Lyndon B. Johnson Elected Not To Run in 1968

The last US President that did not seek re-election.The 1964 US Presidential election was a landslide victory for Lyndon B. Johnson, as he won 486 of the electoral college votes, and ended up with over 61% of the popular vote.

Johnson, who had taken over as President on November 22nd, 1963, seemed to be a lock to serve two terms in the White House, given his level of popularity in 1964.

Four years is an eternity in Washington, DC, however, and on March 31st, 1968, President Johnson announced that he wouldn't be seeking re-election.


"I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president".

These were the words that President Johnson told the world in March of 1968, as he revealed that he wouldn't be seeking another term in the White House.

At the time, Johnson's approval rating was less than 40%, and the Democrats seemed to be in mortal danger of losing the upcoming Presidential election.

The main reason for Johnson's unpopularity? Vietnam.

The war was going poorly. A few months before Johnson announced that he wouldn't be seeking re-election, the Tet Offensive had taken place, and Americans were shocked over how long it took the superpower to neutralize the attack.


When President Johnson barely won the New Hampshire primary over Eugene McCarthy, the writing was on the wall - it was time for Johnson to take a step back.

In addition, Johnson was suffering from poor health, making a vigorous re-election attempt seem unlikely.


Johnson was facing increasing pressure from his own party to step down, and on March 31st, 1968, announced that he was pulling the plug and would be retiring at the end of his term.

For the rest of his life, Johnson would swear that he could have beaten Richard Nixon in 1968, and that he would have been a better choice than Hubert Humphrey.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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