United States Presidential Election in South Carolina, 1968
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United States Presidential Election in South Carolina, 1968
1968 United States presidential election in South Carolina

← 1964 November 5, 1968 1972 →
  Richard Nixon portrait.jpg George C Wallace.jpg Hubert Humphrey crop.jpg
Nominee Richard Nixon George Wallace Hubert Humphrey
Party Republican Independent Democratic
Home state New York[a] Alabama Minnesota
Running mate Spiro Agnew Curtis LeMay Edmund Muskie
Electoral vote 8 0 0
Popular vote 254,062 215,430 197,486
Percentage 38.1% 32.3% 29.6%

South Carolina Presidential Election Results 1968.svg
County Results

President before election

Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic

Elected President

Richard Nixon
Republican

The 1968 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 5, 1968. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were part of the 1968 United States presidential election. South Carolina voters chose 8 electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

For six decades up to 1950 South Carolina was a one-party state dominated by the Democratic Party. The Republican Party had been moribund due to the disfranchisement of blacks and the complete absence of other support bases as the Palmetto State completely lacked upland or German refugee whites opposed to secession.[1] Between 1900 and 1948, no Republican presidential candidate ever obtained more than seven percent of the total presidential vote[2] - a vote which in 1924 reached as low as 6.6 percent of the total voting-age population[3] (or approximately 15 percent of the voting-age white population).

Following Harry S. Truman's To Secure These Rights in 1947, the following year South Carolina's small electorate overwhelmingly rejected him in favour of state Governor Strom Thurmond, who won 71 percent of the state's limited electorate and every county except poor white industrial Anderson and Spartanburg.[4] During the 1950s, the state's wealthier and more urbanized whites became extremely disenchanted with the national Democratic Party and to a lesser extent with the federal administration of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.[5] However, aided by the state's abolition of its poll tax in 1950, the poor white upcountry provided enough support to national Democrats Adlai Stevenson II and John F. Kennedy to, aided by substantial majorities amongst the small but increasing number of blacks able to vote, keep the state in Democratic hands.

During the 1950s, wealthy textile mill owners in the upcountry developed a grassroots state Republican Party dedicated to the tenets of the John Birch Society. This group nominated the most conservative delegation at the party's 1960 convention.[6] These wealthy businessmen would merge with hardline segregationists to draft Barry Goldwater for the Republican nomination in 1960 and join forces therein by 1964, when Thurmond, now a US Senator, switched his registration from Democratic to Republican to support Goldwater in his presidential campaign.[6] By sweeping the lowcountry and reducing Democratic majorities in the upcountry, Goldwater won the state by almost eighteen percent, whilst Thurmond was joined in his switch to the Republican Party by Congressman

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 severely angered those poor whites who had remained loyal to the national Democratic Party. Their generally extreme social conservatism and hostility towards opportunities for blacks led poor white Deep Southerners to former Alabama Governor George Wallace who had attracted national attention for his support of segregation in his first term and entered Democratic Party primaries in 1964 with substantial success even in northern states.[7] Wallace would develop a powerful third-party presidential campaign after he left the governor's office in 1967 amidst a sweeping rejection of the Democratic Party, and it was clear that discontent with racial liberalization was universal across white America.[8]

Vote

Although Nixon ignored the other Deep South states because he knew that he had no chance of competing with George Wallace, in South Carolina Senator Thurmond, believing Wallace could not win the election and that northeastern urban liberalism would continue to dominate if he endorsed Wallace, took the stump for Nixon in the Palmetto State.[9] The result was that Wallace support in South Carolina plumetted rapidly, although in early September the Alabama governor predicted he would carry the state,[10] an opinion backed up by early polling in mid-September.[11] Other polls, however, had the race very close between the three candidates.[12]

Nixon himself campaigned in the state, aided by Thurmond, at the end of September.[13] Polls remained close between the three candidates throughout October, but Nixon ultimately carried the state over Wallace by 5.79 percent, with Humphrey forced into third place. Extremely clear demographic and racial divides existed between the three candidates: Nixon carried wealthier whites, Wallace the poor whites, and Humphrey the newly enfranchised blacks, with Thurmond's support helping Nixon to gain critical white landowner backing in the lowcountry.

