United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1968 Article

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United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1968

←  1964 November 5, 1968 1972 →
Turnout66.4% [1] Decrease 2.0 pp
  HubertHumphrey.png Richard Nixon, official bw photo, head and shoulders.jpg
Nominee Hubert Humphrey Richard Nixon
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Minnesota New York [a]
Running mate Edmund Muskie Spiro Agnew
Electoral vote 14 0
Popular vote 1,469,218 766,844
Percentage 63.0% 32.9%

Massachusetts Election Results by County, 1968.svg
County Results
  Humphrey – 70–80%
  Humphrey – 60–70%
  Humphrey – 50–60%
  Nixon – <50%
  Nixon – 50–60%

President before election

Lyndon Johnson
Democratic

Elected President

Richard Nixon
Republican

The 1968 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 5, 1968, as part of the 1968 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all 50 states and D.C. Voters chose 14 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Massachusetts voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic nominee, incumbent Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, over the Republican nominee, former Vice President Richard Nixon of California. Humphrey's running mate was Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, while Nixon ran with Governor Spiro Agnew of Maryland.

Humphrey carried Massachusetts in a landslide, taking 63.01 percent of the vote to Nixon’s 32.89 percent, a Democratic victory margin of 30.12 percent. This made it the second most Democratic state in the nation, after Rhode Island.

The American Independent candidate, Southern populist Governor George Wallace of Alabama, did not have a serious impact on the race. While taking 13.53 percent nationally and winning electoral votes from five Deep South states, Wallace would take only 3.73 percent of the vote in Massachusetts. Wallace’s base of support was in the South, and he had little appeal in New England states. Massachusetts would be Wallace’s fourth weakest state in the nation.

As Nixon eked out a narrow win of the White House nationally in the Electoral College, Humphrey’s landslide win in Massachusetts made the state a whopping 31% more Democratic than the national average.

Massachusetts had been a Democratic-leaning state since 1928, and a Democratic stronghold since 1960 — and the 1960s would prove to be a decade of Democratic dominance in Massachusetts. Prior to 1960, Massachusetts had usually been a swing state, and Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower had carried it by 19 points in 1956. However, in 1960 Massachusetts native John F. Kennedy would become the first Democrat ever to win Massachusetts with over sixty percent of the vote, taking 60.22 percent. In the midst of the 1964 nationwide Democratic landslide, President Lyndon B. Johnson had carried the state in an historically massive landslide, taking over 76 percent of the vote in Massachusetts to Republican Barry Goldwater’s 23 percent. While Humphrey did not reach Johnson’s level of support, his 63.01 percent outperformed JFK and remains the second highest vote share any Democratic presidential candidate has ever received in the state — even though Humphrey was losing the election nationally, thus establishing the state’s reputation as a Democratic stronghold in the modern era.

Despite the scale of Humphrey’s statewide landslide, he did not sweep every county in Massachusetts. Humphrey won ten of the state’s fourteen counties, while Nixon won four. However Humphrey performed especially well in the most heavily populated parts of the state surrounding the large cities of Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, while Nixon won only the smallest peninsula and island counties.

Four years later, Massachusetts would be the only state in the nation to remain Democratic and vote for George McGovern over Nixon in 1972. Having also voted for John F. Kennedy over Nixon in 1960, Massachusetts would ultimately be the only state in the nation to never vote for Richard Nixon in any of his three presidential campaigns.

Results

United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1968 [2]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Hubert H. Humphrey 1,469,218 63.01% 14
Republican Richard Nixon 766,844 32.89% 0
American Independent George Wallace 87,088 3.73% 0
Socialist Labor Henning A. Blomen 6,180 0.27% 0
Prohibition E. Harold Munn 2,369 0.10% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 53 0.00% 0
Totals 2,331,752 100.00% 14
Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered) 67%/86%

Results by county

County Humphrey# Humphrey% Nixon# Nixon% Wallace# Wallace% Others# Others% Total votes cast
Barnstable 16,546 39.24% 24,296 57.63% 1,242 2.95% 78 0.19% 42,162
Berkshire 38,497 59.72% 23,078 35.80% 2,593 4.02% 297 0.46% 64,465
Bristol 119,439 65.06% 56,672 30.87% 6,999 3.81% 459 0.25% 183,569
Dukes 1,540 48.19% 1,576 49.31% 75 2.35% 5 0.16% 3,196
Essex 171,901 61.03% 99,721 35.40% 9,236 3.28% 827 0.29% 281,685
Franklin 12,072 47.55% 12,345 48.63% 893 3.52% 76 0.30% 25,386
Hampden 111,376 62.52% 55,783 31.31% 9,846 5.53% 1,145 0.64% 178,150
Hampshire 26,666 58.72% 16,270 35.83% 2,314 5.10% 162 0.36% 45,412
Middlesex 370,310 64.11% 188,304 32.60% 16,561 2.87% 2,421 0.42% 577,596
Nantucket 744 41.52% 991 55.30% 52 2.90% 5 0.28% 1,792
Norfolk 160,513 60.30% 95,858 36.01% 9,080 3.41% 755 0.28% 266,206
Plymouth 67,771 52.96% 54,644 42.70% 5,342 4.17% 220 0.17% 127,977
Suffolk 203,406 75.62% 48,952 18.20% 15,121 5.62% 1,498 0.56% 268,977
Worcester 168,437 63.52% 88,354 33.32% 7,734 2.92% 654 0.25% 265,179
Totals 1,469,218 63.01% 766,844 32.89% 87,088 3.73% 8,602 0.37% 2,331,752

References

  1. ^ Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, part 2, p. 1072.
  2. ^ "1968 Presidential General Election Results - Massachusetts". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-07.

Notes

  1. ^ Although he was born in California and he served as a U.S. Senator from California, in 1968 Richard Nixon's official state of residence was New York, because he moved there to practice law after his defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial election. During his first term as president, Nixon re-established his residency in California. Consequently, most reliable reference books list Nixon’s home state as New York in the 1968 election and his home state as California in the 1972 (and 1960) election.

See also