United States presidential election, 1944: Wikis

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1940 United States 1948
United States presidential election, 1944
November 7, 1944
FDR in 1933.jpg ThomasDewey.png
Nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt Thomas E. Dewey
Party Democratic Republican
Home state New York New York
Running mate Harry S. Truman John W. Bricker
Electoral vote 432 99
States carried 36 12
Popular vote 25,612,916 22,017,929
Percentage 53.4% 45.9%
ElectoralCollege1944.svg
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Dewey/Bricker, Blue denotes those won by Roosevelt/Truman. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

Incumbent President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

The United States presidential election of 1944 took place while the United States was preoccupied with fighting World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) had been in office longer than any other president, but remained popular. Unlike 1940, there was little doubt that Roosevelt would run for another term as the Democratic candidate. His Republican opponent in 1944 was New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. Dewey ran an energetic campaign, but there was little doubt, in the midst of a world war, that FDR would win a record fourth term.

Contents

Nominations

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Democratic Party nomination

Democratic candidates:

Candidates gallery

Roosevelt was a popular, war-time incumbent and faced little formal opposition. Although a growing number of the party's conservatives - especially in the South - were increasingly skeptical of Roosevelt's economic and social policies, few of them dared to publicly oppose Roosevelt, and he was renominated easily.

Although the party's conservatives could not stop FDR from winning the nomination, the obvious physical decline in the President's appearance, as well as rumors of secret health problems, led many delegates and party leaders to strongly oppose Henry Wallace. Wallace, who was FDR's second Vice-President, was regarded by most conservatives as being too left-wing and personally eccentric to be next in line for the Presidency. Many Democrats were uneasy with Wallace's New Age spiritual beliefs and by the fact that he had written coded letters discussing prominent politicians (such as Roosevelt and Winston Churchill) to his controversial Russian spiritual guru, Nicholas Roerich. Numerous party leaders privately told Roosevelt that they would fight Wallace's renomination, and they proposed Missouri Senator Harry Truman, a moderate who had become well-known as the chairman of a Senate wartime investigating committee, as FDR's new running-mate. Roosevelt, who personally liked Wallace and knew little about Truman, reluctantly agreed to accept Truman as his new running mate to preserve party unity. Even so, many liberal delegates refused to abandon Wallace, and they cast their votes for him on the first ballot. However, enough large Northern, Midwestern, and Southern states supported Truman to give him the victory on the second ballot. The fight over the vice-presidential nomination proved to be historic, as FDR's declining health led to his death in April 1945, and Truman thus became the nation's 33rd President instead of Wallace.

Vice Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st 2nd Before Shifts 2nd After Shifts
Harry S. Truman 319.5 477.5 1,031
Henry A. Wallace 429.5 473 105
John H. Bankhead 98 23.5 0
Scott W. Lucas 61 58 0
Alben W. Barkley 49.5 40 6
J. Melville Broughton 43 30 0
Paul V. McNutt 31 28 1
Prentice Cooper 26 26 26
Scattering 118.5 20 7

Source: Richard C. Bain & Judith H. Parris, Convention Decisions and Voting Records (Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 1973), pp. 266-267.

Republican Party

Republican candidates:

As 1944 began the frontrunners for the Republican nomination appeared to be Wendell Willkie, the party's 1940 candidate; Senator Robert Taft of Ohio, the leader of the party's conservatives; New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the leader of the party's powerful, moderate eastern establishment; General Douglas MacArthur, then serving as an Allied commander in the Pacific theater of the war; and former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, then serving as a U.S. naval officer in the Pacific. However, Taft surprised many by announcing that he was not a candidate; instead he voiced his support for a fellow conservative, Governor John Bricker of Ohio. With Taft out of the race some GOP conservatives favored General MacArthur. However, MacArthur's chances were limited by the fact that he was leading Allied forces against Japan, and thus could not campaign for the nomination. His supporters did enter his name in the Wisconsin primary. The Wisconsin primary proved to be the key contest, as Dewey won by a surprisingly wide margin; he took 14 delegates to four for Harold Stassen, while MacArthur won the three remaining delegates. Willkie was shut out in the Wisconsin primary; he did not win a single delegate. His unexpectedly poor showing in Wisconsin forced him to withdraw as a candidate for the nominaton. At the 1944 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Dewey easily overcame Bricker and was nominated on the first ballot. In a bid to maintain party unity, Dewey, a moderate, chose the conservative Bricker as his running mate; Bricker was nominated by acclamation.