Results

1968 United States presidential election in South Carolina[14][15]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Richard Nixon 254,062 38.09% 8
Independent George Wallace 215,430 32.30% 0
Democratic Hubert Humphrey 197,486 29.61% 0
Write-ins Various candidates 4 0.00% 0
Totals 666,978 100.00% 8
Voter turnout -

Results by county

County Richard Milhous Nixon
Republican
Hubert Horatio Humphrey
Democratic
George Corley Wallace
Independent
Margin[b] Total votes cast
# % # % # % # %
Abbeville 1,213 20.77% 1,425 24.40% 3,201 54.82% -1,776[c] -30.42% 5,839
Aiken 12,264 44.76% 6,319 23.06% 8,815 32.17% 3,449 12.59% 27,398
Allendale 997 29.72% 1,538 45.84% 820 24.44% -541[d] -16.12% 3,355
Anderson 5,661 24.33% 5,218 22.43% 12,384 53.23% -6,723 -28.90% 23,263
Bamberg 1,327 27.70% 1,845 38.52% 1,618 33.78% 227[c] 4.74% 4,790
Barnwell 1,849 31.25% 1,716 29.01% 2,351 39.74% -502 -8.49% 5,916
Beaufort 2,983 36.29% 3,740 45.49% 1,498 18.22% -757[d] -9.20% 8,221
Berkeley 4,021 28.89% 5,089 36.56% 4,808 34.55% 281[c] 2.01% 13,918
Calhoun 885 28.74% 1,216 39.49% 978 31.76% 238[c] 7.73% 3,079
Charleston 24,282 43.45% 18,343 32.83% 13,255 23.72% 5,939[d] 10.62% 55,880
Cherokee 2,853 27.19% 1,998 19.04% 5,642 53.77% -2,789 -26.58% 10,493
Chester 2,862 33.71% 2,865 33.75% 2,762 32.54% -3[d] -0.04% 8,489
Chesterfield 2,564 25.47% 3,180 31.59% 4,324 42.95% -1,144[c] -11.36% 10,068
Clarendon 2,201 27.85% 3,606 45.62% 2,097 26.53% -1,405[d] -17.77% 7,904
Colleton 2,824 34.67% 2,651 32.55% 2,670 32.78% 154 1.89% 8,145
Darlington 4,947 35.38% 3,803 27.20% 5,231 37.42% -284 -2.04% 13,981
Dillon 2,396 35.73% 2,178 32.48% 2,132 31.79% 218[d] 3.25% 6,706
Dorchester 3,354 31.21% 3,855 35.87% 3,539 32.93% 316[c] 2.94% 10,748
Edgefield 1,688 43.07% 1,225 31.26% 1,006 25.67% 463[d] 11.81% 3,919
Fairfield 1,619 27.14% 3,011 50.47% 1,336 22.39% -1,392[d] -23.33% 5,966
Florence 8,917 36.19% 8,079 32.79% 7,642 31.02% 838[d] 3.40% 24,638
Georgetown 3,269 32.62% 4,110 41.01% 2,642 26.36% -841[d] -8.39% 10,021
Greenville 31,652 52.91% 12,928 21.61% 15,241 25.48% 16,411 27.43% 59,821
Greenwood 4,891 33.37% 3,741 25.52% 6,024 41.10% -1,133 -7.73% 14,658[e]
Hampton 1,671 31.95% 2,107 40.29% 1,452 27.76% -436[d] -8.34% 5,230
Horry 3,924 26.97% 3,924 26.97% 6,701 46.06% -2,777 -19.09% 14,549
Jasper 633 20.31% 1,402 44.99% 1,081 34.69% 321[c] 10.30% 3,116
Kershaw 4,079 38.56% 2,539 24.00% 3,960 37.44% 119 1.12% 10,578
Lancaster 4,874 37.75% 3,151 24.41% 4,886 37.84% -12 -0.09% 12,911
Laurens 4,813 39.75% 3,016 24.91% 4,279 35.34% 534 4.41% 12,108
Lee 1,219 22.23% 2,151 39.23% 2,113 38.54% 38[c] 0.69% 5,483
Lexington 12,204 48.49% 4,058 16.12% 8,907 35.39% 3,297 13.10% 25,169
Marion 2,512 36.85% 2,821 41.38% 1,484 21.77% -309[d] -4.53% 6,817
Marlboro 2,024 31.34% 2,294 35.52% 2,140 33.14% 154[c] 2.38% 6,458
McCormick 466 21.08% 988 44.69% 757 34.24% 231[c] 10.45% 2,211
Newberry 4,538 42.35% 2,444 22.81% 3,734 34.85% 804 7.50% 10,716
Oconee 2,618 27.94% 2,009 21.44% 4,742 50.61% -2,124 -22.67% 9,369
Orangeburg 5,144 24.20% 8,971 42.20% 7,144 33.60% 1,827[c] 8.60% 21,259
Pickens 6,873 51.63% 2,016 15.14% 4,424 33.23% 2,449 18.40% 13,313
Richland 26,215 50.96% 18,198 35.37% 7,030 13.67% 8,017[d] 15.59% 51,445[e]
Saluda 1,466 30.53% 1,200 24.99% 2,136 44.48% -670 -13.95% 4,802
Spartanburg 18,183 38.69% 11,467 24.40% 17,346 36.91% 837 1.78% 46,996
Sumter 5,451 33.43% 6,103 37.42% 4,754 29.15% -652[d] -3.99% 16,308
Union 3,011 30.50% 2,271 23.00% 4,590 46.50% -1,579 -16.00% 9,872
Williamsburg 3,029 28.08% 5,106 47.33% 2,652 24.59% -2,077[d] -19.25% 10,787
York 7,596 37.48% 5,571 27.49% 7,102 35.04% 494 2.44% 20,269
Totals 254,062 38.09% 197,486 29.61% 215,430 32.30% 38,632 5.79% 666,982

