than political objectives,...

 were notable write-in candidate
Write-in candidate
A write-in candidate is a candidate in an election whose name does not appear on the ballot, but for whom voters may vote nonetheless by writing in the person's name. Some states and local jurisdictions allow a voter to affix a sticker with a write-in candidate's name on it to the ballot in lieu...

s. A faux presidential candidate for 1968 was a pig named Pigasus
Pigasus (politics)
Pigasus was a pig and was a satiric candidate for President of the United States for the Youth International Party . The pig's name was a play on Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology. Led by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Pigasus was purchased by Phil Ochs and the candidacy was announced...

, as a political statement by the Yippies, to illustrate their premise that "one pig's as good as any other".

Campaign strategies

Nixon developed a "southern strategy
Southern strategy
In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to the Republican Party strategy of winning elections in Southern states by exploiting anti-African American racism and fears of lawlessness among Southern white voters and appealing to fears of growing federal power in social and economic matters...

", which was designed to appeal to conservative white southerners, who traditionally voted Democratic but were deeply angered by Johnson and Humphrey's support for the civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 movement. Wallace, however, won over many of the voters Nixon targeted, effectively splitting the conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 vote. Indeed, Wallace deliberately targeted many states he had little chance of carrying himself, in the hope that by splitting the conservative vote with Nixon he would give those states to Humphrey and, by extension, boost his own chances of denying both opponents an Electoral College majority. The "southern strategy" would prove more effective in subsequent elections and would become a staple of Republican presidential campaigns. Nixon's campaign was also carefully managed and controlled. He often held "town hall" type meetings in cities he visited, where he answered questions from voters that had been screened in advance by his aides.

Since he was well behind Nixon in the polls as the campaign began, Humphrey opted for a slashing, fighting campaign style. He repeatedly - and unsuccessfully - challenged Nixon to a televised debate, and he often compared his campaign to the successful underdog effort of President Harry Truman, another Democrat who had trailed in the polls, in the 1948 presidential election. Humphrey predicted that he, like Truman, would surprise the experts and win an upset victory.

Campaign themes

Nixon campaigned on a theme to restore "law and order
Law and order (politics)
In politics, law and order refers to demands for a strict criminal justice system, especially in relation to violent and property crime, through harsher criminal penalties...

", which appealed to many voters angry with the hundreds of violent riots that had taken place across the country in the previous few years. Following the murder of Dr. King in April 1968 there was severe rioting in Detroit and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and President Johnson had called out the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 to protect lives and property as smoke from burning buildings a few blocks away had drifted across the White House lawn. However, Vice President Humphrey criticized the "law and order" issue, claiming that it was a subtle appeal to white racial prejudice. Nixon also mentioned during the campaign his opposition to desegregation busing. A strong civil rights supporter, he believed in combating segregation in other ways, such as promoting better education to blacks. During the campaign, Nixon offered government tax incentives to African Americans for small businesses and home improvements in their existing neighborhoods.

During the campaign, Nixon also used as a theme his opposition to the policies of Chief Justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

 Earl Warren
Earl Warren
Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

 of the Supreme Court. Many conservatives were critical of Chief Justice Warren for using the Supreme Court to promote liberal policies in the fields of civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

, civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

, and the separation of church and state. Nixon promised that if he were elected President, he would appoint justices who would take a less-active role in creating social policy. In another campaign promise, he pledged to end the draft
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

. During the 1960s, Nixon had been impressed by a paper he had read by Professor Martin Anderson
Martin Anderson (economist)
Martin Anderson is an economist, policy analyst, author and was one of President Ronald Reagan's leading advisors.-Biography:Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, August 5, 1936 He received his A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1957, his M.S...

 of Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

; Anderson had argued in the paper for an end to the draft and the creation of an all-volunteer army. Nixon also saw ending the draft as an effective way to undermine the anti-Vietnam war movement
Opposition to the Vietnam War
The movement against US involvment in the in Vietnam War began in the United States with demonstrations in 1964 and grew in strength in later years. The US became polarized between those who advocated continued involvement in Vietnam, and those who wanted peace. Peace movements consisted largely of...

, since he believed affluent college-age youths would stop protesting the war once their own possibility of having to fight in it was gone.

