1972 Republican Party presidential primaries

The 1972 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Incumbent President Richard Nixon was again selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1972 Republican National Convention held from August 21 to August 23, 1972, in Miami, Florida. This is the earliest Republican Convention where one of the candidates is still alive as of 2019.

Republican Party presidential primaries, 1972

March 7 to June 6, 1972
  Richard Nixon presidential portrait Colorized John M. Ashbrook
Candidate Richard Nixon John M. Ashbrook
Home state California Ohio
Contests won 18 0
Popular vote 5,378,704 317,048
Percentage 86.9% 5.1%

Republican presidential primary results, 1972
First place finishes by preference primary results

Previous Republican nominee

Richard Nixon

Republican nominee

Richard Nixon

Primary race

Nixon was a popular incumbent president in 1972, as he seemed to have reached détente with China and the USSR. He shrugged off the first glimmers of what, after the election, became the massive Watergate scandal.

Polls showed that Nixon had a strong lead. He was challenged by two minor candidates, liberal Pete McCloskey of California and conservative John Ashbrook of Ohio. McCloskey ran as an anti-war and anti-Nixon candidate, while Ashbrook opposed Nixon's détente policies towards China and the Soviet Union. In the New Hampshire primary McCloskey's platform of peace garnered 19% of the vote to Nixon's 67%, with Ashbrook receiving 10%. Having previously stated that he would withdraw from the race had he not achieved 20% of the vote, McCloskey did so.

Nixon won 1,347 of the 1,348 delegates to the GOP convention, with McCloskey receiving the vote of one delegate from New Mexico.[1]


Colorized John M. Ashbrook

Representative John Ashbrook of Ohio

Paul McCloskey

Representative Pete McCloskey of California

Statewide contests by winner

Richard Nixon John Ashbrook Pete McCloskey
March 7 New Hampshire 67.61% 9.69% 19.79%
March 14 Florida 86.98% 8.84% 4.18%
March 21 Illinois 96.96% 0.51% 0.14%
April 4 Wisconsin 96.91% 0.91% 1.28%
April 25 Massachusetts 81.18% 3.98% 13.46%
April 25 Pennsylvania 82.88% - -
May 2 Indiana 100% - -
May 2 Ohio 100% - -
May 4 Tennessee 95.81% 2.11% 2.07%
May 6 North Carolina 94.80% - 5.20%
May 9 Nebraska 92.38% 2.57% 4.64%
May 16 Maryland 86.17% 5.83% 8.00%
May 16 Michigan 95.52% - 2.88%
May 23 Oregon 81.97% 5.92% 10.41%
May 23 Rhode Island 88.27% 3.12% 6.01%
June 6 California 90.14% 9.85% -
June 6 New Mexico 88.46% - 6.07%
June 6 South Dakota 100% - -
  • Italics - Write-In Votes

See also


  1. ^ "Nixon Renominated". Partners.nytimes.com. 1972-08-23. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
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