Humphrey was nominated as the Democratic candidate after President Lyndon B. Johnson declined to run for reelection. Sen. Edmund Muskie (1914-1996) was Humphrey's running mate. Although Humphrey promised peace in Vietnam, he was dogged by Johnson Administration policies that had embroiled the United States in the war. Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) ran as the Republican candidate. George Wallace (1919-1998) and Curtis LeMay (1906-1990) ran under the conservative American Independent Party label.
Humphrey arrived at Boeing Field on the afternoon of September 28, and was greeted by fewer than 600 supporters, many of whom were children. At the Seattle Center Arena, approximately 200 members of the anti-war Peace and Freedom Party heckled Humphrey from the gallery. Humphrey stated, "I shall not be driven from the platform by a handful of people who believe in nothing" (Seattle P-I). Seattle police escorted 15 of the protesters out of the arena.
Humphrey told supporters that he would "de-Americanize" (Seattle P-I) the War in Vietnam by replacing U.S. troops with Vietnamese troops. He said that Richard Nixon's plan to combat crime with more convictions would not make citizens safer.
After the rally, protesters marched on the Olympic Hotel where Humphrey spent the night.
On November 5, 1968, Humphrey carried King County and the state of Washington, but lost the national vote to Nixon.