Presidential Election, 1968

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  • The 1968 presidential election was one of the most tumultuous in modern American history. The year saw the peak of the Vietnam War, a culmination of self-destructive protest and counterculture at home, and the assassinations of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. The result—a victory by former vice president Richard Nixon over incumbent vice president Hubert Humphrey—inaugurated a four-decade period in which Republicans largely dominated the White House. From Richard Nixon through George W. Bush, traditional liberalism of the kind that had produced the Great Society was in retreat. During this period, even Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton more resembled moderate Republicans than New Dealers as a result of a realignment of both major political parties as well as the electorate.

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