1976 United States presidential election in Tennessee
The 1976 United States presidential election in Tennessee was held on November 2, 1976. The Democratic Party candidate, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter won the state of Tennessee with 56% of the vote against Republican Party candidate, President Gerald Ford, carrying the state’s ten electoral votes.
Carter, a native Southerner from neighboring Georgia, carried Tennessee with a 13% margin of victory against incumbent Ford. The Watergate scandal had severely damaged Ford's predecessor, Richard Nixon, who had resigned in 1974 as a result, and the Republican Party as a whole. The relatively unknown Carter campaigned as a Washington outsider free of the corruption of Watergate, and thus appealed to many voters in the country, including Tennessee.
As was normal during this era, Carter carried Western Tennessee and Middle Tennessee, the most Democratic regions in the state, by landslide margins, which included the major cities of Memphis and Nashville, the state capital. Carter even made inroads in traditionally Republican East Tennessee, though Ford kept the region in his column with his wins in the major cities of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Carter even outperformed by 0.44% Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 result during that President’s national landslide.
This was the first occasion since Oklahoma became a state in 1907 that Tennessee and Oklahoma produced a different popular vote winner, an occurrence replicated only in 1992 and 1996. As of the 2016 presidential election[update], this is the last presidential election in which the Democratic candidate won Tennessee with a majority of the popular vote. Bill Clinton would carry the state in both his 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, though with pluralities, even with Tennessee native Al Gore on the tickets. This is also the last election in which Williamson County, Sullivan County, Madison County, Hamblen County, Cumberland County, McMinn County, Loudon County, Monroe County, Rhea County, and Chester County voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote||Electoral
|Count||Percentage||Vice-presidential candidate||Home state||Electoral vote|
|Jimmy Carter||Democratic||Georgia||825,879||55.94%||10||Walter Mondale||Minnesota||10|
|Gerald Ford||Republican||Michigan||633,969||42.94%||0||Bob Dole||Kansas||0|
|Thomas J. Anderson||Independent||Tennessee||5,769||0.39%||0||Rufus Shackelford||Florida||0|
|Lester Maddox||Independent||Georgia||2,303||0.16%||0||William Dyke||Wisconsin||0|
|Roger MacBride||Independent||Virginia||1,375||0.09%||0||David Bergland||California||0|
|Gus Hall||Independent||New York||547||0.04%||0||Jarvis Tyner||New York||0|
|Lyndon LaRouche||Independent||New York||512||0.03%||0||R. Wayne Evans||Michigan||0|
|Benjamin Bubar||Independent||Maine||442||0.03%||0||Earl Dodge||Colorado||0|
|Ernest Miller||Independent||—||316||0.02%||0||Roy Eddy||—||0|
|Needed to win||270||270|
- "1976 Presidential General Election Results - Tennessee". Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016