The 2020 election has been compared to the 1968 contest for its bitterness and polarization. A quick view of county-level votes from 52 years ago, however, indicates that in many ways, the nation was both more and less divided than the current red-blue state divide. Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who ran as an independent, won almost every county in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia – as well as north Florida, the western half of Tennessee, and chunks of the coastal mid-Atlantic.
A broader view of the 1968 map shows that Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey was able to make inroads into the middle of the country and the western U.S., as well as taking most Texas counties and parts of Appalachia. Republican Richard Nixon was able to eke out a narrow victory, though, winning the popular vote by a 43.4-42.7 percent margin (barely 500,000 votes of almost 73 million cast) and a wider 301-191 Electoral College vote margin.
Presidential Elections, 1968. Click here to explore further.