Polls showed that Nixon had a strong lead. He was challenged by two minor candidates, liberal Pete McCloskey of California and conservative John Ashbrook of Ohio. McCloskey ran as an anti-war and anti-Nixon candidate, while Ashbrook opposed Nixon's détente policies towards China and the Soviet Union. In the New Hampshire primary McCloskey's platform of peace garnered 19% of the vote to Nixon's 67%, with Ashbrook receiving 10%. Having previously stated that he would withdraw from the race had he not achieved 20% of the vote, McCloskey did so.
Nixon won 1,347 of the 1,348 delegates to the GOP convention, with McCloskey receiving the vote of one delegate from New Mexico.