United States presidential election, 1944

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United States presidential election, 1944
United States
1940 ←
November 7, 1944
→ 1948

531 electoral votes of the Electoral College
266 electoral votes needed to win
 FDRin1942.jpgThomasDewey.png
NomineeFranklin D. RooseveltThomas E. Dewey
PartyDemocraticRepublican
Home stateNew YorkNew York
Running mateHarry S. TrumanJohn W. Bricker
Electoral vote43299
States carried3612
Popular vote25,612,91622,017,929
Percentage53.4%45.9%

United States presidential election in Alabama, 1944United States presidential election in Arizona, 1944United States presidential election in Arkansas, 1944United States presidential election in California, 1944United States presidential election in Colorado, 1944United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1944United States presidential election in Delaware, 1944United States presidential election in Florida, 1944United States presidential election in Georgia, 1944United States presidential election in Idaho, 1944United States presidential election in Illinois, 1944United States presidential election in Indiana, 1944United States presidential election in Iowa, 1944United States presidential election in Kansas, 1944United States presidential election in Kentucky, 1944United States presidential election in Louisiana, 1944United States presidential election in Maine, 1944United States presidential election in Maryland, 1944United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1944United States presidential election in Michigan, 1944United States presidential election in Minnesota, 1944United States presidential election in Mississippi, 1944United States presidential election in Missouri, 1944United States presidential election in Montana, 1944United States presidential election in Nebraska, 1944United States presidential election in Nevada, 1944United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1944United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1944United States presidential election in New Mexico, 1944United States presidential election in New York, 1944United States presidential election in North Carolina, 1944United States presidential election in North Dakota, 1944United States presidential election in Ohio, 1944United States presidential election in Oklahoma, 1944United States presidential election in Oregon, 1944United States presidential election in Pennsylvania, 1944United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1944United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1944United States presidential election in South Dakota, 1944United States presidential election in Tennessee, 1944United States presidential election in Texas, 1944United States presidential election in Utah, 1944United States presidential election in Vermont, 1944United States presidential election in Virginia, 1944United States presidential election in Washington, 1944United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1944United States presidential election in Wisconsin, 1944United States presidential election in Wyoming, 1944United States presidential election in Delaware, 1944United States presidential election in Maryland, 1944United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1944United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1944United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1944United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1944United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1944United States presidential election in Vermont, 1944United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1944ElectoralCollege1944.svg
About this image
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.

President before election

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

Elected President

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

 
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United States presidential election, 1944
United States
1940 ←
November 7, 1944
→ 1948

531 electoral votes of the Electoral College
266 electoral votes needed to win
 FDRin1942.jpgThomasDewey.png
NomineeFranklin D. RooseveltThomas E. Dewey
PartyDemocraticRepublican
Home stateNew YorkNew York
Running mateHarry S. TrumanJohn W. Bricker
Electoral vote43299
States carried3612
Popular vote25,612,91622,017,929
Percentage53.4%45.9%

United States presidential election in Alabama, 1944United States presidential election in Arizona, 1944United States presidential election in Arkansas, 1944United States presidential election in California, 1944United States presidential election in Colorado, 1944United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1944United States presidential election in Delaware, 1944United States presidential election in Florida, 1944United States presidential election in Georgia, 1944United States presidential election in Idaho, 1944United States presidential election in Illinois, 1944United States presidential election in Indiana, 1944United States presidential election in Iowa, 1944United States presidential election in Kansas, 1944United States presidential election in Kentucky, 1944United States presidential election in Louisiana, 1944United States presidential election in Maine, 1944United States presidential election in Maryland, 1944United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1944United States presidential election in Michigan, 1944United States presidential election in Minnesota, 1944United States presidential election in Mississippi, 1944United States presidential election in Missouri, 1944United States presidential election in Montana, 1944United States presidential election in Nebraska, 1944United States presidential election in Nevada, 1944United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1944United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1944United States presidential election in New Mexico, 1944United States presidential election in New York, 1944United States presidential election in North Carolina, 1944United States presidential election in North Dakota, 1944United States presidential election in Ohio, 1944United States presidential election in Oklahoma, 1944United States presidential election in Oregon, 1944United States presidential election in Pennsylvania, 1944United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1944United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1944United States presidential election in South Dakota, 1944United States presidential election in Tennessee, 1944United States presidential election in Texas, 1944United States presidential election in Utah, 1944United States presidential election in Vermont, 1944United States presidential election in Virginia, 1944United States presidential election in Washington, 1944United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1944United States presidential election in Wisconsin, 1944United States presidential election in Wyoming, 1944United States presidential election in Delaware, 1944United States presidential election in Maryland, 1944United States presidential election in New Hampshire, 1944United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1944United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1944United States presidential election in Connecticut, 1944United States presidential election in West Virginia, 1944United States presidential election in Vermont, 1944United States presidential election in Rhode Island, 1944ElectoralCollege1944.svg
About this image
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.

