U.S. presidential election, 1932

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

By the time of the U.S. presidential election of 1932, the effects of the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression were being felt intensely across the country. Across the world, governments felt the pressure for radical - even Socialist or Fascist - solutions to the economic crisis. President Hoover's popularity was falling as voters felt he was unwilling or unable to do what was needed.



Democratic Party nomination

At the Democratic Party Convention in Chicago, Illinois Franklin D. Roosevelt succeeded in getting the party's nomination on the third ballot, triumphing over John Nance Garner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and 1928 Democratic candidate Al Smith, as a result of a back room deal to make Garner his Vice President.

Republican Party nomination

Although Republicans were dispirited and attendance at the convention was poor, Hoover was the sitting president and faced only token opposition.

General election


1932 is universally considered to be a realigning election.

Roosevelt's campaign saw the New York governor committing himself to battling the Great Depression, promoting a platform with "Three R's - relief, recovery and reform." He coined the term "New Deal" when he stated: "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people."

President Hoover was widely perceived as being at least in part to blame for the Great Depression; for over 2 years Hoover had been issuing statements that the worst was over, only to have the economy make further downturns.

The election was held on November 8, 1932.

The Democratic Party Platform included repeal of National Prohibition (devolving the decision of allowing or prohibiting alcohol to the individual states to decide for themselves). How discredited prohibition had become can be seen from the fact that despite this threat, Prohibition Party candidate William D. Upshaw gathered but 81,872 votes. From now on the Prohibitionist movement would exist only as a small fringe with little influence on the mainstream of American politics.


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Source: U.S. Office of the Federal Register (

See also



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