1968 United States presidential election in New Jersey
The 1968 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 5, 1968. All 50 states and the District of Columbia, were part of the 1968 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 17 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
New Jersey was won by the Republican nominees, former Vice President Richard Nixon of California and his running mate Governor Spiro Agnew of Maryland. Nixon and Agnew defeated the Democratic nominees, incumbent Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota and his running mate Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine. Also in the running was the American Independent Party candidate, Governor George Wallace of Alabama, and his running mate U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay of California.
Nixon carried New Jersey with a plurality of 46.10% to Humphrey's 43.97%, a margin of 2.13%. In a distant third came Wallace with 9.12%.
Despite the closeness of the statewide result, Nixon won a strong majority of the state's 21 counties, taking 14 counties, while Humphrey won 7. Humphrey kept the race fairly close by performing strongly in heavily populated core Democratic counties like Essex County, Hudson County, and Mercer County, along with winning Democratic-leaning counties like Middlesex County, Camden County, Atlantic County, and Cumberland County. Other highly populated counties like Passaic County and Union County were won by Nixon but only by narrow margins. Passaic County went to Nixon 46.3-43.1, while Union County went to Nixon by a razor-thin 45.7-45.5 margin.
Nixon was able to take the advantage statewide however with a big win in heavily populated Bergen County, taking 54.5% of the vote there, along with wins in several other fairly populated suburban counties like Monmouth County and Morris County, as well as winning many rural counties. Nixon's strongest county by vote share was rural Sussex County, where he received 61.7% of the vote to Humphrey's 28.5%. Humphrey's strongest county by vote share was urban Essex County, where he received 51.9% of the vote to Nixon's 39.2%.
George Wallace, running on a Southern populist platform, finished a distant third in New Jersey, with a single-digit vote share percentage. But this was still a surprisingly strong performance for Wallace in a Northeastern state like New Jersey. Discounting the border states of Maryland and Delaware, Wallace's 9.12% in New Jersey was the highest statewide vote share he received out of any Northeastern state. Wallace performed most strongly in South Jersey, where he broke into double-digit support in several counties. Wallace's strongest county was Gloucester County, a rural county in the southwestern portion of the state by the Delaware border, where he received 15.5% of the vote.
New Jersey in this era was a swing state with a slight Republican lean, and this pattern continued with the results of 1968. In the midst of a narrow Republican victory nationally, New Jersey voted basically how the nation voted, its result being just 1% more Republican than the national average.
|Elections in New Jersey|
|United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1968|
|Democratic||Hubert H. Humphrey||1,264,206||43.97%||0|
|American Independent||George Wallace||262,187||9.12%||0|
|Socialist Workers||Fred Halstead||8,667||0.30%||0|
|Peace and Freedom Party||Dick Gregory||8,084||0.28%||0|
|Socialist Labor||Henning A. Blomen||6,784||0.24%||0|
|Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered)||66%/87%|
Results by county
|Richard Milhous Nixon
|Hubert Horatio Humphrey Jr.
|George Corley Wallace
|Margin||Total votes cast|
- 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.
- "1968 Presidential General Election Results - New Jersey". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 25 November 2013.