President before election

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

Elected President

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

The United States presidential election of 1944 was the 40th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 1944. Incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought his fourth term in office; he was challenged by Republican Thomas E. Dewey.

The election was set in the backdrop of World War II, which was going well for the United States and its Allies. Roosevelt had already served longer than any other president, but remained popular. Unlike in 1940, there was little doubt that he would run for another term as the Democratic candidate. Dewey, the Governor of New York, campaigned against the New Deal and for a smaller government, but was ultimately unsuccessful in convincing the country to change course. Rumors of Roosevelt's ill health, though somewhat dispelled by his vigorous campaigning, proved to be prescient; Roosevelt would die and be replaced by his new Vice President, Harry S. Truman, within a half-year of winning re-election.

Nominations[edit]

Republican Party[edit]

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 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. Taft surprised many by announcing that he was not a candidate; instead, he voiced his support for a fellow conservative, Governor John W. Bricker of Ohio. With Taft out of the race some Republican 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 entered his name in the Wisconsin primary nonetheless. 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 nomination. At the 1944 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, 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.

Democratic Party nomination[edit]

Democratic candidates:

Candidates gallery[edit]

Roosevelt/Truman poster

Roosevelt was a popular, war-time incumbent and faced little formal opposition. Although many Southern Democrats distrusted Roosevelt's racial policies, he brought enormous war activities to the region and the end of its marginal status was in sight. No major figure opposed Roosevelt publicly, and he was re-nominated easily when the Democratic Convention met in Chicago. Some pro-segregationist delegates tried to unite behind Virginia senator Harry F. Byrd, but he refused to actively campaign against Roosevelt, and did not get enough delegates to seriously threaten the President's chances.

The obvious physical decline in the president's appearance, as well as rumors of secret health problems, led many delegates and party leaders to oppose Henry A. Wallace strongly for vice-president. Opposition to Wallace came especially from Catholic leaders in big cities and labor unions. Wallace, who was Roosevelt'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. He had performed so poorly as economic coordinator that Roosevelt had to remove him from that post. Numerous party leaders privately sent word to Roosevelt that they would fight Wallace's re-nomination as vice-president and proposed instead Senator Harry S. Truman, a moderate from Missouri. Truman was highly visible as the chairman of a Senate wartime committee investigating fraud and inefficiency in the war program. Roosevelt, who personally liked Wallace and knew little about Truman, reluctantly agreed to accept Truman as his vice-presidential candidate to preserve party unity.[1] Even so, many delegates on the left 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 victory on the second ballot. The fight over the vice-presidential nomination proved to be consequential; Roosevelt died in April 1945, and Truman became the nation's 33rd President instead of Wallace.[2]

Vice Presidential Ballot
Ballot1st2nd Before Shifts2nd After Shifts
Harry S. Truman319.5477.51,031
Henry A. Wallace429.5473105
John H. Bankhead9823.50
Scott W. Lucas61580
Alben W. Barkley49.5406
J. Melville Broughton43300
Paul V. McNutt31281
Prentice Cooper262626
Scattering118.5207

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

General election[edit]

The Fall Campaign[edit]

Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage for the winning candidate. Shades of blue are for Roosevelt (Democratic), shades of red are for Dewey (Republican), and shades of green are for "No Candidate" (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 Republican 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, Oklahoma, 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 Roosevelt'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.

