United States presidential election in Florida, 1968

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United States presidential election in Florida, 1968

← 1964 November 5, 1968 1972 →
Turnout Increase79%

  Nixon 30-0316a.jpg Hubert Humphrey, half-length portrait, facing front.tif George C Wallace.jpg
Nominee Richard Nixon Hubert Humphrey George Wallace
Party Republican Democratic American Independent
Home state New York[a] Minnesota Alabama
Running mate Spiro Agnew Edmund Muskie Curtis LeMay
Electoral vote 14 0 0
Popular vote 886,804 676,794 624,207
Percentage 40.5% 30.9% 28.5%

Florida Presidential Election Results 1968.svg
County results

President before election

Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic

Elected President

Richard Nixon
Republican

The 1968 United States presidential election in Florida was held on November 5, 1968. Florida voters chose fourteen electors, or representatives to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background[edit]

Between the imposition of a poll tax in 1889 and the migration of numerous northerners seeking a hotter climate in the 1940s,[1] Florida had been a one-party Democratic state, lacking any traditional white Republicanism due to the absence of mountains or German "Forty-Eighter" settlements. So late as the landmark court case of Smith v. Allwright, half of Florida's registered Republicans were still black,[2] although very few blacks in Florida had ever voted within the previous fifty-five years. When new migrants from traditionally Republican northern states in Central Florida took their Republican voting habits with them at the presidential level,[3] the GOP restricted Harry Truman to under half the statewide vote in 1948 and under Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon carried the state in the following three elections.

1964 saw a complete reversal of the 1950s voting pattern of a largely Republican south and central Florida and continuing Democratic loyalty in the North, with almost zero correlation between 1960 and 1964 county returns.[4] Incumbent Lyndon Johnson narrowly carried the state on Negro[5] and retiree votes but lost most Panhandle Kennedy support to Goldwater.

Following his landslide sweep of the northern states, Lyndon Johnson's Great Society at first appeared to be helping him in Florida;[6] however the relationship soured quickly as the Democratic Party factionalized. In 1966, via a campaign portraying his opponent as a dangerous liberal, Claude R. Kirk defeated Miami Mayor Robert King Hugh to become (alongside Winthrop Rockefeller) the first GOP Governor of any Confederate State since Alfred A. Taylor in 1922.[7]

Further political unrest, including a major teacher's strike in the winter of 1967–1968, along with the stalemate in Vietnam,[8] further cut into the Democratic Party's local popularity, which was further affected by Alabama Governor George Wallace entering the race under the "American Independent" banner.

Vote[edit]

After contentious primaries, Florida was initially considered a state which all three candidates had a chance to carry.

Republican candidate Richard Nixon won the state of Florida by a margin of 9.60 percentage points or 210,010 votes.[9]

Nixon obtained his support in Central Florida, Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey got his support from Southern Florida, and third-party candidate George Wallace got his support from the Florida Panhandle, or Northern Florida. This was one of the better states for George Wallace, due to the Northern part of the state being against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Lyndon Johnson had signed into play, making the Democratic party gain black voters, but lose the great majority of white voters except in Jewish sections of Miami.[10] It is estimated that over 80 percent of the non-Hispanic white electorate backed Nixon or Wallace, with Wallace being the choice among those whites in the northern counties with larger numbers of proximate Negroes, and Nixon in those areas with few or no blacks.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Escambia County, Clay County, Okaloosa County, and Santa Rosa County did not support the Republican candidate.[11]

Results[edit]

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
vote
Running mate
Count Percentage Vice-presidential candidate Home state Electoral vote
Richard Nixon Republican New York 886,804 40.53% 14 Spiro Agnew Maryland 14
Hubert Humphrey Democrat Minnesota 676,794 30.93% 0 Edmund Muskie Maine 0
George Wallace George Wallace Party Alabama 624,207 28.53% 0 Curtis LeMay California 0
Total 2,187,805 100% 14 14
Needed to win 270 270

Results by county[edit]

