United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1920
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1920
1920 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1916 November 2, 1920 1924 →
  Warren G Harding-Harris & Ewing.jpg James M. Cox 1920.jpg Debs penitentiary.jpg
Nominee Warren G. Harding James M. Cox Eugene V. Debs
Party Republican Democratic Socialist
Home state Ohio Ohio Indiana
Running mate Calvin Coolidge Franklin D. Roosevelt Seymour Stedman
Electoral vote 13 0 0
Popular vote 498,576 113,422 80,635
Percentage 71.10% 16.17% 11.5%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1920.svg
County Results
Harding
  50-60%
  60-70%
  70-80%
  80-90%


President before election

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic

Elected President

Warren G. Harding
Republican

The 1920 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 2, 1920 as part of the 1920 United States presidential election. State voters chose thirteen electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

Wisconsin had ever since the decline of the Populist movement been substantially 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]

The beginning of the 1910s would see a minor Democratic revival as many La Follette progressives endorsed Woodrow Wilson,[4] but this flirtation would not be long-lasting as Wilson's "Anglophile" foreign policies were severely opposed by Wisconsin's largely German- and Scandinavian-American populace.[5]The 1918 mid-term elections saw the Midwestern farming community largely desert the Democratic Party due to supposed preferential treatment of Southern farmers:[6] Democratic seats in the Midwest fell from thirty-four to seventeen,[7] whilst Scandinavian-Americans were also vigorously opposed to entering the war.[8] Furthermore, Democratic fear of Communism seen in the Palmer Raids and "Red Scare" led to ultimate nominee James M. Cox, then Governor of Ohio, to ban German-language instruction in public schools in 1919.[7] Still more critical for German-Americans was the view that outgoing President Woodrow Wilson was deliberately trying to punish Germany and Austria for starting the war, especially via his disregard for the United Kingdom's continuing blockade of Germany.[9] Stressing Harding's German ancestry, the German press drummed up the view that

a vote for Harding is a vote against the persecutions suffered by German-Americans during the war.[10]

As the campaign began after the Republican Party had nominated U.S. Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio and the Democratic Party former Ohio governor James M. Cox, a further blow to the Democrats came when the national economy suffered a major downturn following the wartime boom, resulting in plummeting agricultural prices that were especially problematic in the Midwest.[11] Whereas Cox travelled throughout the nation apart from the "Solid South" during September,[12] Harding, despite having four times the budget, campaigned from his home in Marion, Ohio.

Vote

A poll by the giant Rexall drug store chain - which in 1916 had been accurate enough to predict Wilson's razor-thin wins in New Hampshire and California[13] - suggested Harding would win 382 electoral votes,[14] and at the end of October, although no more opinion polls had been published, most observers were even more convinced that the Republicans would take complete control of all branches of government.[15] Polls were similarly confident in Wisconsin, despite forecasts of a big vote for imprisoned fifth-time Socialist nominee Eugene V. Debs.[16] Expectations of a landslide were fully realised: whereas Charles Evans Hughes had carried Wisconsin by only 6.59 points in 1916, Harding won this arch-isolationist state by a nine-to-two majority. Wisconsin would prove to be Harding's fourth strongest state in the 1920 election terms of popular vote percentage after North Dakota, Vermont and Michigan.[17] Wisconsin would prove Cox's weakest state in the largest landslide loss in United States presidential election history, and Debs' strongest state in his last campaign for the presidency.[17] Despite Debs' substantial vote, Harding carried all Wisconsin's counties with absolute majorities, becoming the only candidate to ever win every single Wisconsin county in a presidential election, and Cox cracked twenty-three percent of the vote in just three counties.

This would be the last time a Republican presidential candidate carried Iron County until Richard Nixon in 1972.[18]

Results

1920 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[19]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Warren G. Harding 498,576 71.10% 13
Democratic James M. Cox 113,422 16.17% 0
Socialist Eugene V. Debs 80,635 11.50% 0
Prohibition Aaron Watkins 8,647 1.23% 0
Totals 701,280 100.0% 13