Results[edit]

Throughout the campaign, Roosevelt led Dewey in all the polls by various margins. In the election on November 7, 1944, Roosevelt scored a fairly 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 Roosevelt's previous three Republican opponents, and he did have the personal satisfaction of beating Roosevelt in his 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, though by a much smaller margin.

As he had in 1940, Roosevelt won re-election with a lower percentage of both the electoral vote and the popular vote than he had received in the prior elections—the second of only three presidents in US history to do so, preceded by James Madison in 1812 and followed by Barack Obama in 2012. Andrew Jackson in 1832 and Grover Cleveland in 1892 had received more electoral votes but fewer popular votes, while Woodrow Wilson in 1916 had received more popular votes but fewer electoral votes.

Presidential candidatePartyHome statePopular voteElectoral
vote
Running mate
CountPctVice-presidential candidateHome stateElect. vote
Franklin D. RooseveltDemocraticNew York25,612,91653.39%432Harry S. TrumanMissouri432
Thomas E. DeweyRepublicanNew York22,017,92945.89%99John W. BrickerOhio99
(none)Texas Regulars(n/a)135,4390.28%0(none)(n/a)0
Norman ThomasSocialistNew York79,0170.16%0Darlington HoopesPennsylvania0
Claude A. WatsonProhibitionCalifornia74,7580.16%0Andrew N. JohnsonKentucky0
Edward A. TeichertSocialist LaborPennsylvania45,1880.09%0Arla ArbaughOhio0
Other11,8160.02%Other
Total47,977,063100%531531
Needed to win266266

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).

Popular vote
Roosevelt
  
53.39%
Dewey
  
45.89%
No Candidate
  
0.28%
Thomas
  
0.16%
Others
  
0.28%
Electoral vote
Roosevelt
  
81.36%
Dewey
  
18.64%

Results by state[edit]

[3]

