United States presidential election, 1924: Wikis


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1920 United States 1928
United States presidential election, 1924
November 4, 1924
Calvin Coolidge photo portrait head and shoulders.jpg John William Davis.jpg Robert M. La Follette, Sr. .jpg
Nominee Calvin Coolidge John W. Davis Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Party Republican Democratic Progressive
Home state Massachusetts West Virginia Wisconsin
Running mate Charles G. Dawes Charles W. Bryan Burton K. Wheeler
Electoral vote 382 136 13
States carried 35 12 1
Popular vote 15,723,789 8,386,242 4,831,706
Percentage 54.0% 28.8% 16.6%
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Coolidge/Dawes, Blue denotes those won by Davis/Bryan, Green denotes those won by La Follette/Wheeler. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

Previous President
Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge

The United States presidential election of 1924 was won by incumbent President Calvin Coolidge, the Republican candidate. Coolidge became president in 1923 following the death of then-incumbent president, Warren G. Harding. Coolidge was given credit for a booming economy at home and no visible crises abroad. He was aided by a split within the Democratic Party. The regular Democratic candidate was John W. Davis, a little-known former congressman and diplomat from West Virginia. Since Davis was a conservative, many liberal Democrats bolted the party and backed the third-party campaign of Wisconsin Senator Robert M. LaFollette, Sr., who ran as the candidate of the Progressive Party. This was the first presidential election in which all American Indians were citizens and thus allowed to vote. Coolidge's 25.2-point victory margin in the popular vote is one of the largest ever.




Republican Party nomination

Republican Candidates

The Republican Convention was held in Cleveland from June 10 to June 12, with the easy choice of nominating incumbent President Coolidge for a full term of his own.

Presidential vote
Presidential ballot 1 Vice-presidential ballot 1 2 Before shifts 2 After shifts 3
President Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts 1065 White House Budget Director Charles Dawes of Illinois 149 111 49 682.5
Wisconsin Senator Robert LaFollette 34 Former Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden 222 413 766 0
California Senator Hiram Johnson 10 Ohio Congressman Theodore E. Burton 139 288 94 0
Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover of California 0 0 0 234.5
Iowa Senator William S. Kenyon 172 95 68 75
Pennsylvia Congressman George S. Graham 81 0 0 0
Indiana Senator James E. Watson 79 55 7 45
Kansas Senator Charles Curtis 56 31 24 0
Missouri Governor Arthur M. Hyde 55 36 36 0
Nebraska Senator George W. Norris 35 0 0 0
Iowa Senator Smith W. Brookhart 0 31 0 0
Utah delegate Frank T. Hines 28 1 0 0
Charles A. March 28 0 0 0
Tennessee Congressman James W. Taylor 21 20 27 27
Former Maryland Senator William P. Jackson 23 0 0 10
Ambassador to Japan Charles B. Warren of New York 10 1 23 14
Former Delaware Senator Thomas C. DuPont 0 0 3 11
Montana Governor Joseph M. Dixon 6 0 0 2
Indiana Congressman Everett Sanders 0 0 0 4
Former U.S. Army Major General James G. Harbord of New York 1 0 0 3
Former Indiana Senator Albert J. Beveridge 0 0 0 2
John L. Coulter of North Dakota 1 0 0 1
California Businessman William Wrigley 1 0 0 1
Army Chief of Staff John J. Pershing of Missouri 0 0 0 0

Former Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden was nominated for Vice-President, but he declined. Charles Dawes, a prominent Republican businessman was nominated instead.

