United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1944
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1944
1944 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1940 November 7, 1944 1948 →
  ThomasDewey.png 1944 portrait of FDR (1)(small).jpg
Nominee Thomas E. Dewey Franklin D. Roosevelt
Party Republican Democratic
Home state New York New York
Running mate John W. Bricker Harry S. Truman
Electoral vote 12 0
Popular vote 674,532 650,413
Percentage 50.37% 48.57%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1944.svg
County Results

President before election

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

Elected President

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

The 1944 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 7, 1944 as part of the 1944 United States presidential election. State voters chose twelve electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

Politics in Wisconsin since the Populist movement had been dominated by the Republican Party.[1] The Democratic Party had been uncompetitive outside certain eastern German as the upper classes, along with the majority of workers who followed them, fled from William Jennings Bryan's agrarian and free silver sympathies.[2] 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] This ultimately would develop into the Wisconsin Progressive Party in the late 1930s, which was opposed to the conservative German Democrats and to the national Republican Party, and allied with Franklin D. Roosevelt at the federal level.

During the 1940 presidential election, fought whilst the United States was still neutral in World War II, the conservative German counties, especially the "WOW counties" near Milwaukee and other counties along the Lake Michigan coast, turned abruptly away from Roosevelt. These counties viewed Russian Communism as a much greater threat to America than German Nazism,[4] and believed Roosevelt offered too much aid to Britain and France.[5] The result was that the historically Democratic German Catholic counties like Kewaunee and Calumet rivalled longtime GOP bastions like Waupaca and Waushara Counties as the most Republican in the state, and GOP nominee Wendell Willkie came within two points of carrying the state after Alf Landon had lost by two-to-one four years earlier.

Vote

Early Gallup polls in August showed Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey leading Roosevelt in Wisconsin[6] by as much as twelve percentage points at the end of the second week of that month.[7] The fact that the state's disintegrating Progressive Party was divided on whether to support Roosevelt did nothing to help the President,[8] neither did Dewey's claim that Roosevelt had close ties to Communists at home and abroad.[9]

Although wartime conditions limited campaigning in the state by the two Dutchess County natives, by mid-October polls had not changed from where they were two months previously.[10] At that time Governor Dewey visited Milwaukee on a rail trip to Minneapolis,[11] and more detailed opinion polls later in October said that powerful isolationist sentiment in rural Wisconsin and tighter unity of his opposition would ensure that Roosevelt had little hope of holding the state.[12]

Ultimately Dewey carried Wisconsin as polls had predicted he would, although by a substantially smaller margin of just 1.80 percentage points. Continuing trends in Third Party System Democratic counties around Green Bay and Appleton proved decisive in tipping the state, as Dewey tightened Willkie gains that would not be substantially reversed in the ensuing eighty years: even during Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 landslide, Republican Barry Goldwater did much better in this area than he did nationally.

Results

1944 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[13]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Thomas E. Dewey 674,532 50.37% 12
Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt 650,413 48.57% 0
Socialist Norman Thomas 13,205 0.99% 0
Independent Edward A. Teichert 1,002 0.07% 0
Totals 1,339,152 100.0% 12

Results by county

County Thomas Edmund Dewey
Republican
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Democratic
Norman Mattoon Thomas
Socialist
Edward A. Teichert
Independent
Margin Total votes cast[14]
# % # % # % # % # %
Adams 1,579 51.40% 1,478 48.11% 10 0.33% 5 0.16% 101 3.29% 3,072
Ashland 3,183 40.60% 4,609 58.80% 42 0.54% 5 0.06% -1,426 -18.19% 7,839
Barron 7,137 55.66% 5,585 43.55% 92 0.72% 9 0.07% 1,552 12.10% 12,823
Bayfield 2,475 42.02% 3,362 57.08% 48 0.81% 5 0.08% -887 -15.06% 5,890
Brown 17,762 50.14% 17,576 49.61% 76 0.21% 12 0.03% 186 0.53% 35,426
Buffalo 3,416 63.19% 1,948 36.03% 39 0.72% 3 0.06% 1,468 27.16% 5,406
Burnett 2,119 52.72% 1,868 46.48% 26 0.65% 6 0.15% 251 6.25% 4,019
Calumet 5,611 73.58% 1,966 25.78% 46 0.60% 3 0.04% 3,645 47.80% 7,626
Chippewa 7,691 53.59% 6,567 45.76% 77 0.54% 16 0.11% 1,124 7.83% 14,351
Clark 7,948 62.80% 4,612 36.44% 89 0.70% 8 0.06% 3,336 26.36% 12,657
Columbia 7,867 56.50% 5,997 43.07% 55 0.40% 5 0.04% 1,870 13.43% 13,924
Crawford 4,199 57.12% 3,130 42.58% 21 0.29% 1 0.01% 1,069 14.54% 7,351
Dane 23,021 37.96% 37,076 61.13% 530 0.87% 24 0.04% -14,055 -23.17% 60,651
Dodge 14,102 64.44% 7,667 35.04% 102 0.47% 12 0.05% 6,435 29.41% 21,883
Door 5,668 68.25% 2,599 31.29% 30 0.36% 8 0.10% 3,069 36.95% 8,305
Douglas 7,132 35.20% 12,985 64.08% 134 0.66% 12 0.06% -5,853 -28.89% 20,263
Dunn 5,980 60.37% 3,853 38.90% 69 0.70% 3 0.03% 2,127 21.47% 9,905
Eau Claire 9,470 51.13% 8,962 48.39% 86 0.46% 2 0.01% 508 2.74% 18,520
Florence 765 45.59% 897 53.46% 15 0.89% 1 0.06% -132 -7.87% 1,678
Fond du Lac 16,785 63.81% 9,378 35.65% 128 0.49% 15 0.06% 7,407 28.16% 26,306
Forest 1,391 36.22% 2,436 63.44% 10 0.26% 3 0.08% -1,045 -27.21% 3,840
Grant 10,226 62.56% 6,091 37.27% 24 0.15% 4 0.02% 4,135 25.30% 16,345
Green 5,556 57.28% 4,101 42.28% 36 0.37% 6 0.06% 1,455 15.00% 9,699
Green Lake 4,571 67.38% 2,190 32.28% 17 0.25% 6 0.09% 2,381 35.10% 6,784
Iowa 4,608 56.00% 3,585 43.57% 30 0.36% 5 0.06% 1,023 12.43% 8,228
Iron 1,345 31.51% 2,894 67.81% 26 0.61% 3 0.07% -1,549 -36.29% 4,268
Jackson 3,182 50.86% 3,040 48.59% 30 0.48% 4 0.06% 142 2.27% 6,256
Jefferson 10,245 59.16% 6,988 40.35% 76 0.44% 8 0.05% 3,257 18.81% 17,317
Juneau 4,733 61.97% 2,857 37.41% 42 0.55% 5 0.07% 1,876 24.56% 7,637
Kenosha 12,436 39.96% 18,325 58.88% 337 1.08% 23 0.07% -5,889 -18.92% 31,121
Kewaunee 4,153 61.25% 2,611 38.51% 15 0.22% 1 0.01% 1,542 22.74% 6,780
La Crosse 12,784 50.93% 12,247 48.79% 65 0.26% 7 0.03% 537 2.14% 25,103
Lafayette 4,421 54.27% 3,696 45.37% 26 0.32% 4 0.05% 725 8.90% 8,147
Langlade 4,036 48.23% 4,310 51.50% 19 0.23% 4 0.05% -274 -3.27% 8,369
Lincoln 5,564 64.71% 2,938 34.17% 78 0.91% 18 0.21% 2,626 30.54% 8,598
Manitowoc 14,047 53.52% 11,949 45.53% 217 0.83% 34 0.13% 2,098 7.99% 26,247
Marathon 15,782 53.54% 13,192 44.75% 484 1.64% 19 0.06% 2,590 8.79% 29,477
Marinette 7,159 52.21% 6,483 47.28% 59 0.43% 11 0.08% 676 4.93% 13,712
Marquette 2,853 73.47% 1,016 26.17% 14 0.36% 0 0.00% 1,837 47.31% 3,883
Milwaukee 142,448 40.15% 205,282 57.85% 6,705 1.89% 395 0.11% -62,834 -17.71% 354,830
Monroe 7,277 64.09% 4,013 35.34% 61 0.54% 3 0.03% 3,264 28.75% 11,354
Oconto 5,923 57.38% 4,348 42.12% 45 0.44% 6 0.06% 1,575 15.26% 10,322
Oneida 3,253 44.06% 4,076 55.21% 53 0.72% 1 0.01% -823 -11.15% 7,383
Outagamie 18,294 64.44% 9,955 35.07% 120 0.42% 20 0.07% 8,339 29.37% 28,389
Ozaukee 5,655 60.66% 3,579 38.39% 81 0.87% 8 0.09% 2,076 22.27% 9,323
Pepin 1,902 64.28% 1,029 34.78% 25 0.84% 3 0.10% 873 29.50% 2,959
Pierce 5,137 62.40% 3,033 36.84% 60 0.73% 3 0.04% 2,104 25.56% 8,233
Polk 5,329 53.58% 4,489 45.14% 121 1.22% 6 0.06% 840 8.45% 9,945
Portage 5,405 38.27% 8,678 61.44% 36 0.25% 6 0.04% -3,273 -23.17% 14,125
Price 3,258 47.78% 3,515 51.55% 40 0.59% 6 0.09% -257 -3.77% 6,819
Racine 18,220 41.11% 25,697 57.97% 390 0.88% 18 0.04% -7,477 -16.87% 44,325
Richland 5,088 61.85% 3,109 37.79% 24 0.29% 5 0.06% 1,979 24.06% 8,226
Rock 18,477 52.23% 16,766 47.39% 104 0.29% 29 0.08% 1,711 4.84% 35,376
Rusk 3,092 48.40% 3,238 50.69% 42 0.66% 16 0.25% -146 -2.29% 6,388
Sauk 9,751 62.72% 5,690 36.60% 95 0.61% 10 0.06% 4,061 26.12% 15,546
Sawyer 2,421 55.02% 1,947 44.25% 26 0.59% 6 0.14% 474 10.77% 4,400
Shawano 8,732 68.16% 4,015 31.34% 57 0.44% 7 0.05% 4,717 36.82% 12,811
Sheboygan 15,291 49.42% 15,062 48.68% 557 1.80% 28 0.09% 229 0.74% 30,938
St. Croix 5,660 53.01% 4,930 46.17% 80 0.75% 8 0.07% 730 6.84% 10,678
Taylor 3,194 48.24% 3,215 48.56% 209 3.16% 3 0.05% -21 -0.32% 6,621
Trempealeau 4,719 51.06% 4,496 48.65% 27 0.29% 0 0.00% 223 2.41% 9,242
Vernon 5,676 51.04% 5,409 48.64% 19 0.17% 17 0.15% 267 2.40% 11,121
Vilas 2,021 48.91% 2,079 50.31% 25 0.61% 7 0.17% -58 -1.40% 4,132
Walworth 10,901 65.34% 5,696 34.14% 78 0.47% 8 0.05% 5,205 31.20% 16,683
Washburn 2,441 53.85% 2,059 45.42% 29 0.64% 4 0.09% 382 8.43% 4,533
Washington 8,921 69.44% 3,840 29.89% 77 0.60% 9 0.07% 5,081 39.55% 12,847
Waukesha 17,995 57.44% 13,038 41.62% 278 0.89% 15 0.05% 4,957 15.82% 31,326
Waupaca 11,495 74.44% 3,879 25.12% 63 0.41% 5 0.03% 7,616 49.32% 15,442
Waushara 4,675 75.54% 1,485 23.99% 27 0.44% 2 0.03% 3,190 51.54% 6,189
Winnebago 19,310 59.56% 12,841 39.61% 250 0.77% 19 0.06% 6,469 19.95% 32,420
Wood 9,569 57.92% 6,861 41.53% 81 0.49% 9 0.05% 2,708 16.39% 16,520
Totals 674,532 50.37% 650,413 48.57% 13,205 0.99% 1,002 0.07% 24,119 1.80% 1,339,152

