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1968 Republican National Convention
1968 presidential election
Nixon and Agnew
Date(s)August 5–8, 1968
CityMiami Beach, Florida
VenueMiami Beach Convention Center
Keynote speakerDaniel J. Evans
Presidential nomineeRichard M. Nixon of New York
Vice presidential nomineeSpiro T. Agnew of Maryland
Total delegates1,333
Votes needed for nomination667 (majority)
Results (president)Nixon (NY): 1,238 (92.87%)
Rockefeller (NY): 93 (6.98%)
Reagan: (CA): 2 (0.15%)
Results (vice president)Agnew (MD): 1,119 (83.95%)
Romney (MI): 186 (13.95%)
Lindsay (NY): 10 (0.75%)
Others: 2 (0.15%)
Not Voting: 16 (1.20%)
‹ 1964 · 1972 ›

The 1968 Republican National Convention was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Dade County, Florida, USA, from August 5 to August 8, 1968, to select the party's nominee in the general election. It nominated former Vice President Richard M. Nixon for president and Maryland Governor Spiro T. Agnew for vice president. It was the fourth time Nixon had been nominated on the Republican ticket as either its vice presidential (1952 and 1956) or presidential candidate (1960). Symbolic of the South's changing political affiliation, this was the first Republican National Convention held in a prior Confederate State.

Political context

Main article: 1968 Republican Party presidential primaries

The Miami Beach Convention Center was the site of the 1968 Republican National Convention.

Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, emerged as the frontrunner again for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination. Nixon had been the Republican Party nominee in the 1960 presidential election, and lost to Democratic Party candidate John F. Kennedy.

The so-called "New Nixon" in the 1968 presidential election devised a "Southern strategy," taking advantage of the region's opposition to racial integration and other progressive/liberal policies of the Democratic Party and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Nixon was nominated on the first ballot with 692 votes to 277 votes for Nelson Rockefeller, 182 votes for California Governor Ronald Reagan and the rest scattered. He was able to secure the nomination to the support of many Southern delegates, after he and his subordinates made concessions to Strom Thurmond and Harry Dent on civil rights, the Supreme Court, and the selection of a vice presidential candidate.[1]

Nixon decided not to re-select his 1960 running mate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., and House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford of Michigan proposed New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay for vice president. Nixon turned instead to another perceived moderate, Maryland Governor Spiro T. Agnew. Agnew, former Baltimore County Executive in the Baltimore City suburbs (1963–1967), and since Governor of Maryland, had come to Republican leaders and Nixon's attention when he summoned several Black civic, religious, and political leaders in Baltimore to the local State Office Building complex, following the disastrous April 1968 riots which enveloped Black sections of East and West Baltimore in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. Agnew complained of the Black leaders' lack of support after a number of what he perceived to be positive projects, programs and support by his Republican administration for the minority communities in the city. Agnew's biting comments caused many in the audience to walk out. Agnew was seen as a candidate who could appeal to Rockefeller Republicans, was acceptable to Southern Conservatives, and had a solid law-and-order record.[2]

In his acceptance speech, Nixon deplored the state of the union and urged a return to law and order both at home and abroad:

When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in Vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world can't manage its own economy, when the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented racial violence, when the President of the United States cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home, then it's time for new leadership for the United States of America.[3]

Nixon also said that he had "a good teacher", referring to Eisenhower, and made the delegates happy with the statement "Let's win this one for Ike!" Eisenhower was not present during Nixon's speech nor during any part of the convention. Due to failing health, he was under doctor's orders not to travel, but addressed the convention by telephone. He died the following March.


The following were placed into nomination:

Nominated for President

Nominated for Vice President

The Republican Convention Tally results

This was the last time during the 20th Century that two siblings (the Rockefeller brothers) received votes at a convention.

The Republican Convention Tally[4]
President (before switches) (after switches) Vice President Vice-Presidential votes
Richard M. Nixon 692 1238 Spiro T. Agnew 1119
Nelson Rockefeller 277 93 George Romney 186
Ronald Reagan 182 2 John V. Lindsay 10
Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes 55 Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke 1
Michigan Governor George Romney 50 James A. Rhodes 1
New Jersey Senator Clifford Case 22 Not Voting 16
Kansas Senator Frank Carlson 20
Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller 18
Hawaii Senator Hiram Fong 14
Harold Stassen 2
New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay 1

Results by state

Results of the convention by state
     Nixon      Rockefeller      Reagan      Romney      Various[a]
Nixon supporters at the convention
Rockefeller supporters at the convention
Reagan supporters at the convention

The balloting by state was as follows:[5][6][7]

Alabama 14 12
Alaska 11 1
Arizona 16
Arkansas 18
California 86
Colorado 14 3 1
Connecticut 4 12
Delaware 9 3
Florida 32 1 1
Georgia 21 2 7
Hawaii 14
Idaho 9 5
Illinois 50 5 3
Indiana 26
Iowa 13 8 3
Kansas 20
Kentucky 22 2
Louisiana 19 7
Maine 7 7
Maryland 18 8
Massachusetts 34
Michigan 4 44
Minnesota 9 15 1 1
Mississippi 20
Missouri 16 5 3
Montana 11 3
Nebraska 16
Nevada 9 3
New Hampshire 8
New Jersey 18 22
New Mexico 8 1 5
New York 4 88
North Carolina 9 1 16
North Dakota 5 2 1
Ohio 2 55 1
Oklahoma 14 1 7
Oregon 18
Pennsylvania 22 41 1
Rhode Island 14
South Carolina 22
South Dakota 14
Tennessee 28
Texas 41 15
Utah 2 6
Vermont 9 3
Virginia 22 2
Washington 15 3 6
West Virginia 11 3
Wisconsin 30
Wyoming 12
District of Columbia 6 3
Puerto Rico 5
U.S. Virgin Islands 2 1
Total 692 277 182 55 50 22 20 18 14 2 1

See also


  1. ^ Favorite sons received support from Ohio (Jim Rhodes), Hawaii (Hiram Fong), New Jersey (Clifford Case), Kansas (Frank Carlson), and Arkansas (Winthrop Rockefeller).


  1. ^ Perlstein, Rick (2008). Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America. New York: Scribner. pp. 295–303. ISBN 978-0-7432-4302-5.
  2. ^ Perlstein, pp. 299-304
  3. ^ "Address Accepting the Presidential Nomination at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  4. ^ Troy, Schlesinger & Israel 2012, pp. 1318–1319.
  5. ^ "Lebanon Daily News". Lebanon, PA. August 8, 1968. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  6. ^ "The News-Herald". Franklin, PA. August 8, 1968. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "1968 Republican Convention Roll Call". CBS Radio News. August 1968. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.


Preceded by
Daly City, California
Republican National Conventions Succeeded by
Miami Beach, Florida