1972 United States presidential election in North Carolina

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United States presidential election in North Carolina, 1972

← 1968 November 7, 1972 1976 →
  Richard M. Nixon, ca. 1935 - 1982 - NARA - 530679.jpg GeorgeStanleyMcGovern.jpg
Nominee Richard Nixon George McGovern
Party Republican Democratic
Home state California South Dakota
Running mate Spiro Agnew Sargent Shriver
Electoral vote 13 0
Popular vote 1,054,889 438,705
Percentage 69.5% 28.9%

North Carolina Presidential Election Results 1972.svg
County Results

President before election

Richard Nixon

Elected President

Richard Nixon

The 1972 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on November 7, 1972, as part of the 1972 United States presidential election. Voters chose 13 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

North Carolina voted strongly for Republican nominee President Richard Nixon, over Democratic nominee Senator George McGovern. North Carolina voted overwhelmingly for President Nixon, who won 69.46% to 28.89%, one of the biggest margins in the country. This is the most Republican result in the state.

McGovern won only the typically extremely strong Democratic counties of Northampton and Orange – two counties with a record of having voted Democratic at every election since 1904, apart from Orange County’s vote against the Catholic Al Smith in 1928.[1] Even in these counties, where most Democratic candidates expect to receive well over 60% of the vote and Walter Mondale in his disastrous 1984 loss won by over 13 percent,[2] McGovern won by only 236 votes in Northampton County and 1,002 out of over 23,000 in Orange County.

In the process Nixon managed to challenge the long-established Democratic bastion in the state’s northeast, which rivals South Texas as the longest-lived extant Democrat stronghold in the entire United States. It is the only time since 1900 that Hoke,[3] Hertford[4] and Bertie Counties[5] have voted against the Democratic candidate, the only time that Durham and Washington Counties has voted for the Republican candidate since 1928, and the only time Anson,[6] Halifax,[7] Warren[8] and Edgecombe Counties[9] have supported a Republican candidate since 1896.[a]

This is the first election in which a presidential candidate won North Carolina with more than 1,000,000 votes.[citation needed] This is also the best Republican election performance in the history of the state.


United States presidential election in North Carolina, 1976[10]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Richard Nixon (incumbent) 1,054,889 69.46% 13
Democratic George McGovern 438,705 28.89% 0
American Independent John Schmitz 25,018 1.65% 0
Totals 1,518,612 100.0% 13
Voter turnout 44.35%


  1. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  2. ^ David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1984 Presidential General Election Data Graphs – North Carolina
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard; Hoke County, North Carolina
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard; Hertford County, North Carolina
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard; Bertie County, North Carolina
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard; Anson County, North Carolina
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard; Halifax County, North Carolina
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard; Warren County, North Carolina
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard; Edgecombe County, North Carolina
  10. ^ David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1972 Presidential General Election Data Graphs – North Carolina


  1. ^ Anson, Halifax, Warren and Edgecombe Counties had supported American Independent candidate George Wallace during the 1968 election