1964 United States presidential election (Nixon's The One!)

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1960 United States presidential election

← 1960 November 3, 1964 1968 →

538 members of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 61.9% Decrease 0.9 pp

 
Nominee Richard Nixon Hubert Humphrey George Wallace
Party Republican Democratic Dixiecrat
Home state California Minnesota Alabama
Running mate Henry Cabot Lodge Terry Sanford Marvin Griffin
Electoral vote 343 156 39
States carried 36 10 + DC 4
Popular vote 36,153,186 32,635,349 2,048,539
Percentage 50.8% 46.2% 2.9%

Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Nixon/Anderson, blue denotes those won by Jackson/Humphrey, orange denotes the electoral votes for Wallace/Faubus. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Richard Nixon
Republican

Elected President

Richard Nixon
Republican

The 1964 United States presidential election was the 45th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 3, 1964. Incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, and George Wallace, the Dixiecrat candidate.


Nixon entered the campaign with nominal opposition and high approval ratings. His detente with the Soviet Union, extended sanctions against communist China, and his expansion of the NASA's space programs were largely popular with the public. Nixon also reaffirmed his commitment to civil rights following the 1963 Birmingham riots and successfully pushed the 1963 Civil Rights Act through Congress, which became a central issue of the campaign. Nixon and Lodge were renominated by voice vote at the Republican convention. At the Democratic convention, Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, a leader of his party's liberal wing, defeated moderate Texas Senator and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson and conservative Alabama Governor George Wallace. The nomination of Humphrey angered the southern delegations, with many delegations storming out of the convention in disgust. In an effort to win over southern Democrats, Humphrey selected North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford, however Sanford's civil rights positions pushed George Wallace to run a third party campaign under the "Dixiecrat" banner against Humphrey and Nixon. Wallace replaced Humphrey as the Democratic nominee in several Deep South states, namely Mississippi and his home state of Alabama, however in states such as Arkansas and South Carolina, Humphrey was still listed on the ballot.

Nixon's campaign strategy focused on winning over moderate coastal voters, hoping to keep swing states such as New Jersey and his native California in the Republican column. His campaign also focused heavily on southern states that had both Humphrey and Wallace on the ballot, hoping to take advantage of a split Democratic vote. Humphrey's campaign took a more populist tone, focusing on working class voters and strengthening the New Deal coalition. Humphrey spent extensive time in the industrialized Midwest, both due to his regional appeal and the prevalence of blue collar voters. Nixon and Humphrey participated in two debates, which focused mostly on foreign policy and civil rights. Wallace focused entirely on the Deep South, running against Nixon's and Humphrey's stances on civil rights and segregation, while also taking a populist stance on economic issues.

On election day, Nixon swept the electoral college and became the first Republican since Reconstruction to win the deep southern states of South Carolina and Arkansas, largely due to the split Democratic vote. Hubert Humphrey became the first Democrat in history to not win a single state in the former Confederacy, however his Midwestern strategy paid off as he flipped his home state of Minnesota and gained votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.