The Nixon-Ford Years

1972 Presidential Election

President Nixon sought reelection, with Vice President Agnew again his running mate. The Democratic nomination was hotly contested by Senators Edmund S. Muskie, George S. McGovern, Hubert H. Humphrey, and Henry Jackson and Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama. During the primary campaign, Wallace was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt. McGovern won the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in July. His original choice for a running mate, Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, withdrew from the ticket and was replaced by R. Sargent Shriver, Jr., brother-in-law of President John F. Kennedy and former director of the antipoverty program.

The Republicans focused the campaign on McGovern's political views, which they called radical. Nixon was reelected by one of the largest majorities in American history.