1968 United States presidential election in Massachusetts
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|Turnout||66.4% 2.0 pp|
Humphrey – 70–80%
Humphrey – 60–70%
Humphrey – 50–60%
Nixon – <50%
Nixon – 50–60%
|Elections in Massachusetts|
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.
|United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1968|
|Democratic||Hubert H. Humphrey||1,469,218||63.01%||14|
|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|
|Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered)||67%/86%|
Results by county
|County||Humphrey#||Humphrey%||Nixon#||Nixon%||Wallace#||Wallace%||Others#||Others%||Total votes cast|
- Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, part 2, p. 1072.
- "1968 Presidential General Election Results - Massachusetts". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
- 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.