Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 1972
Nixon was a popular incumbent president in 1972, as he seemed to have reached détente with China and USSR. He shrugged off the first glimmers of what, after the election, became the massive Watergate scandal.
Polls showed that Nixon had a strong lead. He was challenged by two minor candidates, liberal Pete McCloskey of California and conservative John Ashbrook of Ohio. McCloskey ran as an anti-war and anti-Nixon candidate, while Ashbrook opposed Nixon's détente policies towards the China and the Soviet Union. In the New Hampshire primary McCloskey's platform of peace garnered 11% of the vote to Nixon's 83%, with Ashbrook receiving 6%.
Nixon won 1323 of the 1324 delegates to the GOP convention, with McCloskey receiving the vote of one delegate from New Mexico.