George Wallace: The Election and the Electorate
The Election Day results confirmed the basic predictions of the opinion polls: George Wallace secured almost 10,000,000 votes, or about 13.5 per cent of the total voting electorate. He captured five states with forty-five electoral votes. All of them were in the Deep South. With one exception, these were the same states won by Barry Goldwater in 1964. Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana voted for Goldwater and Wallace. Wallace also carried Arkansas, which went to Lyndon Johnson four years earlier, and lost two states, carried by Goldwater: South Carolina, the home state of Nixon's southern leader, the 1948 Dixiecrat candidate, Strom Thurmond; and Arizona, Goldwater's home state. The breakdown of Wallace strength by region is reported in Table 52.
Since the support for Wallace seemingly declined considerably between early October and Election Day, falling from about 21 per cent to 13 per cent, an analysis of his actual polling strength is obviously important. Fortunately, the Gallup poll conducted a national survey immediately after the election in which it inquired both how respondents voted and whether they had supported another candidate earlier in the campaign. The data of this survey were made available by the Gallup poll for our analysis. They are particularly useful, since it would appear that most voters who had supported Wallace, but shifted to another candidate, did report this fact to Gallup interviewers. Among white respondents, 13 per cent indicated they had voted for Wallace, while another 9 per cent stated that they had been for him at an earlier stage in the campaign. The results are presented in Table 53.