The 1968 presidential election was a watershed in American politics. After dominating the political landscape for more than a generation, the Democratic Party crumbled. Richard M. Nixon was elected president and a new era of Republican conservatism was born. In Campaign '68, we look back 50 years to this dramatic story.
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The Candidates

The Minnesota maverick and Vietnam War critic challenged the sitting president, Democrat Lyndon Johnson. He energized young voters as never before.

To his followers, RFK was an almost messianic figure. But he was killed just as his bid for the Democratic nomination appeared to be succeeding.

The Republican candidate promised to end the Vietnam War and to restore law and order to a nation wracked by racial violence. Nixon's slick media campaign became a blueprint for presidential politics to follow.

The sitting vice president won the Democratic nomination and ran a surprisingly competitive campaign without much support from LBJ.

The former Alabama governor stirred the resentments of white, working-class Democrats. His appeal to this voting bloc helped shape GOP political strategy for the next 40 years.

Episode 1: A perilous course
Episode 2: Long odds
Episode 3: A figure of destiny
Episode 4: Fault lines
The politics of race
Historian Peniel Joseph explores how racial anxiety and resentment among white voters shaped the 1968 campaign -- and still shapes politics today.
Art of the spectacle
In 1968, Roger Ailes helped Nixon win the White House. Biographer Gabriel Sherman traces how the master manipulator shaped elections from Nixon to Trump.
The gender gap
Political scientist Lori Cox Han traces the growing role of women in politics from 1968 to now.
'A fundamentally divided society'
Historian Rick Perlstein traces the country's ideological divisions from John F. Kennedy's assassination through Richard Nixon's campaign to modern politics.
The Issues

The 1968 presidential contest was marked by surprising turns, tragic violence and a momentous outcome. Three major forces shaped these events: a controversial war, fractious race relations, and the rising power of television.

The Extras

Read the transcript.

View a timeline of the 1968 campaign season.

Links and resources.