Path To The Presidency 1968 Election- Richard Nixon

A Presidential Candidate must:

According to the Constitution:

  1. Must be 35 years of age
  2. Must be a resident of the United States 14 years before the candidacy
  3. Must be a natural born citizen

Richard Nixon

  1. 55 years old when he announced his candidacy
  2. Lived in the United States his entire life
  3. Born in California to two United States Citizens

Nine Rules for Presidential Hopefuls

1. Rule of Political Tact

Nixon was Congressman for his California district for two years, and then served as the Vice President under General Eisenhower for 8 years. However, he lost the 1960 election to JFK. (Yes)

2. Rule of Governors

Nixon was never a governor and actually lost the 1962 election to become the governor of California. (No)

3. Rule of Big Swing States

Nixon came from California, which was not a swing state, but it was a large state. The state of California back in the 1968 election voted Republican, and they actually voted for the republican presidential candidate from the 1968 election to the 1988 election. (No)

4. Rule of Multiple Interests

Nixon did have multiple interests when running for the presidency. He was interested in foreign policy, social justice issues, and education. (Yes)

5. Rule of Happy Family Life

Nixon was happily married for 28 years when he took office. He had two daughters (Patricia and Julie) however they were fully grown by the time Nixon took office (22 and 20). (Yes)

6. Rule of Character

Even before Watergate he had a shady character. At graduate school at Duke University he was worried that his grades would falter, causing him to lose his scholarship, he broke into the dean’s office to check his transcript, enlisting two fellow students to hoist him through the transom at the top of the door. His search revealed that he was still fourth in his class. (No)

7. Rule of British Stock

Richard Nixon's ancestors are Scotch-Irish. Scotland is a part of Great Britain, but Ireland is not. (Yes)

8. Rule of Protestantism

He was actually raised his entire life following the Quaker religion which meant no swearing, drinking or dancing. But as he became more of a politician, he lost these ideals and stopped practicing them. (No)

9. Rule of Being Male

He is obviously male.

Nixon only passed 5 of the 9 rules for Presidental Hopefuls

Primary and Caucasus


- Vietnam War

- Assassinations of MLK Jr and Robert Kennedy

- Protests/demonstrations dealing with civil rights

Results from the Primaries:

Ronald Wilson Reagan: 1,696,632, 37.93%

Richard Milhous Nixon: 1,679,443, 37.54%

James A. Rhodes: 614,492, 13.74%

Nelson A. Rockefeller: 164,340, 3.67%

Unpledged: 140,639, 3.14%

Turning Points:

- George Romney was the early front runner, but withdrew in February

- Nixon was another early leader and he was able to build inroads with the Republican Party

-Originally Nelson Rockefeller announced he was not going to run but after MLK’s assassination chose to run

- Regan also decided to run, was too late for him to make up lost ground.

National Convention

-----August 1968-----

  • Nixon won the first ballot getting 692, Wisconsin’s vote is what gave Nixon the 667 votes he needed
  • Wisconsin's vote gave Nixon enough vote to when the nomination; then other states began to follow in line and in the end Nixon got the vote unanimously

Nixon's Acceptance Speech:

“And he is a man who fully shares my conviction and's time to have power go back from Washington to the states and to the cities of this country all over America.”
“And I congratulate Governor Reagan, I congratulate Governor Rockefeller, I congratulate Governor Romney, I congratulate all those who have made the hard fight that they have for this nomination, and I know that you will all fight even harder for the great victory our party is going to win in November because we're going to be together in that election campaign.”
“And a party that can unite itself will unite America.”
“And I pledge to you tonight that the first priority foreign policy objective of our next administration will be to bring an honorable end to the war in vietnam”

Nixon speech was about giving power back to the people and rebuilding America; he touched on the American Revolution at the end of his speech and how there our lessons to be learned from that. Additionally, he talked about the Vietnam war since that is such a controversial topic during that time.

General Election

1968 General Election

Nixon/Agnew (R)

Humphrey/ Muskie (D)

Wallace/ LeMay (I)


"Nixon's the one"

"Now more than ever"

"The Winning Team"


Key Moments:

June 1968- Assassination of Robert Kennedy

Fall of 1968- Nixon turns down having a debate with Hubert Humphrey

Fall of 1968- Democratic Party split on the issue of the Vietnam War (Old line Liberals vs. "New Politic" Democrats)

Electoral College

Nixon controlled the Mid west and the west, but lacked support on the east coast. The independent party definitely played a role in determining this election outcome as 5 states were won by George Wallace


-------------------January 20, 1969-------------------

Inauguration Speech

Theme: Praising the actions of the past, but calling for a better future. (War, Social justice/youth, technology)


"The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. This honor now beckons America--the chance to help lead the world at last out of the valley of turmoil and onto that high ground of peace that man has dreamed of since the dawn of civilization."
"Let us take as our goal: Where peace is unknown, make it welcome; where Peace is fragile, make it strong; where peace is temporary, make it permanent"

Social Justice/ Youth

"The second third of this century has been a time of proud achievement.....We have given freedom new reach. We have begun to make its promise real for black as well as for white."
"We see the hope of tomorrow in the youth of today. I know America’s youth. I believe in them. We can be proud that they are better educated, more committed, more passionately driven by conscience than any generation in our history."


"As we explore the reaches of space, let us go to the new worlds together--not as new worlds to be conquered, but as a new adventure to be shared......In throwing wide the horizons of space, we have discovered new horizons on earth..... In that moment of surpassing technological triumph, men turned their thoughts toward home and humanity-seeing in that far perspective that man’s destiny on earth is not divisible; telling us that however far we reach into the cosmos, our destiny lies not in the stars but on earth itself, in our own hands, in our own hearts."

The Speech is also calling people to act

"The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep. But we are approaching the limits of what government alone can do. Our greatest need now is to reach beyond government, to enlist the legions of the concerned and the committed."
"We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another--until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices."


"Accepting the Republican Nomination, 1968." The American Experience . PBS, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

Braswell , Sean. "The President You Never Knew Attended Duke Law School." OZY. OZY, 26 July 2015. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

Goodman, Bonnie K. "1968." Presidential Campaigns & Elections Reference. N.p., 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

"The Nixon Family." The Nixon Family. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

"Richard M. Nixon." The White House. The United States Government, 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

Richard Nixon: Inaugural Address." Richard Nixon: Inaugural Address. The American Presidency Project, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2017.

Wicker, Tom . "Nixon is Nominated on the First Ballot; Support for Lindsay in 2d Place Growing." National Politics . New York Times, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

"1968 Presidential Election." The American Presidency Project . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2017.

By: Madison Groene and Jesse Krieger

Created By
Jesse Krieger


Created with images by skeeze - "white house mansion president"

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