General election

The Fall Campaign

Election results by county.      Franklin D. Roosevelt      Thomas Dewey      Texas Regulars

The Republicans campaigned against the New Deal, seeking a smaller government and less-regulated economy as the end of the war seemed in sight. Nonetheless Roosevelt's continuing popularity was the main theme of the campaign. To quiet rumors of his poor health, Roosevelt insisted on making a vigorous campaign swing in October, and rode in an open car through city streets. A high point of the campaign occurred when Roosevelt, speaking to a meeting of labor union leaders, gave a speech carried on national radio in which he ridiculed Republican claims that his administration was corrupt and wasteful with tax money. He particularly ridiculed a GOP claim that he had sent a US Navy warship to pick up his Scottish terrier Fala in Alaska, noting that "Fala was furious" at such rumors. The speech was met with loud laughter and applause from the labor leaders. In response, Dewey gave a blistering partisan speech in Oklahoma City a few days later on national radio, in which he accused Roosevelt of being "indispensable" to corrupt big-city Democratic organizations and American Communists; he also referred to members of FDR's cabinet as a "motley crew". However, American battlefield successes in Europe and the Pacific during the campaign, such as the liberation of Paris in August 1944 and the successful Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines in October 1944, made Roosevelt unbeatable.

In the election on November 7, 1944, Roosevelt scored a comfortable victory over Dewey. Roosevelt took 36 states for 432 electoral votes, while Dewey won 12 states and 99 electoral votes (266 were needed to win). In the popular vote Roosevelt won 25,612,916 votes to Dewey's 22,017,929. Dewey did better against Roosevelt than any of FDR's previous three Republican opponents, and he did have the personal satisfaction of beating Roosevelt in FDR's hometown of Hyde Park, New York, and of winning Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri. Dewey would again be the Republican presidential nominee in 1948 and would again lose, but by a much smaller margin.

The 1944 Presidential race was the last time both major-party nominees were from New York, or indeed, from the same state.

Results

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
vote
Running mate Running mate's
home state
Running mate's
electoral vote
Count Pct
Franklin D. Roosevelt Democratic New York 25,612,916 53.4% 432 Harry S. Truman Missouri 432
Thomas Edmund Dewey Republican New York 22,017,929 45.9% 99 John William Bricker Ohio 99
(none) Texas Regulars (n/a) 135,439 0.3% 0 (none) (n/a) 0
Norman Thomas Socialist New York 79,017 0.2% 0 Darlington Hoopes Pennsylvania 0
Claude Watson Prohibition California 74,758 0.2% 0 Andrew N. Johnson Kentucky 0
Other 57,004 0.1% Other
Total 47,977,063 100% 531 531
Needed to win 266 266

Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. 1944 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (August 1, 2005).Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (August 1, 2005).

Close states (margin of victory less than 5%)

  1. Ohio, 0.37%
  2. Michigan, 1.02%
  3. New Jersey, 1.35%
  4. Wisconsin, 1.80%
  5. Wyoming, 2.47%
  6. Pennsylvania, 2.78%
  7. Missouri, 2.94%
  8. Illinois, 3.47%
  9. Idaho, 3.49%
  10. Maryland, 3.70%
  11. New Hampshire, 4.24%
  12. Iowa, 4.50%
  13. Oregon, 4.85%
  14. Maine, 4.99%