Richard M. Nixon
Republican
Hubert H. Humphrey
Democratic
George C. Wallace
George Wallace Party
Margin Total votes cast
County # % # % # % # % #
Alachua 9,670 34.02% 10,060 35.39% 8,696 30.59% -390 -1.37% 28,426
Baker 294 10.72% 487 17.75% 1,962 71.53% -1,475[b] -53.78% 2,743
Bay 5,121 21.07% 4,020 16.54% 15,161 62.39% -10,040[c] -41.32% 24,302
Bradford 718 15.18% 1,173 24.79% 2,840 60.03% -1,667[b] -35.24% 4,731
Brevard 37,124 48.02% 18,281 23.65% 21,909 28.34% 15,215[c] 19.68% 77,314
Broward 106,122 54.50% 56,613 29.07% 31,992 16.43% 49,509 25.43% 194,727
Calhoun 356 11.38% 398 12.72% 2,375 75.90% -1,977[b] -63.18% 3,129
Charlotte 6,056 50.58% 3,647 30.46% 2,270 18.96% 2,409 20.12% 11,973
Citrus 2,767 38.71% 1,775 24.83% 2,606 36.46% 161[c] 2.25% 7,148
Clay 3,251 35.14% 1,954 21.12% 4,046 43.74% -795[c] -8.60% 9,251
Collier 5,362 50.85% 2,230 21.15% 2,952 28.00% 2,410[c] 22.85% 10,544
Columbia 1,553 21.13% 1,750 23.81% 4,046 55.06% -2,296[b] -31.25% 7,349
Dade 135,222 37.02% 176,689 48.37% 53,391 14.62% -41,467 -11.35% 365,302
DeSoto 1,103 26.94% 937 22.89% 2,054 50.17% -951[c] -23.23% 4,094
Dixie 217 10.39% 325 15.57% 1,546 74.04% -1,221[b] -58.47% 2,088
Duval 51,585 30.89% 54,834 32.84% 60,559 36.27% -5,725[b] -3.43% 166,978
Escambia 15,089 22.07% 16,281 23.81% 37,000 54.12% -20,719[b] -30.31% 68,370
Flagler 360 20.25% 601 33.80% 817 45.95% -216[b] -12.15% 1,778
Franklin 529 16.86% 699 22.28% 1,909 60.85% -1,210[b] -38.57% 3,137
Gadsden 1,337 14.76% 3,274 36.15% 4,446 49.09% -1,172[b] -12.94% 9,057
Gilchrist 183 12.12% 208 13.77% 1,119 74.11% -911[b] -60.34% 1,510
Glades 261 23.92% 230 21.08% 600 55.00% -339[c] -31.08% 1,091
Gulf 364 9.58% 711 18.71% 2,725 71.71% -2,014[b] -53.00% 3,800
Hamilton 337 12.34% 820 30.03% 1,574 57.63% -754[b] -27.60% 2,731
Hardee 1,278 28.34% 703 15.59% 2,529 56.08% -1,251[c] -27.74% 4,510
Hendry 900 27.04% 791 23.76% 1,638 49.20% -738[c] -22.16% 3,329
Hernando 2,053 34.42% 1,524 25.55% 2,387 40.02% -334[c] -5.60% 5,964
Highlands 4,560 42.95% 2,582 24.32% 3,475 32.73% 1,085[c] 10.22% 10,617
Hillsborough 49,441 34.77% 45,848 32.24% 46,913 32.99% 2,528[c] 1.78% 142,202
Holmes 377 7.00% 312 5.79% 4,700 87.21% -4,323[c] -80.21% 5,389
Indian River 6,518 51.25% 3,179 24.99% 3,022 23.76% 3,339 26.26% 12,719
Jackson 1,236 10.02% 2,472 20.05% 8,622 69.93% -6,150[b] -49.88% 12,330
Jefferson 459 14.84% 1,066 34.48% 1,567 50.68% -501[b] -16.20% 3,092
Lafayette 137 9.28% 215 14.56% 1,125 76.17% -910[b] -61.61% 1,477
Lake 11,763 47.42% 4,599 18.54% 8,442 34.03% 3,321[c] 13.39% 24,804
Lee 14,376 46.23% 7,978 25.66% 8,741 28.11% 5,635[c] 18.12% 31,095
Leon 9,288 28.49% 10,440 32.02% 12,878 39.50% -2,438[b] -7.48% 32,606
Levy 745 18.81% 767 19.36% 2,449 61.83% -1,682[b] -42.47% 3,961
Liberty 154 8.96% 242 14.09% 1,322 76.95% -1,080[b] -62.86% 1,718
Madison 654 13.81% 1,378 29.10% 2,703 57.09% -1,325[b] -27.99% 4,735
Manatee 18,247 52.51% 8,286 23.85% 8,214 23.64% 9,961 28.66% 34,747
Marion 7,468 32.66% 5,798 25.36% 9,600 41.98% -2,132[c] -9.32% 22,866
Martin 5,179 50.63% 2,580 25.22% 2,471 24.15% 2,599 25.41% 10,230
Monroe 5,094 34.19% 5,534 37.14% 4,271 28.67% -440 -2.95% 14,899
Nassau 1,301 19.91% 1,598 24.46% 3,634 55.63% -2,036[b] -31.17% 6,533
Okaloosa 5,525 26.54% 3,059 14.69% 12,237 58.77% -6,712[c] -32.23% 20,821
Okeechobee 862 28.66% 542 18.02% 1,604 53.32% -742[c] -24.66% 3,008
Orange 50,874 50.54% 22,548 22.40% 27,247 27.07% 23,627[c] 23.47% 100,669
Osceola 4,172 43.90% 1,870 19.68% 3,462 36.43% 710[c] 7.47% 9,504
Palm Beach 62,191 53.19% 32,837 28.08% 21,894 18.73% 29,354 25.11% 116,922
Pasco 9,743 42.36% 6,292 27.36% 6,966 30.29% 2,777[c] 12.07% 23,001
Pinellas 109,235 51.71% 68,209 32.29% 33,814 16.01% 41,026 19.42% 211,258
Polk 27,839 36.98% 15,898 21.12% 31,540 41.90% -3,701[c] -4.92% 75,277
Putnam 2,955 26.80% 2,920 26.49% 5,150 46.71% -2,195[c] -19.91% 11,025
St. Johns 3,880 34.31% 2,748 24.30% 4,682 41.40% -802[c] -7.09% 11,310
St. Lucie 7,281 43.02% 5,232 30.92% 4,410 26.06% 2,049 12.10% 16,923
Santa Rosa 2,567 20.19% 1,600 12.58% 8,549 67.23% -5,982[c] -47.04% 12,716
Sarasota 30,160 63.73% 10,127 21.40% 7,041 14.88% 20,033 42.33% 47,328
Seminole 10,821 44.69% 6,120 25.27% 7,275 30.04% 3,546[c] 14.65% 24,216
Sumter 910 17.96% 1,277 25.21% 2,879 56.83% -1,602[b] -31.62% 5,066
Suwannee 845 14.13% 1,182 19.76% 3,955 66.12% -2,773[b] -46.36% 5,982
Taylor 794 15.71% 941 18.62% 3,318 65.66% -2,377[b] -47.04% 5,053
Union 179 10.78% 290 17.46% 1,192 71.76% -902[b] -54.30% 1,661
Volusia 28,024 39.91% 24,987 35.58% 17,209 24.51% 3,037 4.33% 70,220
Wakulla 247 10.49% 440 18.68% 1,668 70.83% -1,228[b] -52.15% 2,355
Walton 963 13.45% 1,064 14.86% 5,135 71.70% -4,071[b] -56.84% 7,162
Washington 528 10.71% 722 14.64% 3,682 74.66% -2,960[b] -60.02% 4,932
Totals 886,804 40.53% 676,794 30.93% 624,207 28.53% 210,010 9.60% 2,187,805

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab In this county where Nixon ran third behind Wallace, margin given is Humphrey vote minus Wallace vote and percentage margin Humphrey percentage minus Wallace percentage.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z In this county where Humphrey ran third behind Wallace, margin given is Nixon vote minus Wallace vote and percentage margin Nixon percentage minus Wallace percentage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Silbey, Joel H. and Bogue, Allan G.; The History of American Electoral Behavior, p. 210 ISBN 140087114X
  2. ^ See Price, Hugh Douglas; 'The Negro and Florida Politics, 1944-1954'; The Journal of Politics, Vol. 17, No. 2 (May, 1955), pp. 198-220
  3. ^ Seagull, Louis M.; Southern Republicanism, p. 73 ISBN 0470768762
  4. ^ Lamis, Alexander P.; The Two-Party South, p. 180 ISBN 0195065794
  5. ^ Bullock, Charles S. and Gaddie, Ronald Keith; The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South, p. 254 ISBN 0806185309
  6. ^ Grantham, Dewey W.; The Life and Death of the Solid South: A Political History, pp. 172-173 ISBN 0813148723
  7. ^ Grantham; The Life and Death of the Solid South, p. 165
  8. ^ Sullivan, James; 'The Florida Teacher Walkout in the Political Transition of 1968', in Zieger, Robert H. (editor); Southern Labor in Transition, 1940-1995, pp. 205-223
  9. ^ "1968 Presidential General Election Results – Florida". Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  10. ^ Phillips, Kevin P. The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 281-282 ISBN 1400852293
  11. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016