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1976 United States presidential election in Nevada

The 1976 United States presidential election in Nevada took place on November 2, 1976, as part of the 1976 United States presidential election. Voters chose three representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

United States presidential election in Nevada, 1976

← 1972 November 2, 1976 1980 →
  Gerald Ford, official Presidential photo.jpg Carter cropped.jpg
Nominee Gerald Ford Jimmy Carter
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Michigan Georgia
Running mate Bob Dole Walter Mondale
Electoral vote 3 0
Popular vote 101,273 92,479
Percentage 50.2% 45.8%

Nevada Presidential Election Results 1976.svg
County results

President before election

Gerald Ford
Republican

Elected President

Jimmy Carter
Democratic

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Nevada was coming off a landslide win by incumbent Mike O'Callaghan in the 1974 gubernatorial election over a severely divided opposition[1] and anger over the Watergate scandal.[2][3] However, veteran Democratic Senator Alan Bible, who had survived Nixon’s 1968 victory, retired and was replaced by Republican Paul Laxalt who won a narrow victory at the same time the GOP were suffering landslide losses in other races.

This presidential election saw Nevada hold its first ever presidential primary, won by California Governor Jerry Brown,[4] who had only entered the primaries two weeks beforehand after most were already conducted.[5]

Senator Paul Laxalt, who had supported Ford's rival Ronald Reagan in the Republican primaries earlier in 1976, nonetheless campaigned vigorously for Ford once he won the GOP nomination.[6] Consequently, despite the state having not voted against a winning Democratic nominee since 1892 and not for a losing Republican nominee since James G. Blaine in 1884, early October polls gave the state provisionally to Ford, with the lack of familiarity with Southern Evangelical Carter being viewed as a critical factor.[7] Two days before Nevada's voters were to enter the polls Ford remained a slight favorite.[6]

VoteEdit

Nevada was won by incumbent President Gerald Ford (RMichigan), with 50.17 percent of the popular vote, against Jimmy Carter (DGeorgia), with 45.81 percent of the popular vote. None of the third-party candidates amounted to a significant portion of the vote, as 2.53% of the voters either wrote-in another candidate or selected “no preference”.

Despite losing in Nevada, Carter went on to win the national election and became the 39th president of the United States.

Nevada has generally been a bellwether state since the early 20th century, and this election marked the first time since 1908 whereby Nevada was carried by the losing presidential candidate.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which a Democrat won the White House without Nevada, as well as the last time that Nye County, Storey County,[a] and Esmeralda County voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate.[8]

ResultsEdit

United States presidential election in Nevada, 1976[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Gerald Ford (inc.) 101,273 50.17%
Democratic Jimmy Carter 92,479 45.81%
Libertarian Roger MacBride 1,519 0.75%
American Independent Lester Maddox 1,497 0.74%
Write-In / No preference 5,108 2.53%
Total votes 201,876 100%

Results by countyEdit

Gerald Rudolph Ford
Republican
James Earl Carter
Democratic
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast
County or City # % # % # % # % #
Churchill County 2,358 53.04% 1,800 40.49% 288 6.48% 558 12.55% 4,446
Clark County 48,236 46.92% 51,178 49.78% 3,398 3.31% -2,942 -2.86% 102,812
Douglas County 3,095 58.60% 1,934 36.61% 253 4.79% 1,161 21.98% 5,282
Elko County 3,293 60.32% 1,955 35.81% 211 3.87% 1,338 24.51% 5,459
Esmeralda County 181 43.51% 214 51.44% 21 5.05% -33 -7.93% 416
Eureka County 272 58.24% 163 34.90% 32 6.85% 109 23.34% 467
Humboldt County 1,380 53.38% 1,074 41.55% 131 5.07% 306 11.84% 2,585
Lander County 561 49.96% 518 46.13% 44 3.92% 43 3.83% 1,123
Lincoln County 700 50.04% 642 45.89% 57 4.07% 58 4.15% 1,399
Lyon County 2,068 49.69% 1,866 44.83% 228 5.48% 202 4.85% 4,162
Mineral County 1,104 42.56% 1,361 52.47% 129 4.97% -257 -9.91% 2,594
Nye County 1,027 42.53% 1,261 52.22% 127 5.26% -234 -9.69% 2,415
Pershing County 635 46.93% 633 46.78% 85 6.28% 2 0.15% 1,353
Storey County 274 43.08% 310 48.74% 52 8.18% -36 -5.66% 636
Washoe County 29,264 54.98% 21,687 40.74% 2,276 4.28% 7,577 14.24% 53,227
White Pine County 1,543 41.27% 2,009 53.73% 187 5.00% -466 -12.46% 3,739
Carson City 5,282 54.11% 3,874 39.69% 605 6.20% 1,408 14.42% 9,761
Totals 101,273 50.17% 92,479 45.81% 8,124 4.02% 8,794 4.36% 201,876

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Storey County did give a plurality to Independent Ross Perot in 1992.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Malcolm, Andrew H.; ‘Woman, 39, Wins the Republican Primary for Governor in Nevada: G. O. P. House Winner’; New York Times, September 5, 1974, p. 27
  2. ^ Broder, David S.; ‘Nationwide Sweep Nets 6 Governors, Over 30 in House: Democrats Solidify Control Of Congress, State Capitols’; The Washington Post, November 6, 1974, p. A1
  3. ^ Broder, David; ‘Democrats savor nationwide gains: Albert calls vote a mandate’; Boston Globe, November 7, 1974, p. 1
  4. ^ Winchester, Simon; ‘Jimmy Carter takes a tumble on his trip to Wild West’; The Guardian, 27 May, 1976, p. 2
  5. ^ ‘Jerry-Come-Lately’, New York Times, May 11, 1976, p. 32
  6. ^ a b ‘The West’; Boston Globe, October 31, 1976, p. 48
  7. ^ ‘State by State:: A Nationwide Survey’; The Washington Post, October 3, 1976, p. 36
  8. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  9. ^ David Leip. "1976 Presidential General Election Results – Nevada". Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-10-29.