1968 was a tumultuous time in American politics. Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he would not run for reelection, shocking the nation. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated nearly two months apart, King’s assassination sparking race riots in many large cities. Anti-Vietnam War protests were reaching fever pitch, leading to a massive protest at the Democratic National convention in which demonstrators clashed with police forces. But the 1968 election was the first presidential election after the passage of 1965’s Voting Rights Act leading to an influx of previously disenfranchised voters. Republican Richard Nixon defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey in a tight race. Nixon’s platform of “restoring law and order” was affective in the era of unrest.
- Doris A. Graber, “Press Coverage and Voter Reaction in the 1968 Presidential Election.” Political Science Quarterly 89 (1), March 1974, 68-100.