The Seven Biggest Presidential Blowouts in U.S. History

4. 1972: 520–17
(96.65 percent of the electoral vote)

Incumbent President Richard Nixon’s term was dominated by struggles at home and abroad. Racial tensions continued to simmer throughout the country. The war in Vietnam escalated and dragged on and provided the Democratic Party with a campaign argument, ending the war. Nixon promised to do just that, but the war wasn't over in 1972.

After a contentious primary campaign, former Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota emerged with the Democratic Party nomination, besting, among others, Humphrey, Lyndon Johnson’s Vice-president and the 1968 nominee.

The President ran for re-election and enjoyed large amounts of support in opinion polls throughout the campaign. McGovern, already running behind in the polls, saw his stock further diminish when he had to replace his vice-presidential candidate directly after the national convention. In the end, Nixon won an overwhelming victory, capturing 49 states, including McGovern's home state of South Dakota. The Democrat won Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, totaling 17 electoral votes, to 520 for Nixon. (One Virginia elector cast a ballot for another candidate entirely.)

3. 1984: 525–13
(97.58 percent of the electoral vote) Incumbent President Ronald Reagan, enjoying a resurgent economy, ran for re-election in 1984. His Democratic challenger was Minnesota Gov. Walter Mondale.

One of Mondale's main issues was a campaign to reduce the federal budget deficit. He also voiced support for the Equal Rights Amendment.

But the election was very much a question of voters believed Reagan's claim that it was "morning in America again."

Reagan's popularity, his tough stance against the spread of Communism, and the country's rising prosperity propelled the President to a massive win. Mondale won only one state, Minnesota, and that by fewer than 4,000 votes.

Reagan won the District of Columbia and the other 49 states. His electoral vote total of 525 remains the highest ever. Mondale won just 13 electoral votes.

2. 1936: 523–8
(98.49 percent of the electoral vote)

The Great Depression continued throughout President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term. Some of the proposals the President introduced had an effect, putting many people back to work. The newly implemented Social Security program proved to be a huge hit. Other plans met with some success; still others, notably the National Recovery Act, ran into trouble (in the case of the NRA, being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court).

Roosevelt ran for re-election against Republican Alf Landon, the governor of Kansas, who did very little campaigning, which was the norm, and agreed with much of Roosevelt's program, which was not, at least among Republican circles.

The result was the most lopsided electoral count in the history of the country. Roosevelt carried all but two states, New Hampshire and Vermont. Landon won eight electoral votes in all and lost his home state in the bargain. Roosevelt outdistanced Landon in the popular vote total by 11 million.

Number 1

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David White