Richard Nixon vs George McGovern Tops List of Blowouts

The biggest elections win in the United States of America - Ronald Reagan in picture.In this day and age, in a world where people are as polarized as ever, it can be hard to imagine a Presidential election where one side would thoroughly embarrass the other.

In this day and age, the election is usually decided by a couple of swing states, while the rest of the country votes the same way that they always do - the blue states largely remain blue, while the red states remain red.

It wasn't that long ago, however, when blowouts in the US Presidential election were fairly normal, and it was usually the Republicans that were the ones blowing out the Democrats.

Let's take a look at the three biggest blowouts in the history of the US Presidential election (note: we are excluding Jefferson vs Pinckney in 1804, as only 140,000 votes were cast in that election):

1. Richard Nixon vs George McGovern, 1972.

It's hard to believe that Richard Nixon would be out of office just a few short years after this election, as he administered one of the most one-sided beat-downs in the history of the country.

Nixon, the incumbent, was running in the midst of a strong US economy, which is always a very big advantage. At the end of the day, if the economy is strong, an incumbent is very tough to defeat.

McGovern's campaign was in turmoil as well, as Vice Presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton would be removed due to a bout of depression.

In the end, Richard Nixon would garner 60.7% of the popular vote, beating McGovern by over 23 points. This resulted in 49 electoral votes going to Nixon.

Nixon would receive 18 million more popular votes than McGovern, which is a result that we may never see again.

2. Ronald Reagan vs Walter Mondale, 1984.

When Ronald Reagan took over in the White House, the country was reeling from the effects of stagflation. The economy would eventually fall into recession early in President Reagan's first term, and this led many to doubt President Reagan's judgment early on. In fact, as incredible as it seems now, President Reagan actually wasn't very popular at the start of his time in the White House.

The economy turned up, however, and was roaring when the 1984 Presidential election came around. Again, you had the incumbent that was running in the midst of a strong economy, and Walter Mondale would prove to be no match.

Ronald Reagan would carry 49 states, earning a total of 525 electoral votes to Mondale's 13.

58.8% of the popular vote would go to Reagan, while Mondale garnered just 40.6%.

"It's morning in America again" would prove to be no match for Mondale, as many Americans bought into President Reagan's vision of a "prouder, stronger, better" America, led by economic prosperity.

3. Ronald Reagan vs Jimmy Carter, 1980.

Jimmy Carter was not a popular President at all, and Ronald Reagan would deliver a sound thrashing of the incumbent in 1980.

At the time, the United States was dealing with low economic growth, long line-ups at the gas pumps and high inflation. President Reagan promised balanced budgets and increased military spending, and many Americans decided to back his vision.

Being an incumbent is a big advantage if the economy is doing well - for Jimmy Carter, the economy was floundering and Ronald Reagan seized on this opportunity.

In the end, Reagan would earn 489 electoral college votes compared to Carter's 49.

Ronald Reagan earned 43,903,230 of the popular votes, while Carter managed just 35,480,115.

In a truly bizarre turn of events, Jimmy Carter's Vice Presidential candidate, Walter Mondale, would run against President Reagan in 1984, and he ended up suffering an even worse defeat. I'm not sure what the Democrats were thinking there.


Some of the other notable mentions include:

Lyndon Johnson vs Barry Goldwater, 1964
Franklin Roosevelt vs Alf London, 1936
Franklin Roosevelt vs Herbert Hoover, 1932

Filed under: General Knowledge

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