United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1916
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1916
1916 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1912 November 7, 1916 1920 →
  Governor Charles Evans Hughes.jpg Woodrow Wilson-H&E.jpg Allan Louis Benson (1871-1940) circa 1915 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Charles E. Hughes Woodrow Wilson Allan L. Benson
Party Republican Democratic Socialist
Home state New York New Jersey New York
Running mate Charles W. Fairbanks Thomas R. Marshall George Ross Kirkpatrick
Electoral vote 13 0
Popular vote 220,822 191,363 27,631
Percentage 49.4% 42.8% 6.18%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1916.svg
County Results

President before election

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic

Elected President

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic

The 1916 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 7, 1916 as part of the 1916 United States presidential election. State voters chose thirteen electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

Ever since the decline of the Populist movement, Wisconsin had become almost a one-party state dominated by the Republican Party.[1] The Democratic Party became entirely uncompetitive outside certain German Catholic counties adjoining Lake Michigan as the upper classes, along with the majority of workers who followed them, completely fled from William Jennings Bryan's agrarian and free silver sympathies.[2] As Democratic strength weakened severely after 1894 - although the state did develop a strong Socialist Party to provide opposition to the GOP - Wisconsin developed the direct Republican primary in 1903 and this ultimately created competition between the "League" under Robert M. La Follette, and the conservative "Regular" faction.[3]

At the turn of the decade, the Democratic Party underwent a brief revival, as it made significant gains upon its small share of state legislative seats and many people in the state saw in New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson the possibility of the party returning to the progressive ideals it was felt to have deserted with Bryan fifteen years beforehand.[4] Wilson would carry Wisconsin in 1912 and in fact improve upon Bryan's share of the vote from 1908.

During his term, however, Wisconsin's heavily German-American population turned against Wilson, with the result that in 1914 the Democrats lost ground in the state legislature, and with the outbreak of war in Europe this opposition increased, because the concurrent Irish rebellion was believed to lie in the interests of the Central Powers, and Wilson was viewed as strongly pro-British.[5] The position of President Wilson as strongly pro-British was intensified when he failed to accept clemency for Roger Casement.[5]

Vote

Republican nominee Charles Evans Hughes campaigned in the state during September,[6] but President Wilson did not campaign in the state, although it was viewed as doubtful in September despite strong feelings that German-American opposition would eliminate Wilson's chance.[7] Near the end of October, a Tennessean polls suggested that Wilson would carry the state due to his anti-war sentiment,[8] but the Los Angeles Times said Hughes would carry the state by a "moderate margin" despite a straw poll in favour of Wilson.[9] The Oshkosh Northwestern on October 26 viewed the state as "doubtful", but said their polls indicated Hughes would win by around fifteen thousand votes.[10]

As things turned out, Wisconsin would be comfortably, if not overwhelmingly, carried by Republican nominee Hughes, who won the state by 6.59 percentage points. Sign of the collapse of German Catholic Democratic loyalties was seen in Hughes carrying Ozaukee County, which no Republican had ever won before and was Wisconsin's only county to resist the landslides against both William Jennings Bryan in 1896 and Alton Brooks Parker in 1904.[11] This German Catholic Democratic collapse - broken abruptly by a powerful vote for coreligionist Al Smith in 1928 and for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 - would be a major feature of interwar Wisconsin presidential politics.

Results

1916 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[12]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Charles Evans Hughes 220,822 49.39% 13
Democratic Woodrow Wilson 191,363 42.8% 0
Socialist Allan Benson 27,631 6.18% 0
Prohibition James Hanly 7,318 1.64% 0
Totals 447,134 100.0% 13

