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U.S. presidential election, 1912

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Presidential electoral votes by state.
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Presidential electoral votes by state.

The U.S. presidential election of 1912 was fought among three major candidates, two of whom had served as President of the United States. Incumbent President William Howard Taft was nominated by the Republican party with the support of the establishment wing of the party, despite the fact that former President Theodore Roosevelt had won all but one of the Republican primaries; at the convention, the Republicans' progressive wing split off as the Bull Moose Party and nominated Roosevelt. Democrat Woodrow Wilson, nominated by his own Party on the 46th ballot of a contentious convention, defeated both in the general election, winning a vast majority in the Electoral College with only 42% of the popular vote, and initiating the only period between 1897 and 1933 when a Democrat would be elected President.

Contents

Nominations

Republican Party nomination

The Republican Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois 8 June to 22 June. Even though Roosevelt had won all but one of the primaries, Republicans renominated William Howard Taft and James S. Sherman, incidentally making Sherman the first vice president since Richard M. Johnson to be nominated for reelection.

On the evening of June 22, 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt asked his supporters to leave the floor of the Republican National Convention in Chicago. Roosevelt maintained that President Taft had allowed fraudulent seating of delegates in order to capture the presidential nomination from progressive forces within the Party. Taft's poor showing against Roosevelt in the primaries, the latter contended, evidenced popular support for a more progressive Republican agenda.

The rift between progressive and conservative wings of the Republican Party had been apparent even before Roosevelt left office in 1908. Roosevelt's support of government regulation, his groundbreaking efforts in conservation and consumer protection, and his willingness to work with organized labor alienated pro-business party members. When Roosevelt tapped William Howard Taft as his successor, he had assumed Taft would continue to support this agenda. Taft's record suggested a leader sympathetic to reform, but the former jurist's attention to the letter of the law irritated Roosevelt and disappointed Republican progressives.

Progressive Party nomination

Republican progressives reconvened in Chicago's Orchestra Hall and endorsed the formation of a national progressive party. When formally launched later that summer, the new Progressive Party chose Roosevelt as its presidential nominee. Questioned by reporters, Roosevelt said he felt as strong as a "bull moose." Thenceforth known as the "Bull Moose Party," the Progressives promised to increase federal regulation and protect the welfare of ordinary people.

Democratic Party nomination

The Democratic Convention was held in Baltimore, Maryland from 25 June to 2 July. After a long deadlock, former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan threw his support to Woodrow Wilson in order to defeat Missouri Representative Champ Clark. Wilson received the nomination on the 46th ballot.

General election

Campaign

The 1912 presidential campaign was bitterly contested. Vice President James S. Sherman died in office on October 30, 1912, less than a week before the election, leaving Taft without a running mate. With the Republican Party divided, Wilson captured the presidency handily on November 5.

Theodore Roosevelt's strong third-party candidacy resulted in the only instance in the 20th century of a third party candidate receiving more votes than one of the major party candidates: although he failed to become chief executive again, Roosevelt succeeded in his vendetta against Taft, who received just twenty-three percent of the popular vote compared to Roosevelt's twenty-seven percent.

Nicholas Butler was selected to receive the electoral votes from Utah and Vermont that would have gone to Sherman.

Source: Library of Congress (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jun22.html)

Results

Template:Start U.S. presidential ticket box Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:U.S. presidential ticket box row Template:End U.S. presidential ticket box (a) Template:U.S. popular vote total disclaimer


