Historic Margins of Victory in NH Primary

As candidates, the media, and activists play the expectations game about what constitutes an impressive margin of victory in the New Hampshire primary, here is some historical perspective for all contested Republican primaries since 1952:

Rank Year Margin Winner
1 1980 27.0% Reagan 49.8%, GHW Bush 22.8%, Baker 12.9%
2 2000 18.1% McCain 48.5%, GW Bush, 30.4%, Forbes 12.7%
3 1992 15.6% GHW Bush 53.2%, Buchanan 37.6%
4 1964 13.2% Lodge 35.5%, Goldwater 22.3%, Rockefeller 21.0%
5 1952 11.6% Eisenhower 50.2%, Taft 38.6%
6 1988 9.2% GHW Bush 37.8%, Dole 28.6%, Kemp 12.7%, Dupont 10.7%
7 2008 5.4% McCain 37.0%, Romney 31.6%, Huckabee 11.2%, Giuliani 8.5%, Paul 7.7%
8 1976 1.5% Ford 50.1%, Reagan 48.6%
9 1996 1.1% Buchanan 27.3%, Dole 26.2%, Alexander 22.6%, Forbes 12.2%

In 1960, Nixon’s was the only name on the ballot and he received 89.3%.

In 1968, Nixon won with 77.6% and Rockefeller received 10.8% via write-ins (margin: 66.8%).

In 1972, Nixon received 67.6% and Pete McCloskey received 19.8% (margin: 47.8).

In 1984, Reagan received 86.4% of the vote.GaryHart (!) placed second in the GOP primary via nearly 4,000 write-ins.

 

Sources: NH Secretary of State’s Office and “First in the Nation” by Charles Brereton.

 fergus@ferguscullen.com, January 3, 2012

Author: Fergus Cullen

Fergus Cullen is a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party (2007-2008) and an editorial page columnist for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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