The Election of 1916

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science
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The Election of 1916 Taylor Good POLI 423

Aftermath of 1912 Election  Wilson defeats a divided

Republican party  Teddy Roosevelt becomes jaded and does not wish to return to campaigning  The Progressive Party loses

hope for national candidacy

Washington D.C. after the Congressional Election of 1914  Incumbent Woodrow Wilson (D) in White House, eligible for

re-election  First Democratic President since 1896

 Democratic party controlled House of Representatives 230-

196-9 (D-R-3rd) and Senate 56-40 (D-R)

Issues  Social Policy  Prohibition  Suffrage  Women’s Suffrage  Tariffs  8 Hour Work Day

 Foreign Policy  Intervention in Europe

(WWI)  Military preparedness  Conflict with Mexico  “Hyphenism”

Democratic Nominating Convention  Wilson was widely regarded as the unanimous candidate  Was virtually unopposed in primaries

 Thomas R. Marshall, Wilson’s current Vice President, was

also re-nominated unopposed

Republican Pre-Convention  Conservative base supports Elihu Root

 Teddy Roosevelt, at first spurning nomination by any party,

decides to run without appearing to do so  Hughes support based on sentiments that Hughes was the only candidate who could beat Wilson  Several favorite sons and other favored candidates: Charles Fairbanks, Theodore E. Burton, Albert B. Cummins, Robert La Follette, Leonard Wood

Republican Primaries  Charles Hughes and Teddy Roosevelt refused to allow their

names be printed on primary ballots  A large amount of support for unrealistic favorite sons resulted

 Despite the primaries, from polls it was apparent that the

two real contenders were Hughes and Roosevelt  6,234 votes Roosevelt, 3,220 Hughes (n = 13,258) from a poll

by the Minneapolis Journal  758 Hughes, 275 Roosevelt, 138 Root (n = 1,500) from a Literary Digest poll

Republican Nominating Convention 

Threat of Progressive split forced support away from Root  Progressives held nominating convention at the same time in Chicago  Progressives threatened to nominate a candidate if Republicans did not nominate a candidate who appealed to Progressives

Hughes was nominated despite no early indication that he would accept nomination or what his stance was on the issues

Hughes won the nomination within 3 ballots

Fairbanks secured Vice-Presidential nomination  was well-liked but not qualified enough in foreign affairs to stand out as Presidential nominee

Woodrow Wilson: The Incumbent Democratic Nominee  Devoutly religious  Father was co-founder of

Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States

 Intellectual and academic  Taught law alongside Hughes

at New York Law School

 Former President of

Princeton University  Former Governor of New Jersey  Incumbent President

Wilson’s Party Influence and Issue Stance  Was instrumental in passing

Progressive reforms during first term  Reduction of tariffs, anti-

child labor, income tax, established Federal Reserve

 Known to be liberal and anti-

war but not a pacifist

 Wanted war preparedness,

but did not want to enter war immediately

 Had wide respect from the

Democratic party

Charles E. Hughes: The Republican Nominee  Son of a Northern Baptist  

 

Reverend Lawyer and Professor Reputation of having a cool, distant demeanor Former Governor of New York Secretary of State under Taft Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Hughes Party Influence and Issue Stance  Hughes was respected for being neither liberal nor

conservative  Hughes had operated “independent” of the political scene as a member of the Supreme Court  Hughes supported intervention in Europe, women’s suffrage, and protective tariffs

Campaign Strategy and Issue Emphasis: Democrat  Democrats focused on 

 

emphasizing liberal social legislation Campaign targeted Progressives who did not return to the Republican party and targeted the West “He Kept Us Out of War” Wilson was disinterested in campaigning across the country Attacked hyphenism  Caused issues with Irish-

American, Catholic vote

Campaign Strategy and Issue Emphasis: Republican  Silence on Wilson’s domestic policy  Was a massive hurdle for Hughes

 Was forced to appeal to peace-loving Progressives and

nationalists interested in war  Failed to court key political supporters in California, Ohio  Teddy Roosevelt campaigned for Hughes, delivered speeches supporting intervention

Election Results: Democratic Victory Despite winning a higher popular vote percentage when compared with the election of 1912, Wilson won fewer electoral votes in 1916 due to the unification of the Republican Party.

PV: 9,126,868-8,548,728 D-R 49.24%-46.12%


EV: 266 votes to win 277-254


52.2% -47.8%


Election Analysis Wilson had strong sectional support in the South and along the Mountain states, while Hughes had sectional support in the Northeast and Mid-North. Wilson picked up three states he had not won in the previous election: Ohio, New Hampshire, California. Victory hinged on California, whose PV margin was less than 4,000. Hughes was assumed to be the winner before the total vote count from California was transmitted east. Wilson appealed to the liberal vote and was able to capture Progressive and Western voters who were unwilling to support Hughes

Comparison between 1912 and 1916 Election of 1912

Election of 1916

Historical Significance and Future Impact  Wilson became first Democratic President since Andrew

Jackson (1829-1837) to succeed himself  Only time a Supreme Court Justice has been nominated for the office of the President  Wilson later intervenes in Europe in 1917  Intervention is paramount to Allied victory  Wilson advocates for League of Nations

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