1972 Elections McGovern vs Nixon

President Nixon was renominated, with only token opposition, at the Republican convention in Miami Beach. Richard Nixon stated in his acceptance speech: "It has become fashionable in recent years to point out what is wrong with the American system. The critics contend that it is unfair, so corrupt, so unjust that we should tear it down and substitute something else in its place. I totally disagree, I believe in the American system." Senator George McGovern was nominated after a long series of primary battles, as a result of which, Senators Muskie and Humphrey withdraw from the campaign. Both Senators were considered more moderate than McGovern. McGovern received the Democratic nomination on the first ballot. However, the McGovern campaign began on a sour note, when it was discovered that his Vice Presidential running mate, Senator Thomas Eagan, had received electroshock treatment for depression. Eagan resigned and was replaced by Sargent Shriver on the ticket.

The Republicans successfully depicted Senator McGovern as a radical leftist. McGovern was unable to shake that depiction. Thus, regardless of the charges that McGovern made, most Americans paid little attention to him. Nixon made few campaign appearances. Nixon also refused to debate McGovern.

As part of the 1972 campaign “CREEP” (Committee for the Reelection of the President) engaged in illegal fundraising. Members of CREEP were arrested during a break-in of the Democratic National Committee offices. That break-in, which took place in the Watergate Complex, led to the Affair that eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon.

The break-in, however, had no impact on the election. Two weeks before the election Secretary of State Kissinger announced that "peace was at hand". The result lead to one of the most one-sided elections in American history.

Particpation of Eligible Voters 55.2%

Democratic Convention
Republican Convention

 

State results in 1968

Electoral Results in 1972

Alabama Richard Nixon 728,701 72.4 George McGovern 256,923 25.5
Alaska Richard Nixon 55,349 58.1 George McGovern 32,967 34.6
Arizona Richard Nixon 402,812 64.7 George McGovern 198,540 31.9
Arkansas Richard Nixon 448,541 68.9 George McGovern 199,892 30.7
California Richard Nixon 4,602,096 55.0 George McGovern 3,475,847 41.5
Colorado Richard Nixon 597,189 62.6 George McGovern 329,980 34.6
Connecticut Richard Nixon 810,763 58.6 George McGovern 555,498 40.1
Delaware Richard Nixon 140,357 59.6 George McGovern 92,283 39.2
Florida Richard Nixon 1,857,759 71.9 George McGovern 718,117 27.8
Georgia Richard Nixon 881,496 75.0 George McGovern 289,529 24.6
Hawaii Richard Nixon 168,865 62.5 George McGovern 101,409 37.5
Idaho Richard Nixon 199,384 64.2 George McGovern 80,826 26.0
Illinois Richard Nixon 2,788,179 59.0 George McGovern 1,913,472 40.5
Indiana Richard Nixon 1,405,154 66.1 George McGovern 708,568 33.3
Iowa Richard Nixon 706,207 57.6 George McGovern 496,206 40.5
Kansas Richard Nixon 619,812 67.7 George McGovern 270,287 29.5
Kentucky Richard Nixon 676,446 63.4 George McGovern 371,159 34.8
Louisiana Richard Nixon 686,852 65.3 George McGovern 298,142 28.4
Maine Richard Nixon 256,458 61.5 George McGovern 160,584 38.5
Maryland Richard Nixon 829,305 61.3 George McGovern 505,781 37.4
Massachusetts Richard Nixon 1,112,078 45.2 George McGovern 1,332,540 54.2
Michigan Richard Nixon 1,961,721 56.2 George McGovern 1,459,435 41.8
Minnesota Richard Nixon 898,269 51.6 George McGovern 802,346 46.1
Mississippi Richard Nixon 505,125 78.2 George McGovern 126,782 19.6
Missouri Richard Nixon 1,153,852 62.2 George McGovern 697,147 37.6
Montana Richard Nixon 183,976 57.9 George McGovern 120,197 37.8
Nebraska Richard Nixon 406,298 70.5 George McGovern 169,991 29.5
Nevada Richard Nixon 115,750 63.7 George McGovern 66,016 36.3
New Hampshire Richard Nixon 213,724 64.0 George McGovern 116,435 34.9
New Jersey Richard Nixon 1,845,502 61.6 George McGovern 1,102,211 36.8
Now Mexico Richard Nixon 235,606 61.0 George McGovern 141,084 36.5
New York Richard Nixon 4,192,778 58.5 George McGovern 2,951,084 41.2
North Carolina Richard Nixon 1,054,889 69.5 George McGovern 438,705 28.9
North Dakota Richard Nixon 174,109 62.1 George McGovern 100,384 35.8
Ohio Richard Nixon 2,441,827 59.6 George McGovern 1,558,889 38.1
Oklahoma Richard Nixon 759,025 73.7 George McGovern 247,147 24.0
Oregon Richard Nixon 486,686 52.4 George McGovern 392,760 42.3
Pennsylvania Richard Nixon 2,714,521 59.1 George McGovern 1,796,951 39.1
Rhode Island Richard Nixon 220,383 53.0 George McGovern 194,645 46.8
South Carolina Richard Nixon 477,044 70.8 George McGovern 186,824 27.7
South Dakota Richard Nixon 166,476 54.2 George McGovern 139,945 45.5
Tennessee Richard Nixon 813,147 67.7 George McGovern 357,293 29.7
Texas Richard Nixon 2,298,896 66.2 George McGovern 1,154,289 33.3
Utah Richard Nixon 323,643 67.6 George McGovern 126,284 26.4
Vermont Richard Nixon 117,149 62.7 George McGovern 68,174 36.5
Virginia Richard Nixon 988,493 67.8 George McGovern 438,887 30.1
Washington Richard Nixon 837,135 56.9 George McGovern 568,334 38.6
West Virginia Richard Nixon 484,964 63.6 George McGovern 277,435 36.4
Wisconsin Richard Nixon 989,430 53.4 George McGovern 810,174 43.7
Wyoming Richard Nixon 100,464 69.0 George McGovern 44,358 30.5
Dist. of Col. Richard Nixon 35,226 21.6 George McGovern 127,627 78.1