United States presidential election in Florida, 1972

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United States presidential election in Florida, 1972

← 1968 November 7, 1972 1976 →
Turnout Decrease72%

  Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg GeorgeMcGovern.png
Nominee Richard Nixon George McGovern
Party Republican Democratic
Home state California South Dakota
Running mate Spiro Agnew Sargent Shriver
Electoral vote 17 0
Popular vote 1,857,759 718,117
Percentage 71.9% 27.8%

Florida 1972 election results.svg
County Results
Nixon
  50-60%
  60-70%
  70-80%
  80-90%
  >90%


President before election

Richard Nixon
Republican

Elected President

Richard Nixon
Republican

The 1972 United States presidential election in Florida was held on November 7, 1972, as part of the concurrent United States presidential election. Florida voters chose seventeen electors, or representatives to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background[edit]

After having been among the strongest parts of the Democratic "Solid South" between 1892 and 1944 – except when vehement pineywoods anti-Catholicism and extensive urban Republican voting gave the state's electoral votes to Herbert Hoover in 1928 – Florida turned into a Republican-leaning state at presidential level from 1948 due to the growth of a strongly business-oriented society in newer South Florida following World War II.[1] Aided by this vote, the Republicans carried Florida in all three presidential elections from 1952 to 1960,[2] despite losing the entire northern half of the state.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s saw a dramatic change in the next two elections. The classically Deep Southern northern part of the state, affected by turmoil over school and university desegregation,[3] went powerfully to the staunch conservative Republican Barry Goldwater after having resisted the GOP in the previous four elections, and then turned to the segregationist candidacy of former and future Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. Contrastingly, the southern urban areas that had supported the Republicans between 1948 and 1960 continued huge numbers of former Northern retirees hostile to Goldwater's proposed privatization of Social Security, and turned to Lyndon Johnson and then Richard Nixon.[4]

The 1972 Democratic presidential primary in Florida saw Wallace easily carry the state and every county bar Dade, in a ballot that also featured a referendum on court-ordered busing.[5] This referendum revealed that more three-fourths of the state's voters supported a constitutional ban on busing.[6] The party primaries that year were especially divisive over the busing issue. John Lindsay, plus eventual party nominee George McGovern were supporters of busing who accused even their moderate rivals Hubert Humphrey and "Scoop" Jackson of being covert racists for their opposition thereto.[5] As it turned out, Wallace – the opponent most feared by Nixon – was paralyzed by an attempted assassination in May, and McGovern won the nomination via powerful support in midwestern and Pacific States.

Once McGovern won the nomination, he offered Florida Governor Reubin Askew the vice-presidential slot, but Askew turned the position down.[7]

Vote[edit]

Incumbent President Nixon overwhelmingly won the state of Florida with 71.91 percent of the vote, carrying all of Florida's 67 counties and seventeen electoral votes.[8] Nixon's victory in Florida made it his fifth strongest state after Mississippi, Georgia, Oklahoma and Alabama.[9] McGovern reached forty percent of the vote only in Dade County with its substantial Jewish and Latin populations, plus Alachua County with its large population of liberal college students who were a major base for his candidacy[10] – and the Democratic candidate only reached thirty percent of the vote in four other counties. Nixon's message enabled him to capture virtually all of the Wallace vote from 1968, as shown by the fact that pineywoods Holmes County, which had been Wallace's fifth-strongest county in 1968,[11] was to be Nixon's fourth-best county in 1972 with over 92 percent of the vote.[12]

In addition to hostility towards busing and the "acid, amnesty and abortion" policies which Nixon consistently accused McGovern of[10] despite eventual running mate Sargent Shriver being firmly opposed to abortion, the Democratic campaign in Florida was also crippled by McGovern's policy of normalizing relationships with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Relationships with Cuba were a hotbed issue in the most liberal and least Southern region of the state around Miami,[13] and drove even many voters who had supported Humphrey in 1968 to Nixon and the Republican Party.[14] This allowed the GOP to carry Monroe County, which had consistently voted Democratic since 1888,[15] by over 45 percentage points.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Gadsden County voted for a Republican presidential candidate.[16]

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 California 1,857,759 71.91% 17 Spiro Agnew Maryland 17
George McGovern Democratic South Dakota 718,117 27.80% 0 Sargent Shriver Maryland 0
Various candidates Write-ins 7,407 0.29% 0 0
Total 2,583,283 100% 17 17
Needed to win 270 270

Results by county[edit]