Notes

  1. ^ Although he was born in California and he served as a U.S. Senator from California, in 1968 Richard Nixon's official state of residence was New York, because he moved there to practice law after his defeat in the 1962 California gubernatorial election. During his first term as president, Nixon re-established his residency in California. Consequently, most reliable reference books list Nixon's home state as New York in the 1968 election and his home state as California in the 1972 (and 1960) election.
  2. ^ Because Nixon finished first and Wallace second in South Carolina as a whole, all margins given are Nixon vote minus Wallace vote and Nixon percentage minus Wallace percentage unless state for the county in question.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k In this county where Nixon ran third behind both Humphrey and Wallace, margin given is Humphrey vote minus Wallace vote and percentage margin Humphrey percentage minus Wallace percentage.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o In this county where Wallace ran third behind both Nixon and Humphrey, margin given is Nixon vote minus Humphrey vote and percentage margin Nixon percentage minus Humphrey percentage.
  5. ^ a b Two write-in votes were recorded from this county.

References

  1. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 208, 210 ISBN 9780691163246
  2. ^ Mickey, Robert; Paths Out of Dixie: The Democratization of Authoritarian Enclaves in America's Deep South, 1944-1972, p. 440 ISBN 0691149631
  3. ^ Mickey; Paths Out of Dixie, p. 27
  4. ^ Frederikson, Kari; The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968, p. 185 ISBN 9780807875445
  5. ^ Graham, Cole Blease and Moore, William V.; South Carolina Politics and Government, pp. 79, 81 ISBN 9780803270435
  6. ^ a b Mickey, Paths out of Dixie, p. 234
  7. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 396
  8. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 254
  9. ^ Perlstein, Rick; Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, pp. 344-345 ISBN 9780743243025
  10. ^ Rouse, Mike; 'Wallace IS Appealing for Vote of the "Doves" as Well as Others'; Danville Register, September 3, 1968, p. 12
  11. ^ 'Four Polls Place Nixon in Lead'; Marshfield News-Herald, September 16, 1968, p. 3
  12. ^ 'Face-to-Face: Humphrey Desires Debate with Nixon'; Cumberland Evening-Times, September 16, 1968, p. 3
  13. ^ 'Nixon Proposes Anti-Crime Council'; The Waco News-Tribune, September 30, 1968, p. 5
  14. ^ "1968 Presidential General Election Results - South Carolina". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Woolley, John; Peters, Gehard. "1968 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. University of California, Santa Barbara. Retrieved 2016.

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