Prior to the election Lyndon B Johnson was the previous president of the United States. He came into office with little experience in foreign relation the Vietnam war was a major issue during the election of 1968. The United States was growing in opposition towards the war as it was progressing. more problems erupted when Tet Offensive North Vietnamese and VietCong forces launched a series, of surprise attack throughout the 100 cities in South Vietnam, and attacking the U.S embassy in Saigon (Recorded lecture).
Tet Offensive continued for a month until the U.S and the South Vietnamese forces regained control. the news media criticized the Vietnamese war Walter Cronkite a famous journalist told viewers more insight of the bloody war that was happening in Vietnam. This brought public embarrassment to Johnson administration as it stated in the past that victory was around the corner. The American people loss confidence in Johnson as a president (Foner text 802).
Vietnam War a televised war the war was between Ho Chi Minh, and the VietCongs because Ho Chi Minh wanted a communist Vietnam and the U.S wanted to prevent the spread of communism and but lack the public support during war. Cambodia and Laos also became communist countries after North Vietnam conquered the South Vietnam (Recorded Lecture).
Robert Kennedy the former brother of JF Kennedy ran for the Democratic nomination along with Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey. Lyndon B Johnson was going to run for reelection but because his role in the Vietnam War, and the weaken of his New Hampshire primary. President Lyndon B Johnson shocked the entire world announcing that he would not seek reelection (Recorded lecture).
Senator Eugene McCarthy an antiwar from Minnesota lost the primary, Robert Kennedy was assassinated and Vice President Humphrey gained support for the Democratic nomination. Governor George Wallace who entered the presidential race did not win any primaries. George Wallace was opposed to the Federally mandated integration of Alabama schools (Recorded Lecture).
In August of 1968 tens of thousands of antiwar activists came to Chicago Illinois to protests outside the Amphitheater at the Democratic National Convention. As the delegates nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey as their presidential candidate, the city police violently confronted protesters with nightsticks, beating and arresting protesters producing hundred of injuries outside the Conventional Hall and Pandemonium (Foner text 803).
meanwhile on April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated In Memphis Tennessee. many blacks also his followers started a massive riots one of the Urban violence in the history of black neighborhood and across the country in Washington protesters were enrage of his passing (Foner text 802).
After this terrible chaos of protesting and assassinating people Nixon won the Republican nomination against Michigan Governor George Romney. Nixon became the 37 president of the United States he ran a campaign that proclaimed to restore "Law and Order" in the country to attract voters, that opposed the race riots and Vietnam protests. Nixon won because people wanted a change and the Vietnam War to end and so Nixon gave that to the American people calling it a realigning election (Recorded Lecture).
The election map of 1968 shows Nixon Republican won more the votes by 301 electoral votes, 31,770,237 popular votes and 43.4 percent of popular votes. Hubert Humphrey Democratic won 191 electoral voters, 31,270,533 popular votes and 42.7 percent popular votes. George Wallace American Independent less favorable got 46 electoral votes, 9,906,141 popular votes and only got 13.5 percent of popular votes. (Recorded Lecture).
I have to say 1968 was a year that really characterized by violence the assassination of Martin Luther King and subsequent race riots across the country as well as the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. there was widespread opposition to the Vietnam and violent confrontation between police and protesters it was indeed an insane year seems to me it must have been hard to live in the 60s.