The 1968 presidential elections – conclusion

The 1968 presidential elections buttressed the role of foreign policy in shaping the outcome of the US presidential elections. Although the elections were held during a period when there was a turbulent domestic environment that included rising social tensions due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Vietnam War became the most significant factor affecting the election outcome. This paper evaluates such influence of the foreign policy and the impact of the 1968 elections on future presidential elections.

The Vietnam War’s influence on the elections was noted with the incumbent’s aggravation of the US involvement in the war. Such a policy resulted into the development of a strong anti-war movement that influenced the choices available for voters to elect during the elections. The policy also resulted into the pressurizing of the incumbent to drop out of the nomination for the Democratic Party. Additionally, it gave the core presidential candidate from the Republican Party, Nixon, the impetus to advance the presidential campaigns. Nixon used criticism for the president’s policy to gain massive support, which was able to ensure victory even with a belated onslaught from the Democratic candidate. The implications of the elections were in respect to decline of partisanship and increase of issue-based politics in the US. Such was for instance evident from the rise of the independent candidates in the race following a presentation of candidates who were proponents of the war. The failure by such independent candidates to clinch victory however indicates that the trust in the two-party system was still a significant factor that influences the outcomes of elections.

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