Results by county

County Charles Evans Hughes
Republican
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
Democratic
Allan Louis Benson
Socialist
James Franklin Hanly
Prohibition
Margin Total votes cast[13]
# % # % # % # % # %
Adams 957 51.15% 824 44.04% 48 2.57% 42 2.24% 133 7.11% 1,871
Ashland 1,998 51.98% 1,582 41.16% 187 4.86% 77 2.00% 416 10.82% 3,844
Barron 2,746 54.95% 1,863 37.28% 138 2.76% 250 5.00% 883 17.67% 4,997
Bayfield 1,320 51.10% 996 38.56% 226 8.75% 41 1.59% 324 12.54% 2,583
Brown 4,132 40.02% 5,771 55.90% 220 2.13% 201 1.95% -1,639 -15.88% 10,324
Buffalo 1,492 56.54% 1,043 39.52% 65 2.46% 39 1.48% 449 17.01% 2,639
Burnett 1,007 53.97% 638 34.19% 169 9.06% 52 2.79% 369 19.77% 1,866
Calumet 1,979 57.18% 1,382 39.93% 76 2.20% 24 0.69% 597 17.25% 3,461
Chippewa 3,324 58.15% 2,233 39.07% 71 1.24% 88 1.54% 1,091 19.09% 5,716
Clark 3,371 64.84% 1,614 31.04% 130 2.50% 84 1.62% 1,757 33.79% 5,199
Columbia 3,395 57.52% 2,299 38.95% 82 1.39% 126 2.13% 1,096 18.57% 5,902
Crawford 1,883 50.63% 1,764 47.43% 34 0.91% 38 1.02% 119 3.20% 3,719
Dane 6,931 40.13% 9,859 57.08% 192 1.11% 291 1.68% -2,928 -16.95% 17,273
Dodge 4,887 50.66% 4,519 46.85% 112 1.16% 128 1.33% 368 3.82% 9,646
Door 1,656 56.25% 1,204 40.90% 39 1.32% 45 1.53% 452 15.35% 2,944
Douglas 3,007 43.57% 2,940 42.60% 801 11.61% 154 2.23% 67 0.97% 6,902
Dunn 2,556 60.04% 1,447 33.99% 171 4.02% 83 1.95% 1,109 26.05% 4,257
Eau Claire 2,922 53.00% 2,290 41.54% 187 3.39% 114 2.07% 632 11.46% 5,513
Florence 412 69.36% 162 27.27% 9 1.52% 11 1.85% 250 42.09% 594
Fond du Lac 5,781 52.16% 5,021 45.30% 128 1.15% 154 1.39% 760 6.86% 11,084
Forest 738 52.19% 637 45.05% 17 1.20% 22 1.56% 101 7.14% 1,414
Grant 4,718 56.29% 3,459 41.27% 72 0.86% 133 1.59% 1,259 15.02% 8,382
Green 2,422 55.77% 1,687 38.84% 66 1.52% 168 3.87% 735 16.92% 4,343
Green Lake 1,647 53.47% 1,352 43.90% 34 1.10% 47 1.53% 295 9.58% 3,080
Iowa 2,271 48.78% 2,230 47.90% 20 0.43% 135 2.90% 41 0.88% 4,656
Iron 672 54.63% 475 38.62% 43 3.50% 40 3.25% 197 16.02% 1,230
Jackson 1,866 64.17% 963 33.12% 50 1.72% 29 1.00% 903 31.05% 2,908
Jefferson 3,785 49.57% 3,645 47.73% 86 1.13% 120 1.57% 140 1.83% 7,636
Juneau 2,292 58.65% 1,442 36.90% 109 2.79% 65 1.66% 850 21.75% 3,908
Kenosha 3,537 50.99% 2,813 40.55% 501 7.22% 86 1.24% 724 10.44% 6,937
Kewaunee 1,104 35.07% 2,011 63.88% 17 0.54% 16 0.51% -907 -28.81% 3,148
La Crosse 3,597 44.37% 4,123 50.86% 278 3.43% 108 1.33% -526 -6.49% 8,106
Lafayette 2,544 54.07% 2,059 43.76% 19 0.40% 83 1.76% 485 10.31% 4,705
Langlade 1,538 45.09% 1,755 51.45% 81 2.37% 37 1.08% -217 -6.36% 3,411
Lincoln 2,189 60.69% 1,282 35.54% 100 2.77% 36 1.00% 907 25.15% 3,607
Manitowoc 4,224 46.46% 4,338 47.72% 459 5.05% 70 0.77% -114 -1.25% 9,091
Marathon 5,838 57.03% 3,677 35.92% 607 5.93% 115 1.12% 2,161 21.11% 10,237
Marinette 2,767 53.12% 2,205 42.33% 145 2.78% 92 1.77% 562 10.79% 5,209
Marquette 1,377 58.75% 923 39.38% 15 0.64% 29 1.24% 454 19.37% 2,344
Milwaukee 27,831 34.78% 34,812 43.51% 16,943 21.18% 425 0.53% -6,981 -8.73% 80,011
Monroe 3,013 57.58% 1,991 38.05% 123 2.35% 106 2.03% 1,022 19.53% 5,233
Oconto 2,570 56.21% 1,892 41.38% 70 1.53% 40 0.87% 678 14.83% 4,572
Oneida 1,089 45.19% 1,054 43.73% 254 10.54% 13 0.54% 35 1.45% 2,410
Outagamie 5,302 52.97% 4,442 44.38% 164 1.64% 101 1.01% 860 8.59% 10,009
Ozaukee 1,610 49.42% 1,577 48.40% 51 1.57% 20 0.61% 33 1.01% 3,258
Pepin 766 53.23% 622 43.22% 25 1.74% 26 1.81% 144 10.01% 1,439
Pierce 1,945 51.88% 1,650 44.01% 73 1.95% 81 2.16% 295 7.87% 3,749
Polk 2,080 51.21% 1,713 42.17% 195 4.80% 74 1.82% 367 9.03% 4,062
Portage 2,520 44.52% 3,000 53.00% 71 1.25% 69 1.22% -480 -8.48% 5,660
Price 1,620 56.39% 1,049 36.51% 147 5.12% 57 1.98% 571 19.87% 2,873
Racine 5,081 47.77% 4,495 42.26% 455 4.28% 606 5.70% 586 5.51% 10,637
Richland 2,051 48.56% 1,845 43.68% 89 2.11% 239 5.66% 206 4.88% 4,224
Rock 7,011 61.09% 4,015 34.98% 224 1.95% 227 1.98% 2,996 26.10% 11,477
Rusk 989 47.59% 926 44.56% 115 5.53% 48 2.31% 63 3.03% 2,078
St. Croix 2,731 51.09% 2,352 44.00% 178 3.33% 84 1.57% 379 7.09% 5,345
Sauk 3,779 59.66% 2,257 35.63% 43 0.68% 255 4.03% 1,522 24.03% 6,334
Sawyer 550 46.57% 562 47.59% 52 4.40% 17 1.44% -12 -1.02% 1,181
Shawano 3,415 68.71% 1,367 27.51% 131 2.64% 57 1.15% 2,048 41.21% 4,970
Sheboygan 5,562 52.92% 3,885 36.96% 983 9.35% 80 0.76% 1,677 15.96% 10,510
Taylor 1,544 60.22% 845 32.96% 135 5.27% 40 1.56% 699 27.26% 2,564
Trempealeau 2,138 56.04% 1,578 41.36% 29 0.76% 70 1.83% 560 14.68% 3,815
Vernon 2,912 58.63% 1,830 36.84% 49 0.99% 176 3.54% 1,082 21.78% 4,967
Vilas 531 48.45% 467 42.61% 82 7.48% 16 1.46% 64 5.84% 1,096
Walworth 3,988 59.66% 2,440 36.50% 58 0.87% 199 2.98% 1,548 23.16% 6,685
Washburn 938 55.37% 644 38.02% 78 4.60% 34 2.01% 294 17.36% 1,694
Washington 2,892 50.30% 2,732 47.52% 76 1.32% 49 0.85% 160 2.78% 5,749
Waukesha 3,768 45.21% 4,192 50.29% 151 1.81% 224 2.69% -424 -5.09% 8,335
Waupaca 4,492 69.85% 1,720 26.75% 99 1.54% 120 1.87% 2,772 43.10% 6,431
Waushara 2,345 67.31% 1,015 29.13% 78 2.24% 46 1.32% 1,330 38.17% 3,484
Winnebago 5,923 50.49% 5,242 44.69% 406 3.46% 160 1.36% 681 5.81% 11,731
Wood 2,954 50.37% 2,625 44.76% 200 3.41% 86 1.47% 329 5.61% 5,865
Totals 220,822 49.39% 191,363 42.80% 27,631 6.18% 7,318 1.64% 29,459 6.59% 447,134

