United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1928
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1928
1928 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1924 November 6, 1928 1932 →
  Herbert Hoover - NARA - 532049.tif AlfredSmith.png
Nominee Herbert Hoover Al Smith
Party Republican Democratic
Home state California New York
Running mate Charles Curtis Joseph T. Robinson
Electoral vote 13 0
Popular vote 544,205 450,259
Percentage 53.52% 44.28%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1928.svg
County Results

President before election

Calvin Coolidge
Republican

Elected President

Herbert Hoover
Republican

The 1928 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 6, 1928 as part of the 1928 United States presidential election. State voters chose thirteen electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

Wisconsin had 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] Subsequent federal elections saw the Midwest desert the Democratic Party even more completely due to supposed preferential treatment of Southern farmers,[6] and in 1920 Wisconsin's status as a one-party Republican state was solidified as James M. Cox won less than a sixth of the state's presidential vote and Democrats claimed only four state legislative seats, all but one of which would be lost in 1922. Conservative Southern Democrat John W. Davis would do even worse, winning less than one-twelfth of Wisconsin's 1924 presidential vote, and there would never be more than two Democrats in the state legislature between 1922 and 1928.

Nonetheless, in that 1924 election Wisconsin's popular long-time Republican Senator La Follette would via prevalent isolationist and progressive sentiment carry the state's electoral votes, and when La Follette died the following year his family did not endorse a Republican, but rather New York City Catholic Democrat Al Smith.[7] The nomination of Smith - inevitable with other Democrats sitting the election out[8] - had the effect of aligning the Democrats towards Wisconsin's sizeable Southern and Eastern European immigrant population, and Smith's Wall Street connections helped reconnect the isolationist, conservative German Catholic areas of eastern Wisconsin who had completely deserted the Democrats over opposition to Wilson's foreign policies.[9]

Vote

When Senator John J. Blaine endorsed Smith in late September,[10] it became clear that La Follette's endorsement of him had been shared by other prominent Progressives,[11] despite his son urging that sides not be taken.[12] Polls in October, after both candidates had campaigned in the state, viewed Wisconsin as close but leaning toward Smith.[11] However, when the polls closed, it became clear Hoover was showing greater strength than expected even in the pro-Catholic eastern region,[13] and when returns from Milwaukee came in later Smith did not receive the projected two-to-one majority.

Hoover thus carried Wisconsin by a conformable 9.24 percentage point margin, a remarkable transformation from 1920 when the state had been Cox's weakest and Harding won by over 55 percentage points. Smith recouped the Third Party System Democratic counties: in entirely Catholic Marshfield Township which typically gave pre-1916 Democrats over ninety percent but gave Cox only 4 percent, Smith won all but two percent.[9] Hoover's ability to take the La Follette vote in anti-Catholic Scandinavian areas of western Wisconsin was critical in winning him the state.[13]

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Douglas County voted for a Republican presidential candidate.[14]

Results

1928 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[15]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Herbert Hoover 544,205 53.52% 13
Democratic Al Smith 450,259 44.28% 0
Socialist Norman Thomas 18,213 1.79% 0
Prohibition William F. Varney 2,245 0.22% 0
Independent Workers William Z. Foster 1,528 0.15% 0
Independent Labor Verne L. Reynolds 381 0.04% 0
Totals 1,012,677 100.0% 13

