1968 Arkansas gubernatorial election

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Arkansas gubernatorial election, 1968

← 1966 November 5, 1968 1970 →
  Winthrop Rockefeller.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Winthrop Rockefeller Marion H. Crank
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 322,782 292,813
Percentage 52.43% 47.57%

Election results by county

Governor before election

Winthrop Rockefeller

Elected Governor

Winthrop Rockefeller

The Arkansas gubernatorial election of 1968 was held on November 5, when incumbent Republican Winthrop Rockefeller defeated former Speaker[1] of the Arkansas House of Representatives Marion Crank by a small margin. Rockefeller was firstly elected in 1966, becoming the first Republican governor of the state since the end of Reconstruction.


Probably due to the crowded Democratic primary and allegations of nepotism cast upon Crank,[2] aided by the recent full enfranchisement of African Americanss who supported Rockefeller and his liberal reforms Rockefeller prevailed with a clear, though reduced, compared to 1966 margin.

Virginia Johnson was the wife of former Arkansas Supreme Court Judge James D. Johnson who, concurrently with her candidacy, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination against J. William Fulbright in the 1974 Senate election.

Democratic primary[edit]

Arkansas Democratic primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Marion H. Crank 106,092 25.57
Democratic Virginia Johnson 86,038 20.74
Democratic Ted Boswell 86,629 20.64
Democratic Bruce Bennett 65,095 15.69
Democratic Frank Whitbeck 61,758 14.89
Democratic Clyde E. Byrd 10,265 2.47


Arkansas Democratic primary runoff
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Marion H. Crank 215,087 63.27
Democratic Virginia Johnson 124,880 36.73

Election results[edit]

Arkansas gubernatorial election, 1968
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Winthrop Rockefeller 322,782 52.43 -1.93%
Democratic Marion Crank 292,813 47.57 +1.93%
Total votes 615,595 100.00