Richard Nixon Received Almost 61% of Popular Vote

Richard Nixon illustration / drawing / art.  The 37th president of the United States of America.It can sometimes be hard to believe, given the way that he left office, that Richard Nixon was one of the most popular US Presidents in history at one point.

Case in point: the 1972 US Presidential election, when incumbent President Nixon absolutely destroyed challenger George McGovern.

People like to talk about Ronald Reagan's thumping of Walter Mondale in 1984, but Nixon's victory over McGovern in 1972 was even more lopsided.


In 1971 and 1972, the US economy rebounded strongly, growing by 3.29% and 5.26%, respectively.

Any student of US history knows that an incumbent President is nearly impossible to beat when the economy is growing strongly into their re-election campaign, and this certainly proved to be the case in 1972.

Nixon campaigned mainly on the strength of the economy and his success in foreign affairs, which resonated strongly with the people of the United States.

McGovern, on the other hand, pinned his hopes largely to his anti-Vietnam War views.

President Nixon would successfully label George McGovern as an extremist.


McGovern's campaign was rocked less than three weeks before the election, as it was revealed that his running mate, Thomas Eagleton, had undergone electroconvulsive therapy to treat depression.

McGovern elected to replace Eagleton with Sargent Shriver, though the damage had been done.

McGovern was never going to beat Nixon in 1972, though this revelation, so close to the election, certainly didn't help.


To say that Nixon won the 1972 US Presidential election would be understatement.

President Nixon would receive 60.7% of the popular vote.

President Nixon took 49 out of 50 states - the only state that they would lose would be Massachusetts, which gave McGovern 54.2% of the vote.

Richard Nixon would receive 520 electoral college votes, while McGovern received just 17 - the most embarrassing loss in the history of US Presidential elections.


What makes this result even more stunning is that this was the first election since the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

Even with all of those extra young voters casting their ballots, the liberal George McGovern was still destroyed by the Republican candidate, President Richard Nixon.


Given the polarized state of the country, there is a good chance that we never see such a lopsided outcome in a US Presidential election again.

Filed under: General Knowledge

Related Articles