Results by county

County Herbert Clark Hoover
Republican
Alfred Emmanuel Smith
Democratic
Norman Mattoon Thomas
Socialist
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast[16]
# % # % # % # % # %
Adams 1,624 62.95% 914 35.43% 24 0.93% 18 0.70% 710 27.52% 2,580
Ashland 3,639 49.36% 3,570 48.43% 95 1.29% 68 0.92% 69 0.94% 7,372
Barron 8,455 71.98% 3,185 27.12% 71 0.60% 35 0.30% 5,270 44.87% 11,746
Bayfield 3,279 63.41% 1,709 33.05% 49 0.95% 134 2.59% 1,570 30.36% 5,171
Brown 9,371 36.04% 16,465 63.32% 135 0.52% 33 0.13% -7,094 -27.28% 26,004
Buffalo 3,027 61.88% 1,836 37.53% 11 0.22% 18 0.37% 1,191 24.35% 4,892
Burnett 2,742 74.71% 880 23.98% 31 0.84% 17 0.46% 1,862 50.74% 3,670
Calumet 2,405 38.04% 3,871 61.22% 35 0.55% 12 0.19% -1,466 -23.19% 6,323
Chippewa 7,514 55.41% 5,985 44.13% 25 0.18% 37 0.27% 1,529 11.27% 13,561
Clark 6,948 62.48% 3,938 35.41% 140 1.26% 95 0.85% 3,010 27.07% 11,121
Columbia 7,615 60.70% 4,819 38.41% 50 0.40% 61 0.49% 2,796 22.29% 12,545
Crawford 3,452 51.18% 3,238 48.01% 19 0.28% 36 0.53% 214 3.17% 6,745
Dane 23,680 54.85% 19,126 44.30% 252 0.58% 112 0.26% 4,554 10.55% 43,170
Dodge 9,660 49.71% 9,536 49.07% 180 0.93% 58 0.30% 124 0.64% 19,434
Door 3,636 59.28% 2,456 40.04% 17 0.28% 25 0.41% 1,180 19.24% 6,134
Douglas 11,280 61.20% 6,762 36.69% 87 0.47% 303 1.64% 4,518 24.51% 18,432
Dunn 7,096 76.51% 2,045 22.05% 52 0.56% 81 0.87% 5,051 54.46% 9,274
Eau Claire 10,079 69.25% 4,385 30.13% 49 0.34% 42 0.29% 5,694 39.12% 14,555
Florence 993 64.27% 540 34.95% 2 0.13% 10 0.65% 453 29.32% 1,545
Fond du Lac 12,593 51.36% 11,719 47.80% 126 0.51% 79 0.32% 874 3.56% 24,517
Forest 1,918 52.82% 1,677 46.19% 13 0.36% 23 0.63% 241 6.64% 3,631
Grant 10,052 59.85% 6,630 39.48% 37 0.22% 75 0.45% 3,422 20.38% 16,794
Green 5,152 64.17% 2,812 35.02% 31 0.39% 34 0.42% 2,340 29.14% 8,029
Green Lake 3,038 53.15% 2,622 45.87% 26 0.45% 30 0.52% 416 7.28% 5,716
Iowa 5,484 63.26% 3,129 36.09% 20 0.23% 36 0.42% 2,355 27.17% 8,669
Iron 1,274 40.68% 1,724 55.04% 16 0.51% 118 3.77% -450 -14.37% 3,132
Jackson 4,353 75.17% 1,364 23.55% 22 0.38% 52 0.90% 2,989 51.61% 5,791
Jefferson 8,612 57.29% 6,305 41.94% 76 0.51% 40 0.27% 2,307 15.35% 15,033
Juneau 3,777 57.74% 2,708 41.40% 34 0.52% 22 0.34% 1,069 16.34% 6,541
Kenosha 11,330 50.66% 10,638 47.57% 276 1.23% 119 0.53% 692 3.09% 22,363
Kewaunee 1,556 27.94% 3,988 71.61% 11 0.20% 14 0.25% -2,432 -43.67% 5,569
La Crosse 11,321 55.78% 8,877 43.74% 38 0.19% 59 0.29% 2,444 12.04% 20,295
Lafayette 5,134 58.53% 3,585 40.87% 16 0.18% 36 0.41% 1,549 17.66% 8,771
Langlade 3,715 47.15% 4,078 51.76% 45 0.57% 41 0.52% -363 -4.61% 7,879
Lincoln 4,025 56.06% 3,091 43.05% 28 0.39% 36 0.50% 934 13.01% 7,180
Manitowoc 7,519 41.70% 10,292 57.08% 172 0.95% 49 0.27% -2,773 -15.38% 18,032
Marathon 10,127 48.02% 10,675 50.61% 221 1.05% 68 0.32% -548 -2.60% 21,091
Marinette 6,516 57.04% 4,781 41.85% 96 0.84% 31 0.27% 1,735 15.19% 11,424
Marquette 2,554 65.44% 1,313 33.64% 15 0.38% 21 0.54% 1,241 31.80% 3,903
Milwaukee 82,025 39.77% 110,668 53.66% 12,934 6.27% 610 0.30% -28,643 -13.89% 206,237
Monroe 5,936 61.01% 3,709 38.12% 59 0.61% 26 0.27% 2,227 22.89% 9,730
Oconto 4,661 51.91% 4,253 47.37% 28 0.31% 37 0.41% 408 4.54% 8,979
Oneida 3,100 54.32% 2,504 43.88% 75 1.31% 28 0.49% 596 10.44% 5,707
Outagamie 12,378 49.58% 12,474 49.97% 65 0.26% 47 0.19% -96 -0.38% 24,964