Results by county

County Warren Gamaliel Harding
Republican
James Middleton Cox
Democratic
Eugene Victor Debs
Socialist
Aaron Sherman Watkins
Prohibition
Margin Total votes cast[a]
# % # % # % # % # %
Adams 1,528 76.13% 392 19.53% 60 2.99% 27 1.35% 1,136 56.60% 2,007
Ashland 4,005 70.87% 1,081 19.13% 497 8.79% 68 1.20% 2,924 51.74% 5,651
Barron 6,887 84.23% 742 9.08% 336 4.11% 211 2.58% 6,145 75.16% 8,176
Bayfield 2,536 73.34% 589 17.03% 257 7.43% 76 2.20% 1,947 56.30% 3,458
Brown 8,867 61.72% 3,877 26.99% 1,501 10.45% 122 0.85% 4,990 34.73% 14,367
Buffalo 3,082 85.40% 299 8.28% 172 4.77% 56 1.55% 2,783 77.11% 3,609
Burnett 2,025 79.57% 187 7.35% 275 10.81% 58 2.28% 1,750[b] 68.76% 2,545
Calumet 3,730 78.26% 586 12.30% 415 8.71% 35 0.73% 3,144 65.97% 4,766
Chippewa 6,750 82.57% 1,103 13.49% 186 2.28% 136 1.66% 5,647 69.08% 8,175
Clark 6,246 79.74% 745 9.51% 692 8.83% 150 1.91% 5,501 70.23% 7,833
Columbia 7,394 83.25% 1,201 13.52% 157 1.77% 130 1.46% 6,193 69.73% 8,882
Crawford 3,600 74.29% 1,112 22.95% 70 1.44% 64 1.32% 2,488 51.34% 4,846
Dane 22,842 77.46% 4,879 16.55% 1,277 4.33% 490 1.66% 17,963 60.92% 29,488
Dodge 11,354 77.46% 2,293 15.64% 865 5.90% 146 1.00% 9,061 61.82% 14,658
Door 3,817 88.34% 385 8.91% 76 1.76% 43 1.00% 3,432 79.43% 4,321
Douglas 7,250 67.53% 2,111 19.66% 1,271 11.84% 104 0.97% 5,139 47.87% 10,736
Dunn 5,596 87.85% 491 7.71% 170 2.67% 113 1.77% 5,105 80.14% 6,370
Eau Claire 7,856 81.62% 1,193 12.39% 351 3.65% 225 2.34% 6,663 69.23% 9,625
Florence 912 86.94% 97 9.25% 30 2.86% 10 0.95% 815 77.69% 1,049
Fond du Lac 12,543 74.58% 3,409 20.27% 695 4.13% 172 1.02% 9,134 54.31% 16,819
Forest 1,429 75.13% 379 19.93% 72 3.79% 22 1.16% 1,050 55.21% 1,902
Grant 9,638 80.92% 1,971 16.55% 119 1.00% 183 1.54% 7,667 64.37% 11,911
Green 5,466 84.68% 633 9.81% 109 1.69% 247 3.83% 4,833 74.87% 6,455
Green Lake 3,457 75.48% 890 19.43% 179 3.91% 54 1.18% 2,567 56.05% 4,580
Iowa 5,428 81.42% 942 14.13% 67 1.00% 230 3.45% 4,486 67.29% 6,667
Iron 1,714 77.70% 268 12.15% 179 8.11% 45 2.04% 1,446 65.55% 2,206
Jackson 3,652 85.93% 410 9.65% 106 2.49% 82 1.93% 3,242 76.28% 4,250
Jefferson 8,865 80.38% 1,844 16.72% 203 1.84% 117 1.06% 7,021 63.66% 11,029
Juneau 4,385 81.22% 774 14.34% 174 3.22% 66 1.22% 3,611 66.88% 5,399
Kenosha 9,791 77.81% 1,724 13.70% 990 7.87% 79 0.63% 8,067 64.11% 12,584
Kewaunee 2,622 78.83% 598 17.98% 97 2.92% 9 0.27% 2,024 60.85% 3,326
La Crosse 10,067 73.96% 2,588 19.01% 606 4.45% 350 2.57% 7,479 54.95% 13,611
Lafayette 4,893 76.11% 1,357 21.11% 45 0.70% 134 2.08% 3,536 55.00% 6,429
Langlade 4,059 68.65% 1,619 27.38% 189 3.20% 46 0.78% 2,440 41.27% 5,913
Lincoln 3,713 72.11% 838 16.28% 542 10.53% 56 1.09% 2,875 55.84% 5,149
Manitowoc 8,378 61.70% 2,018 14.86% 3,116 22.95% 67 0.49% 5,262[b] 38.75% 13,579
Marathon 11,356 65.53% 2,133 12.31% 3,709 21.40% 131 0.76% 7,647[b] 44.13% 17,329
Marinette 6,138 75.55% 1,314 16.17% 584 7.19% 88 1.08% 4,824 59.38% 8,124
Marquette 2,436 76.22% 687 21.50% 42 1.31% 31 0.97% 1,749 54.72% 3,196
Milwaukee 73,410 51.58% 25,464 17.89% 42,914 30.16% 523 0.37% 30,496[b] 21.43% 142,311
Monroe 6,784 83.29% 977 12.00% 206 2.53% 178 2.19% 5,807 71.30% 8,145
Oconto 4,735 78.16% 1,030 17.00% 234 3.86% 59 0.97% 3,705 61.16% 6,058
Oneida 2,424 64.93% 833 22.31% 426 11.41% 50 1.34% 1,591 42.62% 3,733
Outagamie 11,140 74.69% 3,121 20.93% 510 3.42% 144 0.97% 8,019 53.76% 14,915
Ozaukee 3,523 75.60% 835 17.92% 279 5.99% 23 0.49% 2,688 57.68% 4,660
Pepin 1,817 84.91% 265 12.38% 36 1.68% 22 1.03% 1,552 72.52% 2,140
Pierce 4,441 82.62% 644 11.98% 167 3.11% 123 2.29% 3,797 70.64% 5,375
Polk 4,796 80.47% 752 12.62% 303 5.08% 109 1.83% 4,044 67.85% 5,960
Portage 5,527 65.39% 2,656 31.42% 199 2.35% 70 0.83% 2,871 33.97% 8,452
Price 2,990 74.23% 551 13.68% 441 10.95% 46 1.14% 2,439 60.55% 4,028
Racine 14,406 71.95% 3,650 18.23% 1,714 8.56% 251 1.25% 10,756 53.72% 20,021
Richland 3,952 77.04% 917 17.88% 82 1.60% 179 3.49% 3,035 59.16% 5,130
Rock 16,152 83.53% 2,447 12.65% 421 2.18% 317 1.64% 13,705 70.87% 19,337
Rusk 2,609 77.60% 441 13.12% 231 6.87% 81 2.41% 2,168 64.49% 3,362
St. Croix 5,601 73.34% 1,638 21.45% 263 3.44% 135 1.77% 3,963 51.89% 7,637
Sauk 8,074 84.79% 946 9.93% 216 2.27% 286 3.00% 7,128 74.86% 9,522
Sawyer 1,668 79.28% 302 14.35% 98 4.66% 36 1.71% 1,366 64.92% 2,104
Shawano 5,836 73.73% 525 6.63% 1,496 18.90% 58 0.73% 4,340[b] 54.83% 7,915
Sheboygan 11,994 68.95% 1,895 10.89% 3,416 19.64% 91 0.52% 8,578[b] 49.31% 17,396
Taylor 2,707 72.69% 282 7.57% 685 18.39% 50 1.34% 2,022[b] 54.30% 3,724
Trempealeau 4,748 84.24% 718 12.74% 70 1.24% 100 1.77% 4,030 71.50% 5,636
Vernon 5,694 86.00% 629 9.50% 98 1.48% 200 3.02% 5,065 76.50% 6,621
Vilas 903 66.06% 255 18.65% 185 13.53% 24 1.76% 648 47.40% 1,367
Walworth 8,437 80.68% 1,631 15.60% 151 1.44% 239 2.29% 6,806 65.08% 10,458
Washburn 2,073 78.64% 352 13.35% 151 5.73% 60 2.28% 1,721 65.29% 2,636
Washington 5,949 76.78% 1,328 17.14% 421 5.43% 50 0.65% 4,621 59.64% 7,748
Waukesha 8,665 71.63% 2,759 22.81% 487 4.03% 186 1.54% 5,906 48.82% 12,097
Waupaca 8,302 83.04% 888 8.88% 697 6.97% 110 1.10% 7,414 74.16% 9,997
Waushara 4,176 85.17% 482 9.83% 196 4.00% 49 1.00% 3,694 75.34% 4,903
Winnebago 12,035 69.53% 3,397 19.63% 1,697 9.80% 179 1.03% 8,638 49.91% 17,308
Wood 6,863 70.60% 1,051 10.81% 1,665 17.13% 142 1.46% 5,198[b] 53.47% 9,721
Totals 498,576 71.10% 113,422 16.17% 80,635 11.50% 8,647 1.23% 385,154 54.92% 701,280