References

  1. ^ Burnham, Walter Dean; 'The System of 1896: An Analysis'; in The Evolution of American Electoral Systems, pp. 178-179 ISBN 0313213798
  2. ^ Sundquist, James; Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years, p. 526 ISBN 0815719094
  3. ^ Hansen, John Mark; Shigeo Hirano, and Snyder, James M. Jr.; 'Parties within Parties: Parties, Factions, and Coordinated Politics, 1900-1980'; in Gerber, Alan S. and Schickler, Eric; Governing in a Polarized Age: Elections, Parties, and Political Representation in America, pp. 165-168 ISBN 978-1-107-09509-0
  4. ^ Crews, Kenneth D.; 'Woodrow Wilson, Wisconsin, and the Election of 1912'; Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3: 'Presidents, Vice Presidents and Political Parties: Performance and Prospects' (Summer, 1982), pp. 369-376
  5. ^ a b Leary, William M. (jr.); 'Woodrow Wilson, Irish Americans, and the Election of 1916'; The Journal of American History, Vol. 54, No. 1 (June 1967), pp. 57-72
  6. ^ 'The Barometer of Public Opinion'; The Watertown News (Watertown, Wisconsin), September 27, 1916, p. 4
  7. ^ 'Hughes or Wilson in Wisconsin?'; The La Crosse Tribunal, September 15, 1916, p. 3
  8. ^ 'Drift Continues Unmistakably to Wilson; Republicans Are Still Striving to Stem the Swelling Tide of Defeat'; The Tennesseean, October 29, 1916, p. 11
  9. ^ 'Tribune's Poll'; Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1916, p. 4
  10. ^ 'Wisconsin Is Doubtful: One Summary of State'; Oshkosh Northwestern, October 26, 1916, p. 11
  11. ^ Menendez, Albert J. The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, p. 48 ISBN 0786422173
  12. ^ "1916 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Wisconsin State Election Board; 'Summary of Vote for President, November 7, 1916, By Counties'; Wisconsin Blue Book 1917, p. 238

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