1972 United States presidential election in Illinois

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← 1968 November 7, 1972 1976 →
  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 26 0
Popular vote 2,788,179 1,913,472
Percentage 59.0% 40.5%

Illinois pres election map 1972.png
Counties in red denote those won by Nixon/Agnew. Counties in blue denote those won by McGovern/Shriver.

President before election

Richard Nixon

Elected President

Richard Nixon

The 1972 United States presidential election in Illinois was held on November 7, 1972. Incumbent President Nixon won the state of Illinois with 59% of the vote, carrying the state's 26 electoral votes.[1] He defeated his main opponent, Democratic candidate George McGovern in Illinois by an overwhelming margin of 18.52 points.

Nixon won all but one of Illinois’ 102 counties. The solitary exception was Jackson County, home to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, which notably had voted for Nixon in the previous election and was one of only five counties outside McGovern’s home state to switch from Republican to Democratic at this election.[a][2] This election is the most recent in which Cook County voted Republican, the only Republican victory in St. Clair County since Calvin Coolidge in 1924,[3] and the last until 2016 when Alexander County supported a Republican nominee.[4]


1972 United States presidential election in Illinois
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Richard Nixon 2,788,179 59.03% 26
Democratic George McGovern 1,913,472 40.51% 0
Socialist Labor Louis Fisher 12,344 0.26% 0
- Other 9,241 0.20% 0
Totals 4,723,236 100.0% 26


  1. ^ "1972 Presidential General Election Results - Illinois". Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, p. 98 ISBN 0786422173
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard; St. Clair County, Illinois
  4. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016


  1. ^ The others were Pitkin County, Colorado, Stevens County, Minnesota, Washtenaw County, Michigan and Athens County, Ohio – all of which were and are dominated by college towns.