Humphrey, meanwhile, promised to continue and expand the Great Society
Great Society
The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States promoted by President Lyndon B. Johnson and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice...

 welfare programs started by President Johnson, and to continue the Johnson Administration's "War on Poverty". He also promised to continue the efforts of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and the Supreme Court, in promoting the expansion of civil rights and civil liberties for minority groups. However, Humphrey also felt constrained for most of his campaign in voicing any opposition to the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 policies of President Johnson, due to his fear that Johnson would reject any peace proposals he made and undermine his campaign. As a result, early in his campaign Humphrey often found himself the target of antiwar protestors, some of whom heckled and disrupted his campaign rallies.

Polling

After the Democratic Convention
Democratic National Convention
The Democratic National Convention is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democratic National Committee since the 1852 national convention...

 in late August, Humphrey trailed Nixon by double-digits in most polls, and his chances seemed hopeless. According to Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine, "The old Democratic coalition was disintegrating, with untold numbers of blue-collar workers responding to Wallace's blandishments, Negroes threatening to sit out the election, liberals disaffected over the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the South lost. The war chest
War chest
In arms and armor, a war chest is a container for the personal weapons and protective gear of a citizen-soldier, kept in the household, and is the origin of the term.-In politics:...

 was almost empty, and the party's machinery, neglected by Lyndon Johnson, creaked in disrepair." Calling for "the politics of joy", and using the still-powerful labor unions
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 as his base, Humphrey fought back. He attacked Wallace as a racist bigot who appealed to the darker impulses of Americans. Labor unions also undertook a major effort to win back union members who were supporting Wallace, with substantial success. Polls which showed Wallace winning almost one-half of union members in the summer of 1968 showed a sharp decline in his union support as the campaign progressed.

As election day approached and Wallace's support in the North and Midwest began to wane, Humphrey finally began to climb in the polls.

Humphrey's comeback and the Halloween Peace

In the end, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 became the one remaining problem Humphrey could not overcome. In October, Humphrey— who still trailed Nixon in the polls— began to publicly distance himself from the Johnson administration on the Vietnam War, calling for a bombing halt. The key turning point for Humphrey's campaign came when President Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 officially announced a bombing halt, and even a possible peace deal, the weekend before the election. The "Halloween Peace" gave Humphrey's campaign a badly needed boost. In addition, Senator Eugene McCarthy finally endorsed Humphrey in late October after previously refusing to do so, and by election day the polls were reporting a dead heat.

Paris Peace Accords

Rumors persist that the Nixon campaign was tipped off in advance by Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

 of a bombing halt and possible peace deal, that they feared might cost them the election, and that the Nixon
Nixon
Richard Nixon was the 37th President of the United States.Nixon may also refer to:-Related to Richard Nixon:Movies*Nixon *Elvis Meets Nixon*The Assassination of Richard Nixon*Frost/NixonOther*Nixon Doctrine...

 campaign then “set out to sabotage the Paris peace negotiations
Paris Peace Accords
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, ended direct U.S. military involvement, and temporarily stopped the fighting between North and South Vietnam...

 on Vietnam. (…) [Via Anna Chennault] they privately assured the South Vietnamese military rulers that an incoming Republican regime would offer them a better deal than would a Democratic one. (…) "The tactic seam to have worked", in that the South Vietnamese junta withdrew from the talks on the eve of the election, thereby destroying the peace initiative on which the Democrats had based their campaign.” Intelligence sources gave President Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 reason to suspect Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 of such "political sabotage". In a private conversation with Republican Senator Everett Dirksen
Everett Dirksen
Everett McKinley Dirksen was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate...

, he went as far as to call it "treason". Ultimately no proof was found, no investigations ensued, and no one was prosecuted.

Election

The election on November 5, 1968 proved to be extremely close, and it was not until the following morning that the television news networks were able to call Nixon the winner. The key states proved to be California, Ohio, and Illinois, all of which Nixon won by three percentage points or less. Had Humphrey carried all three of these states, he would have won the election. Had Humphrey carried any two of them, or California alone, George Wallace would have succeeded in his aim of preventing an electoral college majority for any candidate, and the decision would have been given to the House of Representatives, at the time controlled by the Democratic Party. Nixon won the popular vote with a plurality of 512,000 votes, or a victory margin of about one percentage point. In the electoral college Nixon's victory was larger, as he carried 32 states with 301 electoral votes, to Humphrey's 13 states and 191 electoral votes and Wallace's five states and 46 electoral votes.

This was the last time until 1988 that Washington voted Democratic. It was also the last time until 1992 that Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 voted Democratic in a general election.

