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which led many Americans to believe that the North Vietnamese were stronger than had been reported, and that the war was not nearing an end.
From this point, most Americans either believed that the war should be escalated to completely destroy the enemy or that all American troops should be withdrawn from Vietnam to prevent the use of any more resources for the "hopeless task".
Even before Mc Carthy's entrance, Johnson grew concerned about a challenge.
He confided to Democratic Congressional leaders that an opponent could pull the support of Martin Luther King, Jr. Benjamin Spock, defeating him in New Hampshire, and forcing his withdrawal from the race; similar to Senator Estes Kefauver's 1952 challenge to President Harry Truman, which likely caused Truman not to seek re-election.
Prior to Humphrey's run, President Lyndon Johnson began a campaign for re-election, entering his name in the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary for March 1968.
Late in 1967, building upon anti-war sentiment, Senator Eugene Mc Carthy of Minnesota entered the race with heavy criticism of the President's Vietnam War policies.
The Hubert Humphrey presidential campaign of 1968 began when Vice President of the United States Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota decided to seek the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States following the announcement by President Lyndon B.
Johnson that he would not seek the party's nomination.
During the general election, Humphrey faced former Vice President Richard Nixon of New York, the Republican Party nominee.
Nixon led in most polls throughout the campaign, and successfully criticized Humphrey's role in Vietnam, connecting him to the unpopular president and the general disorder in the nation.
Humphrey experienced a surge in the polls in the days prior to the election, largely due to incremental progress in the peace process in Vietnam and a break with the Johnson war policy, but was defeated by Nixon on Election Day.
Hubert Humphrey was first elected to public office in 1945 as Mayor of Minneapolis.
The Johnson campaign tried many tactics to negate the war's detractors before the New Hampshire primary, including the circulation of the slogan, "the communists in Vietnam are watching...don't vote for fuzzy thinking and surrender".