1972 United States presidential election in Minnesota

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1972 United States presidential election in Minnesota

← 1968 November 7, 1972 1976 →
Turnout70.31%[1] Decrease
  Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679 (3x4 2).jpg George McGovern, c 1972 (3x4).jpg
Nominee Richard Nixon George McGovern
Party Republican Democratic
Home state California South Dakota
Running mate Spiro Agnew Sargent Shriver
Electoral vote 10 0
Popular vote 898,269 802,346
Percentage 51.6% 46.1%

County Results

President before election

Richard Nixon

Elected President

Richard Nixon

The 1972 United States presidential election in Minnesota took place on November 7, 1972, in Minnesota as part of the 1972 United States presidential election.

The Republican Party candidate, incumbent President Richard Nixon, won the state over U.S. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota by a margin of 95,923 votes, or 5.51%, the closest state in the election. Nixon went on to win the election nationally, by a landslide margin of 23.15% of the popular vote. McGovern carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

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.


1972 United States presidential election in Minnesota[2]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Richard Nixon (incumbent) 898,269 51.58% 10
Democratic George McGovern 802,346 46.07% 0
American Independent John G. Schmitz 31,407 1.80% 0
Socialist Labor Louis Fisher 4,261 0.24% 0
People's Benjamin Spock 2,805 0.16% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 962 0.06% 0
Socialist Workers Linda Jenness 940 0.05% 0
Communist Gus Hall 662 0.04% 0
Invalid or blank votes
Totals 1,978,590 100.00% 10
Voter turnout 77%


  1. ^ "Office of the State Of Minnesota Secretary of State". www.sos.state.mn.us. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  2. ^ "1972 Presidential Election Results, 1972". Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 2014-01-24.