Democratic Party nomination

Democratic candidates:

The 1924 Democratic National Convention was held in New York from June 24 to July 9. The two leading candidates were William G. McAdoo of California, former Secretary of the Treasury and son-in-law of former President Woodrow Wilson; and Governor Al Smith of New York. The balloting revealed a clear geographic and cultural split in the party, as McAdoo was supported mostly by rural, Protestant delegates from the South, West, and small-town Midwest who were supporters of Prohibition (called "drys"). In some cases McAdoo's delegates were also supporters of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which was at its peak of nationwide popularity in the 1920s, with chapters in all 48 states and 4 to 5 million members. Governor Smith was supported by the anti-Prohibition forces (called "wets"), many Roman Catholics and other ethnic minorities, big-city delegates in the Northeast and urban Midwest, and by liberal delegates opposed to the influence of the Ku Klux Klan.

An example of the deep split within the party came in a brutal floor fight over a proposal to publicly condemn the Klan; most of McAdoo's delegates in the South and West opposed the motion, while most of Smith's big-city delegates supported it. In the end the motion failed to carry by a single vote; William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate, argued against condemning the Klan for fear that it would permanently split the party. Wendell Willkie, who would go on to become the Republican Party's 1940 presidential candidate, was a Democratic delegate in 1924 and he supported the proposal to condemn the KKK. The bitter fight between the McAdoo and Smith delegates over the KKK set the stage for the nominating ballots to come.

Due to the two-thirds rule governing nominations, neither McAdoo, who briefly got a majority of the votes halfway through the balloting, nor Smith, were able to get the two-thirds majority necessary to win. However, neither candidate would back down, and so the deadlock continued for days on end, as ballot after ballot was taken with neither McAdoo or Smith getting close to enough delegates to win the nomination. Eventually the convention would go to over 100 ballots, becoming the longest-running political convention in American history. Will Rogers, a popular comedian of the era, joked that New York had invited the Democratic delegates to visit the city, not to live there.

Due to the great divide in the Democratic Party, the convention could have gone on for a great deal longer. However, with some state delegations running low on money and unable to stay in the city for any longer, on the 100th ballot both Smith and McAdoo mutually withdrew as candidates. This allowed the convention's delegates to search for a compromise candidate acceptable to both Smith and McAdoo supporters.[1] Finally, on the 103rd ballot the exhausted convention turned to John W. Davis, an obscure former Congressman from West Virginia who later became a name partner at the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, as the presidential nominee. The Democrat's disarray prompted Will Rogers's famous quip: "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"

Nebraska Governor Charles W. Bryan, William Jennings Bryan's brother, was nominated for Vice President, in order to gain the support of the party's rural voters who still saw Bryan as their leader.

Presidential vote
Ballot 1 15 100 Ballot 1 15 100
John W. Davis 31 61 203.5 Calvin Coolidge 1 0 0
William G. Mcadoo 431.5 479 190 Henry T. Allen 1 1 0
Alfred E. Smith 241 305.5 351.5 John T. Barnett 1 0 0
James M. Cox 59 60 0 William J. Bryan 1 1 1
John W. Davis 31 61 203.5 John M. Callahan 0 0 1
Pat Harrison 43.5 20.5 0 William Coyne 0 0 1
Oscar W. Underwood 42.5 39.5 41.5 William Dever 1 1 0
George S. Silzer 38 0 0 Edward L. Dohney 0 0 1
Samuel M. Ralston 30 31 0 Edward I. Edwards 1 1 0
Woodbridge N. Ferris 30 0 0 William A. Gaston 1 1 0
Carter Glass 25 25 35 Gilbert M. Hitchcock 1 1 0
Albert C. Ritchie 22.5 17.5 17.5 J. Holmes Jackson 0 0 1
Joseph T. Robinson 21 20.5 46 J. Richard Kevin 0 1 1
Martin Behrman 20 18 5 Rowland Kreds 0 0 1
Jonathan M. Davis 20 11 0 William Maloney 1 1 0
Charles W. Bryan 18 11 2 Fred Martin 1 1 0
Fred H. Brown 17 9 0 Belle Miller 0 0 1
Royal S. Copeland 17 12 0 Atlee Pomerene 1 0 0
Cordell Hull 13 18 20 Will Rogers 1 0 1
William Sweet 12 0 0 Thomas J. Spellacy 1 0 0
Homer S. Cummings 9 0 0 Cora Wilson Stewart 1 1 0
David F. Houston 9 5 2 George L. Berry 0 1 2
Willard Saulsbury 7 6 6 Newton D. Baker 1 28 58
John Kendrick 6 0 0 David F. Houston 0 0 9
Albert A. Murphree 4 6 2 James W. Gerard 0 0 10
John S. Battle 3 7 20 Robert L. Owen 0 0 20
Thomas R. Marshall 3 0 0 Thomas J. Walsh 33 50 123
David I. Walsh 3 5 0 Houston Thompson 1 0 0
Franklin D. Roosevelt 2 5 1 Burton K. Wheeler 2 0 0

