The 1972 election was the last time Minnesota—historically a state which favored Democrats—was carried by a Republican. During Nixon's second term as President, the Watergate scandal resulted in the loss of the Republican Party's credibility both nationally and in Minnesota. The damage caused by Watergate was so pronounced that the Republican Party of Minnesota was forced to rebrand itself as the "Independent-Republican Party" from 1975 to 1995, in order to distance itself from the national Republican Party.
Nixon also remains the last Republican to carry heavily populated Hennepin County, with 1972 also the last time that county did not vote the same as neighboring Ramsey County.
Although Republicans have not won Minnesota's electoral votes since, they have come extremely close in the 1984 and 2016 United States Presidential Elections.