Nixon said that Humphrey left a gracious message congratulating him, noting "I know exactly how he felt. I know how it feels to lose a close one
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

."

Aftermath

Nixon's victory is often considered a realigning election
Realigning election
Realigning election are terms from political science and political history describing a dramatic change in the political system. Scholars frequently apply the term to American elections and occasionally to other countries...

 in American politics. From 1932 to 1968, the Democratic Party was obviously the majority party. During that time period, the Democrats won seven out of nine presidential elections, and its agenda gravely that undertaken by the Republican Eisenhower administration. The election of 1968 reversed the situation completely. From 1968 until 2008, the Republican Party was the obvious majority party. During that time period, the Republicans won seven out of ten presidential elections, and its policies clearly affected those enacted by the Democratic Clinton administration.

Many historians believe the reason for the Democratic Party's decline in strength was the bitter split within the party created by debates about civil rights, the Vietnam War and other "culture wars" of the 1960s. Notably, most white Southern Democrats (and especially their children) became Republicans in the next two decades, creating a fundamental shift of political power in the nation which favored the GOP. The South was now aligned with the GOP, as Humphrey won less than 10% of the white Southern vote, and 2/3 of his vote in the region was from blacks.

From 1968 until 2008 only two Democrats were elected President, both native Southerners - Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 of Georgia and Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 of Arkansas. Not until 2008 did a Northern Democrat, Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, win a presidential election.

Another important result of the 1968 election was that it led to several reforms in how the Democratic Party chose its presidential nominees. In 1969, the McGovern–Fraser Commission adopted a set of rules for the states to follow in selecting convention delegates. These rules reduced the influence of party leaders on the nominating process and provided greater representation for minorities, women, and youth. The reforms led most states to adopt laws requiring primary elections, instead of party leaders, to choose delegates.

After 1968 the only way to win the party's presidential nomination was through the primary process; Humphrey turned out to be the last nominee of either major party to win his party's nomination without having directly competed in the primaries.

Results

Source (Popular Vote):
Source (Electoral Vote):

Close states

States where margin of victory was less than 5 percentage points

  1. Missouri, 1.13%
  2. Texas, 1.27%
  3. Maryland, 1.64%
  4. Washington, 2.11%
  5. New Jersey, 2.13%
  6. Ohio, 2.28%
  7. Alaska, 2.64%
  8. Illinois, 2.92%
  9. California, 3.08%
  10. Delaware, 3.51%
  11. Pennsylvania, 3.57%
  12. Wisconsin, 3.62%
  13. Tennessee, 3.83%

States where margin of victory was more than 5 percentage points, but less than 10 percentage points

  1. Connecticut, 5.16%
  2. New York, 5.46%
  3. South Carolina, 5.79%
  4. Oregon, 6.05%
  5. Michigan, 6.72%
  6. Arkansas, 7.64%
  7. Nevada, 8.17%
  8. New Hampshire, 8.17%
  9. North Carolina, 8.25%
  10. West Virginia, 8.82%
  11. Montana, 9.01%
  12. Colorado, 9.14%
  13. Vermont, 9.22%
  14. Florida, 9.6%

Notes: In Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Wallace was the official Democratic Party nominee, while Humphrey ran on the ticket of short-lived National Democratic Party of Alabama
National Democratic Party of Alabama
National Democratic Party of Alabama was a political party active in the state of Alabama, founded by John L. Cashin, Jr. in 1968. The American Bald Eagle was the symbol of the NDPA. It was often opposed by the Democratic Rooster in local democratic elections...

, loyal to him as an official Democratic Party nominee

In North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 one Nixon Elector cast his ballot for George Wallace (President) and Curtis LeMay (Vice President).

Voters

Converse et al (1969) assesses the significance of the 1968 presidential election. Many people were dissatisfied with Johnson but not with the Democratic Party. Their dissatisfaction was connected to the Vietnam War (though not for blacks), civil rights, and law and order. Humphrey, the choice of an older generation, suffered from identification with the Johnson administration. Wallace attracted many Richard Nixon-bound Democrats and thus was a threat to Nixon. McCarthy's popularity in the New Hampshire primary was a nondifferentiated anti-Johnson vote from which many voters went to Wallace. These were not, however, the hard-core McCarthyite followers. Wallace's success was the result of the voter's identification with his stand on the primary issues - continuing segregation, getting tough in Vietnam, and law and order. Wallace's supporters were rural and small town residents in the South and skilled labor in the North. They were disgusted with public policy and were often alienated from politics. The Wallace candidacy helped to bend American politics and politicians to conservatism.