States won by Roosevelt/Truman
States won by Dewey/Bricker
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic
Thomas E. Dewey
Republican
No Candidate
Southern Democrat/
Texas Regulars
Norman Thomas
Socialist
OtherMarginState Total
Stateelectoral
votes
# %electoral
votes
# %electoral
votes
# %electoral
votes
# %electoral
votes
# %electoral
votes
# %#
Alabama11198,91881.281144,54018.20----1900.08-1,0950.45-154,37863.08244,743AL
Arizona480,92658.80456,28740.90-------4210.31-24,63917.90137,634AZ
Arkansas9148,96569.95963,55129.84----4380.21----85,41440.11212,954AR
California251,988,56456.48251,512,96542.97----2,5150.07-16,8310.48-475,59913.513,520,875CA
Colorado6234,33146.40-268,73153.216---1,9770.39-----34,400-6.81505,039CO
Connecticut8435,14652.308390,52746.94----5,0970.61-1,2200.15-44,6195.36831,990CT
Delaware368,16654.38356,74745.27----1540.12-2940.23-11,4199.11125,361DE
Florida8339,37770.328143,21529.68----------196,16240.65482,592FL
Georgia12268,18781.741259,88018.25----60.00-360.01-208,30763.49328,109GA
Idaho4107,39951.554100,13748.07----2820.14-5030.24-7,2623.49208,321ID
Illinois282,079,47951.52281,939,31448.05----1800.00-17,0880.42-140,1653.474,036,061IL
Indiana13781,40346.73-875,89152.3813---2,2230.13-12,5740.75--94,488-5.651,672,091IN
Iowa10499,87647.49-547,26751.9910---1,5110.14-3,9450.37--47,391-4.501,052,599IA
Kansas8287,45839.18-442,09660.258---1,6130.22-2,6090.36--154,638-21.07733,776KS
Kentucky11472,58954.4511392,44845.22----5350.06-2,3490.27-80,1419.23867,921KY
Louisiana10281,56480.591067,75019.39-------690.02-213,81461.20349,383LA
Maine5140,63147.45-155,43452.445------3350.11--14,803-4.99296,400ME
Maryland8315,49051.858292,94948.15----------22,5413.70608,439MD
Massachusetts161,035,29652.8016921,35046.99-------4,0190.21-113,9465.811,960,665MA
Michigan191,106,89950.19191,084,42349.18----4,5980.21-9,3030.42-22,4761.022,205,223MI
Minnesota11589,86452.4111527,41646.86----5,0730.45-3,1760.28-62,4485.551,125,529MN
Mississippi9168,47993.56911,6016.44----------156,87887.12180,080MS
Missouri15807,80451.3715761,52448.43----1,7510.11-1,3950.09-46,2802.941,572,474MO
Montana4112,55654.28493,16344.93----1,2960.63-3400.16-19,3939.35207,355MT
Nebraska6233,24641.42-329,88058.586----------96,634-17.16563,126NE
Nevada329,62354.62324,61145.38----------5,0129.2454,234NV
New Hampshire4119,66352.114109,91647.87----460.02----9,7474.24229,625NH
New Jersey16987,87450.3116961,33548.95----3,3580.17-11,1940.57-26,5391.351,963,761NJ
New Mexico481,38953.47470,68846.44-------1480.10-10,7017.03152,225NM
New York473,304,23852.31472,987,64747.30----10,5530.17-14,3520.23-316,5915.016,316,790NY
North Carolina14527,39966.7114263,15533.29----------264,24433.43790,554NC
North Dakota4100,14445.48-118,53553.844---9430.43-5490.25--18,391-8.35220,171ND
Ohio251,570,76349.82-1,582,29350.1825----------11,530-0.373,153,056OH
Oklahoma10401,54955.5710319,42444.20-------1,6630.23-82,12511.36722,636OK
Oregon6248,63551.786225,36546.94----3,7850.79-2,3620.49-23,2704.85480,147OR
Pennsylvania351,940,47951.14351,835,05448.36----11,7210.31-7,5390.20-105,4252.783,794,793PA
Rhode Island4175,35658.594123,48741.26-------4330.14-51,86917.33299,276RI
South Carolina890,60187.6484,6104.46-7,7997.54----3650.35-82,80280.10103,375SC
South Dakota496,71141.67-135,36558.334----------38,654-16.66232,076SD
Tennessee12308,70760.4512200,31139.22----7920.16-8820.17-108,39621.23510,692TN
Texas23821,60571.4223191,42516.64-135,43911.77-5940.05-1,2680.11-630,18054.781,150,331TX
Utah4150,08860.44497,89139.42----3400.14----52,19721.02248,319UT
Vermont353,82042.93-71,52757.063------140.01--17,707-14.12125,361VT
Virginia11242,27662.3611145,24337.39----4170.11-5490.14-97,03324.98388,485VA
Washington8486,77456.848361,68942.24----3,8240.45-4,0410.47-125,08514.61856,328WA
West Virginia8392,77754.898322,81945.11----------69,9589.78715,596WV
Wisconsin12650,41348.57-674,53250.3712---13,2050.99-1,0020.07--24,119-1.801,339,152WI
Wyoming349,41948.77-51,92151.233----------2,502-2.47101,340WY
TOTALS:53125,612,91653.3943222,017,92945.8999143,2380.30-79,0170.16-123,9630.26-3,594,9877.4947,977,063US

Close states[edit]

Margin of victory less than 5% (190 electoral votes):

  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%

Margin of victory between 5% and 10% (138 electoral votes):

  1. New York, 5.01%
  2. Connecticut, 5.36%
  3. Minnesota, 5.55%
  4. Indiana, 5.65%
  5. Massachusetts, 5.81%
  6. Colorado, 6.81%
  7. New Mexico, 7.03%
  8. North Dakota, 8.35%
  9. Delaware, 9.11%
  10. Kentucky, 9.23%
  11. Nevada, 9.24%
  12. Montana, 9.35%
  13. West Virginia, 9.78%

Miscellanea[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alonzo L. Hamby, Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman (1995) ch 17
  2. ^ Stanley Weintraub, Final Victory: FDR's Extraordinary World War II Presidential Campaign (2012) ch 2
  3. ^ "1944 Presidential General Election Data - National". Retrieved April 14, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]