State by state results



Woodrow Wilson Theodore Roosevelt William Taft Eugene V. Debs
electoral
votes
State count % electoral
votes
count % electoral
votes
count % electoral
votes
count % electoral
votes
12 Alabama 82,438 69.9 12 22,680 19.2 9,807 8.3 3,029 2.6
3 Arizona 10,324 44.1 3 6,949 29.7 2,986 12.7 3,163 13.5
9 Arkansas 68,814 55.4 9 21,644 17.4 25,585 20.6 8,153 6.6
13 California 283,436 43.6 *2 283,610 43.6 *11 3,847 0.6 79,201 12.2
6 Colorado 113,912 43.7 6 71,752 27.6 58,386 22.4 16,366 6.3
7 Connecticut 74,561 39.9 7 34,129 18.2 68,324 36.5 10,056 5.4
3 Delaware 22,631 47.1 3 8,886 18.5 15,997 33.3 556 1.2
6 Florida 35,343 72.2 6 4,555 9.3 4,279 8.7 4,806 9.8
14 Georgia 93,087 76.7 14 21,985 18.1 5,191 4.3 1,058 0.9
4 Idaho 33,921 32.5 4 25,527 24.5 32,810 31.5 11,960 11.5
29 Illinois 405,048 36.0 29 386,478 34.3 253,593 22.5 81,278 7.2
15 Indiana 281,890 44.6 15 162,007 25.6 151,267 23.9 36,931 5.8
13 Iowa 185,322 38.3 13 161,819 33.4 119,805 24.8 16,967 3.5
10 Kansas 143,663 39.3 10 120,210 32.9 74,845 20.5 26,779 7.3
13 Kentucky 219,484 48.9 13 101,766 22.7 115,510 25.8 11,646 2.6
10 Louisiana 60,871 76.8 10 9,283 11.7 3,833 4.8 5,261 6.6
6 Maine 51,113 39.7 6 48,495 37.7 26,545 20.6 2,541 2.0
8 Maryland 112,674 49.1 8 57,789 25.2 54,956 24.0 3,996 1.7
18 Massachusetts 173,408 35.8 18 142,228 29.4 155,948 32.2 12,616 2.6
15 Michigan 150,201 27.9 213,243 39.6 15 151,434 28.2 23,060 4.3
12 Minnesota 106,426 32.8 125,856 38.8 12 64,334 19.8 27,505 8.5
10 Mississippi 57,324 88.9 10 3,549 5.5 1,560 2.4 2,050 3.2
18 Missouri 330,746 47.8 18 124,375 18.0 207,821 30.1 28,466 4.1
4 Montana 28,129 35.1 4 22,709 28.3 18,575 23.2 10,811 13.5
8 Nebraska 109,008 44.3 8 72,681 29.5 54,226 22.0 10,185 4.1
3 Nevada 7,986 39.7 3 5,620 27.9 3,196 15.9 3,313 16.5
4 New Hampshire 34,724 39.7 4 17,794 20.4 32,927 37.7 1,981 2.3
14 New Jersey 178,638 41.6 14 145,679 33.9 89,066 20.7 15,948 3.7
3 New Mexico 20,437 41.9 3 8,347 17.1 17,164 35.2 2,859 5.9
45 New York 655,573 41.9 45 390,093 24.9 455,487 29.1 63,434 4.1
12 North Carolina 144,407 59.3 12 69,135 28.4 29,129 12.0 987 0.4
5 North Dakota 29,549 34.7 5 25,726 30.2 22,990 27.0 6,966 8.2
24 Ohio 424,834 41.5 24 229,807 22.5 278,168 27.2 90,164 8.8
10 Oklahoma 119,143 47.4 10 not on ballot 90,726 36.1 41,630 16.6
5 Oregon 47,064 35.5 5 37,600 28.3 34,673 26.1 13,343 10.1
38 Pennsylvania 395,637 33.0 444,894 37.2 38 273,360 22.8 83,614 7.0
5 Rhode Island 30,412 39.5 5 16,878 21.9 27,703 36.0 2,049 2.7
9 South Carolina 48,355 96.0 9 1,293 2.6 536 1.1 164 0.3
5 South Dakota 48,942 43.5 58,811 52.3 5 not on ballot 4,664 4.1
12 Tennessee 133,021 53.0 12 54,041 21.5 60,475 24.1 3,564 1.4
20 Texas 218,921 73.3 20 26,715 8.9 28,310 9.5 24,884 8.3
4 Utah 36,576 32.7 24,174 21.6 42,013 37.6 4 8,999 8.1
4 Vermont 15,350 24.9 22,129 35.9 23,303 37.8 4 928 1.5
12 Virginia 90,332 66.3 12 21,776 16.0 23,288 17.1 820 0.6
7 Washington 86,840 27.9 113,698 36.5 7 70,445 22.6 40,134 12.9
8 West Virginia 113,097 42.8 8 79,112 29.9 56,754 21.5 15,248 5.8
13 Wisconsin 164,230 42.0 13 62,448 16.0 130,596 33.4 33,476 8.6
3 Wyoming 15,310 36.6 3 9,232 22.1 14,560 34.8 2,760 6.6

count % electoral
votes
count % electoral
votes
count % electoral
votes
count % electoral
votes
531Totals: 6,293,15242.5435 4,119,20727.8 88 3,486,33323.6 8 900,369 6.1 0
percentages in this table do not take into account other candidates


Legacy

Despite an impressive showing in 1912, the Bull Moose Party failed to establish itself as a viable third party, especially after Roosevelt's death in 1919. Still active on the state level, Progressives did not field another Presidential candidate until the run of Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. in the election of 1924.

See also

Template:Uspresidentialelections

References

Book

  • James Chace, 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft, and Debs--The Election That Changed the Country, Simon and Schuster, May, 2004, hardcover, 448 pages, ISBN 0743203941

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