Results by state


Franklin Roosevelt

Democratic

Thomas Dewey

Republican

Other State Total
State electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
# % electoral
votes
#
Alabama 11 198,918 81.3 11 44,540 18.2 - 1,285 0.5 - 244,743 AL
Arizona 4 80,926 58.8 4 56,287 40.9 - 421 0.3 - 137,634 AZ
Arkansas 9 148,965 70.0 9 63,551 29.8 - 438 0.2 - 212,954 AR
California 25 1,988,564 56.5 25 1,512,965 43.0 - 19,346 0.6 - 3,520,875 CA
Colorado 6 234,331 46.4 - 268,731 53.2 6 1,977 0.4 - 505,039 CO
Connecticut 8 435,146 52.3 8 390,527 46.9 - 6,317 0.8 - 831,990 CT
Delaware 3 68,166 54.4 3 56,747 45.2 - 448 0.4 - 125,361 DE
Florida 8 339,377 70.3 8 143,215 29.7 - not on ballot 482,592 FL
Georgia 12 268,187 81.7 12 59,880 18.3 - 42 0.0 - 328,109 GA
Idaho 4 107,399 51.6 4 100,137 48.1 - 785 0.4 - 208,321 ID
Illinois 28 2,079,479 51.5 28 1,939,314 48.1 - 17,268 0.4 - 4,036,031 IL
Indiana 13 781,403 46.7 - 875,891 52.4 13 14,797 0.9 - 1,672,091 IN
Iowa 10 499,876 47.5 - 547,267 52.0 10 5,456 0.5 - 1,052,599 IA
Kansas 8 287,458 39.2 - 442,096 60.3 8 4,222 0.6 - 733,776 KS
Kentucky 11 472,589 54.5 11 392,448 45.2 - 2,884 0.3 - 867,921 KY
Louisiana 10 281,564 80.6 10 67,750 19.4 - 69 0.0 - 349,383 LA
Maine 5 140,631 47.5 - 155,434 52.4 5 335 0.1 - 296,400 ME
Maryland 8 315,490 51.9 8 292,949 48.2 - not on ballot 608,439 MD
Massachusetts 16 1,035,296 52.8 16 921,350 47.0 - 4,019 0.2 - 1,960,665 MA
Michigan 19 1,106,899 50.2 19 1,084,423 49.2 - 13,901 0.6 - 2,205,223 MI
Minnesota 11 589,864 52.4 11 527,416 46.9 - 8,249 0.7 - 1,125,529 MN
Mississippi 9 168,479 93.6 9 11,601 6.4 - not on ballot 180,080 MS
Missouri 15 807,804 51.4 15 761,524 48.4 - 3,146 0.2 - 1,572,474 MO
Montana 4 112,556 54.3 4 93,163 44.9 - 1,636 0.8 - 207,355 MT
Nebraska 6 233,246 41.4 - 329,880 58.9 6 not on ballot 563,126 NE
Nevada 3 29,623 54.6 3 24,611 45.4 - not on ballot 54,234 NV
New Hampshire 4 119,663 52.1 4 109,916 47.9 - 46 0.0 - 229,625 NH
New Jersey 16 987,874 50.3 16 961,335 49.0 - 14,552 0.7 - 1,963,761 NJ
New Mexico 3 81,389 53.4 3 70,688 46.4 - 148 0.1 - 152,225 NM
New York 47 3,304,238 52.3 47 2,987,647 47.3 - 24,905 0.4 - 6,316,790 NY
North Carolina 14 527,399 66.7 14 263,155 33.3 - not on ballot 790,554 NC
North Dakota 4 100,144 45.5 - 118,535 53.8 4 1,492 0.7 - 220,171 ND
Ohio 25 1,570,763 49.8 - 1,582,293 50.2 25 not on ballot 3,153,056 OH
Oklahoma 10 401,549 55.6 10 319,424 44.2 - 1,663 0.2 - 722,636 OK
Oregon 6 248,635 51.8 6 225,365 46.9 - 6,147 1.3 - 480,147 OR
Pennsylvania 35 1,940,479 51.1 35 1,835,054 48.4 - 19,260 0.5 - 3,794,793 PA
Rhode Island 4 175,356 58.6 4 123,487 41.3 - 433 0.1 - 299,276 RI
South Carolina 8 90,601 87.6 8 4,610 4.5 - 8,164 7.9 - 103,375 SC
South Dakota 4 96,711 41.7 - 135,365 58.3 4 not on ballot 232,076 SD
Tennessee 12 308,707 60.5 12 200,311 39.2 - 1,674 0.3 - 510,692 TN
Texas 23 821,605 71.4 23 191,425 16.6 - 137,301 11.9 - 1,150,331 TX
Utah 4 150,088 60.9 4 97,891 39.4 - 340 0.1 - 248,319 UT
Vermont 3 53,820 42.9 - 71,527 57.1 3 14 0.0 - 125,361 VT
Virginia 11 242,276 62.4 11 145,243 37.4 - 966 0.3 - 388,485 VA
Washington 8 486,774 56.8 8 361,689 42.2 - 7,865 0.9 - 856,328 WA
West Virginia 8 392,777 54.9 8 322,819 45.1 - not on ballot 715,596 WV
Wisconsin 12 650,413 48.6 - 674,532 50.4 12 14,207 1.1 - 1,339,152 WI
Wyoming 3 49,419 48.8 - 51,921 51.2 3 not on ballot 101,340 WY
TOTALS: 531 25,612,916 53.4 432 22,017,929 45.9 99 346,218 0.7 - 47,977,063
TO WIN: 266

Miscellanea

  • The 1944 election would be the last election in which a Democratic presidential candidate carried every state in the South.
  • The 1944 election was the first since Grover Cleveland's re-election in 1892 in which the bellwether state of Ohio backed a losing candidate.
  • The 1944 election was the last election in which any candidate received over 90% of the vote in any state.
  • The passing of the 22nd Amendment of the United States Constitution in 1947 renders this election the only occasion in United States history in which a candidate has been allowed to run for a fourth term as president.

See also

The 1944 presidential race was the only one in history where both candidates hailed from the same county. Roosevelts home was in Hyde Park NY. Dewey called Pawling NY home. Both are in Dutchess County.

References

Further reading

  • Cantril, Hadley and Mildred Strunk, eds.; Public Opinion, 1935-1946 (1951), massive compilation of many public opinion polls from USA
  • Gallup, George Horace, ed. The Gallup Poll; Public Opinion, 1935-1971 3 vol (1972) esp vol 1; summarizes results of each poll as reported to newspapers

External links


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