National voter demographics

NBC sample precincts 1968 election
% Humphrey % Nixon % Wallace
High income urban 29 63 5
Middle income urban 43 44 13
Low income urban 69 19 12
Rural (all income) 33 46 21
African-American neighborhoods 94 5 1
Italian neighborhoods 51 39 10
Slavic neighborhoods 65 24 11
Jewish neighborhoods 81 17 2
Unionized neighborhoods 61 29 10

Source: Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. “Group Analysis of the 1968 Presidential Vote” XXVI, No. 48 (November 1968), p. 3218.

Voter demographics in the South

NBC sample precincts 1968 election: South only
% Humphrey % Nixon % Wallace
Middle income urban neighborhoods 28 40 32
Low income urban neighborhoods 57 18 25
Rural (all income) 29 30 41
African-American neighborhoods 95 3 2
Hispanic neighborhoods 92 7 1

Source: Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. “Group Analysis of the 1968 Presidential Vote”, XXVI, No. 48 (November 1968), p. 3218.

See also

  • United States House election, 1968
    United States House election, 1968
    The U.S. House elections, 1968 were elections for the United States House of Representatives in 1968 which coincided with Richard M. Nixon's election as President. Nixon's narrow victory yielded only limited gains for his Republican Party, which picked up a net of five seats from the Democratic Party...

  • United States Senate election, 1968
    United States Senate election, 1968
    The 1968 United States Senate elections were elections for the United States Senate which coincided with the 1968 presidential election. Richard Nixon only won the presidential election narrowly, but the Republicans picked up five net seats in the election .Republicans won open seats in Arizona and...

  • History of the United States (1964–1980)
    History of the United States (1964–1980)
    The history of the United States from 1964 through 1980 includes the climax and collapse of the African American Civil Rights Movement; the escalation and ending of the Vietnam War; the drama of a generational revolt with its sexual freedoms and use of drugs; and the continuation of the Cold War,...

  • History of the United States Democratic Party
    History of the United States Democratic Party
    The history of the Democratic Party of the United States is an account of the oldest political party in the United States and arguably the oldest democratic party in the world....

  • History of the United States Republican Party
    History of the United States Republican Party
    The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

  • President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

  • List of Presidents of the United States

Further reading

  • Brown, Stuart Gerry. The Presidency on Trial: Robert Kennedy's 1968 Campaign and Afterwards. U. Press of Hawaii, 1972. 155 pp.
  • Burner, David and West, Thomas R. The Torch Is Passed: The Kennedy Brothers and American Liberalism. (1984). 307 pp.
  • Chester, Lewis, Godfrey Hodgson and Bruce Page. An American Melodrama - The Presidential Campaign of 1968 (1969), highly detailed report by British journalists
  • Converse, Philip E.; Miller, Warren E.; Rusk, Jerrold G.; Wolfe, Arthur C. "Continuity And Change In American Politics: Parties and Issues in the 1968 Election." American Political Science Review 1969 63(4): 1083-1105. in JSTOR
  • Gallup, George H., ed. The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1935-1971. 3 vols. Random House, 1972. press releases
  • Herzog, Arthur. McCarthy for President (1969)
  • Jamieson, Patrick E. "Seeing the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidency through the March 31, 1968 Withdrawal Speech." Presidential Studies Quarterly Vol 29#1 1999 pp. 134+
  • Kimball, Warren F. "The Election of 1968." Diplomatic History 2004 28(4): 513–528. ISSN 0145-2096 Fulltext online in SwetsWise, Ingenta and Ebsco. Comments by others at pp. 563–576; reply, p. 577.
  • LaFerber, Walter
    Walter LaFeber
    Walter LaFeber was a Marie Underhill Noll Professor of History and a Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow in the Department of History at Cornell University...

    . The Deadly Bet: LBJ, Vietnam, and the 1968 Election (2005) short survey
  • Lesher, Stephan. George Wallace: American Populist. (1994). 587 pp.
  • McCarthy, Eugene. The Year of the People (1969), memoir
  • Shesol, Jeff. Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade (1997)
  • Solberg, Carl. Hubert Humphrey (2003), scholarly biography excerpt and text search
  • Time. "Wallace's Army: The Coalition Of Frustration," Time Oct 18, 1968, famous report by American journalist
  • Woods, Randall. LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (2006)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK