|Source: NBC News-|
Th 1968 presidential election was one of the closest presidential elections in American history. Where the national media didn't know who was going to win going in and probably not even the Nixon Humphrey campaign's didn't know who was going to win going in either. Which is what made this election so fascinating. This was also the first election where both parties essentially switched basically. Where the South was no longer the solid South for the Democratic Party, where they started becoming the solid South for the Republican Party. Barry Goldwater opened up the South for the Republicans in 1964 by actually campaigning in some of those States. Even though Senator Goldwater lost, most of the rest of the country but he campaigned in the South and actually won some States in 1964. And Richard Nixon saw the opening there and campaigned for Congressional Republicans in 1966, after 1964 had been a disaster for Congressional Republicans and the GOP picked up a bunch of seats in both the House and Senate in 1966. As well as 1968.
And the GOP finally started putting some big dents in the Congressional Democrats huge majorities in both the House and Senate. These are some of the reasons why the 1968 general elections are so important. The Republican Party not only won back the White House for the first time since 1960 in 1968, they finally became players again in Congress. Again for the first time since 1956. Instead of being forced work in coalition with Southern Democrats to block legislation from the Democratic Leadership. And the GOP found a path to not only hold onto power, but to increase power and gain additional power, that they picked up in 1980 when they won the White House and Senate in 1980. They accomplished all of this by winning in Dixie. 1968 is where we started seeing two somewhat unified political parties in America ideologically. Where the Democratic Party started becoming the party of working class voters, as well as racial and ethnic minorities. And where the Republican Party became the party of wealthy Northeastern Americans and the Christian Right in the South and Midwest.