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. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 387-388 ISBN 978-0-691-16324-6
  5. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 47, 159
  6. ^ Gallup, George; 'Three More Midwest States Throw Support to Dewey'; The Washington Post, August 9, 1944, p. 2
  7. ^ Gallup, George; 'Dewey Leads 32-State Poll'; The Washington Post, August 13, 1944, p. B5
  8. ^ 'How Wisconsin Looks to Gould Lincoln'; Daily Boston Globe, October 3, 1944, p. 5
  9. ^ Fried, Richard M.; '"Operation Polecat": Thomas E. Dewey, the 1948 Election, and the Origins of McCarthyism'; Journal of Policy History, Vol. 22, Issue 1, (January 2010), pp. 1-22
  10. ^ 'Dewey Gains in Midwest Farm States: Gallup'; The Washington Post, October 11, 1944, p. 1
  11. ^ Folliard, Edward T.; 'Dewey Leaves Today on New Midwest Tour'; The Washington Post, October 23, 1944, p. 3
  12. ^ Catledge, Turner; 'Isolationism Dims Wisconsin Picture: Labor Backers of Roosevelt Have Task of Overcoming Strong Trend to Dewey'; New York Times, October 22, 1944, p. 39
  13. ^ "1944 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ "WI US President Race, November 07, 1944". Our Campaigns.

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