Richard Milhous Nixon
Republican
George Stanley McGovern
Democratic
Various candidates
Write-ins
Margin Total votes cast
County # % # % # % # % #
Alachua 22,536 56.54% 17,245 43.26% 80 0.20% 5,291 13.27% 39,861
Baker 1,943 83.64% 379 16.32% 1 0.04% 1,564 67.33% 2,323
Bay 20,245 83.80% 3,914 16.20% 16,331 67.60% 24,159
Bradford 3,652 73.67% 1,217 24.55% 88 1.78% 2,435 49.12% 4,957
Brevard 62,773 78.73% 16,854 21.14% 106 0.13% 45,919 57.59% 79,733
Broward 196,528 72.41% 74,127 27.31% 754 0.28% 122,401 45.10% 271,409
Calhoun 2,069 81.68% 461 18.20% 3 0.12% 1,608 63.48% 2,533
Charlotte 12,888 76.64% 3,874 23.04% 55 0.33% 9,014 53.60% 16,817
Citrus 8,848 77.22% 2,607 22.75% 3 0.03% 6,241 54.47% 11,458
Clay 10,467 85.53% 1,748 14.28% 23 0.19% 8,719 71.25% 12,238
Collier 13,501 80.63% 3,201 19.12% 42 0.25% 10,300 61.51% 16,744
Columbia 6,723 80.16% 1,664 19.84% 5,059 60.32% 8,387
Dade 256,529 58.87% 177,693 40.78% 1,541 0.35% 78,836 18.09% 435,763
DeSoto 2,958 77.58% 852 22.34% 3 0.08% 2,106 55.23% 3,813
Dixie 1,628 81.52% 367 18.38% 2 0.10% 1,261 63.14% 1,997
Duval 122,154 72.19% 46,530 27.50% 520 0.31% 75,624 44.69% 169,204
Escambia 56,071 79.57% 14,078 19.98% 315 0.45% 41,993 59.59% 70,464
Flagler 1,409 74.08% 493 25.92% 916 48.16% 1,902
Franklin 2,277 82.14% 490 17.68% 5 0.18% 1,787 64.47% 2,772
Gadsden 5,995 61.01% 3,829 38.97% 2 0.02% 2,166 22.04% 9,826
Gilchrist 1,306 83.45% 247 15.78% 12 0.77% 1,059 67.67% 1,565
Glades 1,019 78.81% 253 19.57% 21 1.62% 766 59.24% 1,293
Gulf 2,628 78.54% 713 21.31% 5 0.15% 1,915 57.23% 3,346
Hamilton 1,741 73.34% 626 26.37% 7 0.29% 1,115 46.97% 2,374
Hardee 3,563 84.57% 647 15.36% 3 0.07% 2,916 69.21% 4,213
Hendry 2,763 78.85% 739 21.09% 2 0.06% 2,024 57.76% 3,504
Hernando 6,296 74.87% 2,110 25.09% 3 0.04% 4,186 49.78% 8,409
Highlands 9,645 79.49% 2,458 20.26% 30 0.25% 7,187 59.24% 12,133
Hillsborough 106,956 70.13% 45,305 29.71% 249 0.16% 61,651 40.42% 152,510
Holmes 3,819 92.51% 309 7.49% 3,510 85.03% 4,128
Indian River 11,741 77.85% 3,316 21.99% 25 0.17% 8,425 55.86% 15,082
Jackson 8,904 79.99% 2,220 19.94% 8 0.07% 6,684 60.04% 11,132
Jefferson 2,108 66.04% 1,049 32.86% 35 1.10% 1,059 33.18% 3,192
Lafayette 1,060 85.69% 173 13.99% 4 0.32% 887 71.71% 1,237
Lake 23,079 82.63% 4,803 17.20% 48 0.17% 18,276 65.44% 27,930
Lee 36,738 79.46% 9,404 20.34% 93 0.20% 27,334 59.12% 46,235
Leon 27,479 63.72% 15,555 36.07% 92 0.21% 11,924 27.65% 43,126
Levy 3,273 79.12% 862 20.84% 2 0.05% 2,411 58.28% 4,137
Liberty 1,199 84.38% 222 15.62% 977 68.75% 1,421
Madison 3,236 72.92% 1,187 26.75% 15 0.34% 2,049 46.17% 4,438
Manatee 32,664 79.79% 8,058 19.68% 218 0.53% 24,606 60.10% 40,940
Marion 19,505 78.18% 5,397 21.63% 46 0.18% 14,108 56.55% 24,948
Martin 11,296 78.83% 2,946 20.56% 88 0.61% 8,350 58.27% 14,330
Monroe 11,688 72.18% 4,469 27.60% 36 0.22% 7,219 44.58% 16,193
Nassau 5,078 79.44% 1,293 20.23% 21 0.33% 3,785 59.21% 6,392
Okaloosa 23,303 88.64% 2,843 10.81% 144 0.55% 20,460 77.82% 26,290
Okeechobee 2,581 80.58% 621 19.39% 1 0.03% 1,960 61.19% 3,203
Orange 94,516 79.57% 23,840 20.07% 421 0.35% 70,676 59.50% 118,777
Osceola 9,320 82.94% 1,875 16.69% 42 0.37% 7,445 66.25% 11,237
Palm Beach 108,670 72.35% 40,825 27.18% 708 0.47% 67,845 45.17% 150,203
Pasco 29,249 71.91% 11,330 27.85% 97 0.24% 17,919 44.05% 40,676
Pinellas 179,541 69.83% 77,197 30.02% 378 0.15% 102,344 39.80% 257,116
Polk 60,748 78.42% 16,419 21.20% 293 0.38% 44,329 57.23% 77,460
Putnam 8,741 74.61% 2,901 24.76% 74 0.63% 5,840 49.85% 11,716
St. John's 8,919 77.48% 2,549 22.14% 43 0.37% 6,370 55.34% 11,511
St. Lucie 14,258 75.40% 4,593 24.29% 59 0.31% 9,665 51.11% 18,910
Santa Rosa 12,669 88.94% 1,491 10.47% 85 0.60% 11,178 78.47% 14,245
Sarasota 48,939 79.95% 12,235 19.99% 36 0.06% 36,704 59.96% 61,210
Seminole 27,658 80.84% 6,503 19.01% 51 0.15% 21,155 61.84% 34,212
Sumter 3,695 76.71% 1,107 22.98% 15 0.31% 2,588 53.73% 4,817
Suwannee 4,435 80.77% 1,027 18.70% 29 0.53% 3,408 62.07% 5,491
Taylor 4,109 84.50% 754 15.50% 3,355 68.99% 4,863
Union 1,314 83.85% 253 16.15% 1,061 67.71% 1,567
Volusia 52,656 70.60% 21,637 29.01% 290 0.39% 31,019 41.59% 74,583
Wakulla 2,466 82.01% 539 17.92% 2 0.07% 1,927 64.08% 3,007
Walton 6,217 85.93% 988 13.66% 30 0.41% 5,229 72.27% 7,235
Washington 3,777 86.11% 606 13.82% 3 0.07% 3,171 72.30% 4,386
Totals 1,857,759 71.91% 718,117 27.80% 7,407 0.29% 1,139,642 44.12% 2,583,283

References[edit]

  1. ^ See Doherty, Herbert J. (junior); 'Liberal and Conservative Politics in Florida'; The Journal of Politics, nol. 14, no. 3 (August 1952), pp. 403-417
  2. ^ Strong, Donald S.; 'The Presidential Election in the South, 1952'; The Journal of Politics, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 343-389
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of African American History: 5-Volume Set, p. 228 ISBN 0195167791
  4. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 224 ISBN 9780691163246
  5. ^ a b Small, Melvin; A Companion to Richard M. Nixon, chapter 9 ISBN 144434093X
  6. ^ Lassiter, Matthew D.; The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South, pp. 310-311 ISBN 140084942X
  7. ^ Young, Josh; And Give Up Showbiz?: How Fred Levin Beat Big Tobacco, Avoided Two Murder Prosecutions, Became a Chief of Ghana, Earned Boxing Manager of the Year, and Transformed American Law, p. 183 ISBN 1940363411
  8. ^ "1972 Presidential General Election Results – Florida". Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "1972 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  10. ^ a b Rae, Nicol C.; Southern Democrats, pp. 48-49 ISBN 0198024770
  11. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1968 Presidential Election Statistics
  12. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1972 Presidential Election Statistics
  13. ^ Robertson, Andrew; Encyclopedia of U.S. Political History, p. 195 ISBN 0872893200
  14. ^ Adams, Florence P. and Rodriguez David; Latinos and Local Representation: Changing Realities, Emerging Theories, p. 56 ISBN 0815333706
  15. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, p. 164-165 ISBN 0786422173
  16. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016