Ozaukee 2,338 37.16% 3,864 61.41% 70 1.11% 20 0.32% -1,526 -24.25% 6,292
Pepin 1,839 58.57% 1,276 40.64% 16 0.51% 9 0.29% 563 17.93% 3,140
Pierce 6,491 67.65% 3,017 31.44% 51 0.53% 36 0.38% 3,474 36.21% 9,595
Polk 6,905 75.14% 2,177 23.69% 76 0.83% 32 0.35% 4,728 51.45% 9,190
Portage 5,161 43.03% 6,764 56.39% 36 0.30% 34 0.28% -1,603 -13.36% 11,995
Price 3,210 57.92% 2,223 40.11% 48 0.87% 61 1.10% 987 17.81% 5,542
Racine 17,423 56.56% 13,021 42.27% 258 0.84% 104 0.34% 4,402 14.29% 30,806
Richland 5,685 70.87% 2,262 28.20% 32 0.40% 43 0.54% 3,423 42.67% 8,022
Rock 21,497 70.75% 8,726 28.72% 81 0.27% 80 0.26% 12,771 42.03% 30,384
Rusk 3,524 63.62% 1,925 34.75% 51 0.92% 39 0.70% 1,599 28.87% 5,539
Sauk 7,496 58.89% 5,151 40.47% 35 0.27% 47 0.37% 2,345 18.42% 12,729
Sawyer 1,882 61.44% 1,129 36.86% 29 0.95% 23 0.75% 753 24.58% 3,063
Shawano 5,198 57.34% 3,779 41.69% 52 0.57% 36 0.40% 1,419 15.65% 9,065
Sheboygan 12,640 51.17% 11,439 46.31% 535 2.17% 87 0.35% 1,201 4.86% 24,701
St. Croix 6,855 62.17% 4,083 37.03% 56 0.51% 32 0.29% 2,772 25.14% 11,026
Taylor 2,648 54.61% 2,095 43.20% 88 1.81% 18 0.37% 553 11.40% 4,849
Trempealeau 5,596 64.97% 2,963 34.40% 16 0.19% 38 0.44% 2,633 30.57% 8,613
Vernon 6,596 71.28% 2,559 27.65% 35 0.38% 64 0.69% 4,037 43.62% 9,254
Vilas 1,609 58.45% 1,083 39.34% 46 1.67% 15 0.54% 526 19.11% 2,753
Walworth 9,846 69.36% 4,253 29.96% 45 0.32% 52 0.37% 5,593 39.40% 14,196
Washburn 2,898 70.03% 1,192 28.81% 36 0.87% 12 0.29% 1,706 41.23% 4,138
Washington 4,163 41.13% 5,827 57.57% 115 1.14% 17 0.17% -1,664 -16.44% 10,122
Waukesha 12,218 60.15% 7,846 38.63% 168 0.83% 79 0.39% 4,372 21.53% 20,311
Waupaca 8,928 72.32% 3,307 26.79% 68 0.55% 42 0.34% 5,621 45.53% 12,345
Waushara 4,068 75.42% 1,260 23.36% 34 0.63% 32 0.59% 2,808 52.06% 5,394
Winnebago 16,191 61.10% 9,995 37.72% 201 0.76% 114 0.43% 6,196 23.38% 26,501
Wood 6,655 51.24% 6,167 47.48% 131 1.01% 35 0.27% 488 3.76% 12,988
Totals 544,205 53.52% 450,259 44.28% 18,213 1.79% 4,154 0.41% 93,946 9.24% 1,016,831

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. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, p. 59 ISBN 0786422173
  8. ^ Warren, Kenneth F.; Encyclopedia of U.S. campaigns, elections, and electoral behavior: A-M, Volume 1, p. 620 ISBN 1412954894
  9. ^ a b Baggaley, Andrew R.; 'Religious Influence on Wisconsin Voting, 1928-1960'; The American Political Science Review, Vol. 56, No. 1 (March 1962), pp. 66-70
  10. ^ 'La Follette Chief Out Against Hoover: Senator Blaine Say No Republican Owes Allegiance to Him'; New York Times, September 24, 1928
  11. ^ a b 'Party Lines Fade in Wisconsin: Straight Ticket Is Non-Existent in the Criss-Cross of Politics. Betting Even on the State but Odds Should Be Given on Smith, the Republicans Say'
  12. ^ 'La Follette Shuns Aid to Either Party: Principles Forced Into Campaign by Progressives Are Only Hope of People, He Declares'; New York Times, October 27, 1928, p. 9
  13. ^ a b 'Wisconsin Starts Hoover with Lead: Republican Shows Strength in Smith Territory'; Daily Boston Globe;
  14. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; 'How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century'; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  15. ^ "1928 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ "WI US President Race, November 06, 1928". Our Campaigns.

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