Notes

  1. ^ These totals are for the highest elector for each slate.[20]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h In this county where Debs ran second ahead of Cox, margin given is Hardin vote minsu Debs vote and percentage margin Hading percentage minus debs percentage.

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. ^ 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. ^ Morello, John A.; Albert D. Lasker, Advertising, and the Election of Warren G. Harding, p. 64 ISBN 0275970302
  7. ^ a b Hough, Jerry F.; Changing Party Coalitions: The Mystery of the Red State-Blue State Alignment, pp. 86-87 ISBN 0875864090
  8. ^ Saldin, Robert P., 'World War I and the System of 1896' (2010); Political Science Faculty Publications, Paper 1, pp. 825-836
  9. ^ Lichtman, Allan J.; Prejudice and the Old Politics: The Presidential Election of 1928, pp. 102, 115
  10. ^ Lubell, Samuel; The Future of American Politics, p. 135 Published 1952 by Harper and Brothers, New York
  11. ^ Goldberg, David Joseph; Discontented America: The United States in the 1920s, p. 47 ISBN 0801860059
  12. ^ Faykosh, Joseph D., Bowling Green State University; The Front Porch of the American People: James Cox and the Presidential Election of 1920 (thesis), p. 69
  13. ^ Pietrusza, David; 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents, p. 398 ISBN 0786721022
  14. ^ Bagby, Rexby; The Road to Normalcy: The Presidential Campaign and Election of 1920, pp. 158-159 ISBN 0801800455
  15. ^ 'Republicans Going to Win: Prospects of a Complete Victory'; The Observer, October 31, 1920, p. 13
  16. ^ 'Blaine Is Big Choice in Betting'; The Capital Times, November 2, 1920, p. 1
  17. ^ a b "1920 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Menendez, Albert J. The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, pp. 337-342 ISBN 0786422173
  19. ^ "1920 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Retrieved 2016.
  20. ^ Wisconsin State Election Board; 'Presidential Electors'; Wisconsin Blue Book 1921 pp. 214-221

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