Progressive Party

Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr., who had left the Republican Party and formed his own political party, the Progressive Party, in Wisconsin, was so upset over both political parties choosing conservative candidates that he decided to run as a third-party candidate to give liberals from both parties an alternative. He thus accepted the presidential nomination of the United States Progressive Party. A longtime champion of labor unions, and an ardent foe of big business, La Follette was a fiery orator who had dominated Wisconsin's political scene for more than two decades. Backed by radical farmers, the AFL labor unions, and Socialists, LaFollette ran on a platform of nationalizing cigarette factories and other large industries. He also strongly supported increased taxation on the wealthy and the right of collective bargaining for factory workers. Despite a strong showing in labor strongholds and winning over 16% of the national popular vote, he carried only his home state of Wisconsin in the electoral college.

General election

The Fall Campaign

Election results by county.     Calvin Coolidge      John W. Davis      Robert M. La Follette

With the disastrous Democratic Convention having badly divided the Democrats, and with the economy booming, there was little doubt that Coolidge would win the election. His campaign slogan, "Keep Cool with Coolidge", was highly popular. Davis carried only the traditionally Democratic Solid South and Oklahoma; due to liberal Democrats voting for La Follette, Davis lost the popular vote to Coolidge by 25 percentage points. The Republicans did so well that they carried New York City, a feat they have not repeated since.


Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
Running mate Running mate's
home state
Running mate's
electoral vote
Count Pct
(John) Calvin Coolidge, Jr. Republican Massachusetts 15,723,789 54.0% 382 Charles Gates Dawes Illinois 382
John William Davis Democratic West Virginia 8,386,242 28.8% 136 Charles Wayland Bryan Nebraska 136
Robert Marion LaFollette Progressive Wisconsin 4,831,706 16.6% 13 Burton Kendall Wheeler Montana 13
Herman P. Faris Prohibition Missouri 55,951 0.2% 0 Marie C. Brehm California 0
William Z. Foster Communist Massachusetts 38,669 0.1% 0 Benjamin Gitlow New York 0
Gilbert Nations American 24,325 0.1% 0 Charles Hiram Randall California 0
Other 60,750 0.2% Other
Total 29,121,432 100% 531 531
Needed to win 266 266

Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. 1924 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (July 28, 2005).Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 31, 2005).

See also


  1. ^ Prude, James (1972). "William Gibbs McAdoo and the Democratic National Convention of 1924". The Journal of Southern History 38 (4): 621–628. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2206152. 

Further reading

  • Hicks, John Donald (1955). Republican Ascendancy 1921-1933. New York: Harper and Row. 
  • MacKay, K. C. (1947). The Progressive Movement of 1924. New York: Octagon Books. 
  • McCoy, Donald R. (1967). Calvin Coolidge: The Quiet President. New York: Macmillan. 
  • Murray, Robert K. (1976). The 103rd Ballot: Democrats and Disaster in Madison Square Garden. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 0060131241. 
  • Unger, Nancy C. (2000). Fighting Bob La Follette: The Righteous Reformer. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 080782545X. 

External links


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