Back in May, George McGovern trailed President Nixon in the polls by a mere 49 per cent to 41 per cent. The final results of Tuesday's voting showed Nixon trouncing the South Dakota Senator by garnering just under 61 per cent of the vote.
McGovern and his fellow Democrats are trying to figure out just what went wrong.
One thing is certain, McGovern's own personal campaigning did little to help himself in his quest for the nation's highest office.
In the seven largest states, where McGovern made a major effort, he received no better than 44 per cent of the vote. Nixon carried California and Michigan with 56 per cent of the vote, took New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois with 60 per cent, and won Texas by a whopping 67 per cent.
McGovern also did poorly with groups which have traditionally been the backbone of the Democratic party. McGovern became the first Democrat in history to lose a majority of the Roman Catholic vote. The South Dakota Senator also became the first Democrat in recent memory to not carry blue collar workers.
The young voters, who McGovern had hoped would deliver him a plurality of 8 million nation wide seem to have split their votes evenly between the two candidates.
Apparently former Secretary of the Treasury John Connolly's organization. Democrats for Nixon, had some effect on the outcome. About 36 per cent of the nation's Democrats voted for the President. In normal elections, about 16 per cent of the nation's Democrats will vote for the Republican candidate.
Yet in every part of the country, there were remarkable swings back to the Democratic column after the presidential voting.
Despite their landslide defeat in the presidential balloting, the Democrats increased their margin in the Senate by two, giving them a total of 57 seats. They only lost 13 seats in the House, thus retaining a comfortable 243-192 margin in that body.