United States presidential election, 1972
The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon, but was handicapped by his outsider status, limited support from his own party, the perception of many voters that he was a left-wing extremist and the scandal that resulted from the stepping down of vice-presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton.Emphasizing a good economy and his successes in foreign affairs, such as coming near to ending American involvement in the Vietnam War and establishing relations with China, Nixon decisively defeated McGovern. Overall, Nixon won 60.7% of the popular vote, a percentage only slightly lower than Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, but with a larger margin of victory in the popular vote (23.2%), the fourth largest in presidential election history. He received almost 18 million more popular votes than McGovern, the widest margin of any United States presidential election. McGovern only won the electoral votes of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. No candidate since had managed to equal or surpass Nixon's total percentage or margin of the popular vote, and his electoral vote total and percentage has been surpassed only once, and his state total matched only once, by Ronald Reagan in 1984.Also in this election, Shirley Chisholm became the first African American to run for a major party nomination, and Patsy Mink was the first Asian American candidate to run for the Democratic Party nomination. It also was the first time that Hawaii was carried by a Republican, becoming the last of the 50 states to do so. Together with the House and Senate elections of 1972, it was the first electoral event in which people aged 18 to 20 could vote in any state, according to the provisions of the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is also the most recent presidential election where at least one electoral vote was won by a candidate who, at the time of the election, was neither a Republican or Democrat.