United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1948
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1948
1948 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1944 November 2, 1948 1952 →
  Harry S. Truman.jpg ThomasDewey.png
Nominee Harry S. Truman Thomas E. Dewey
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Missouri New York
Running mate Alben W. Barkley Earl Warren
Electoral vote 12 0
Popular vote 647,310 590,959
Percentage 50.7% 46.3%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1948.svg
County Results

President before election

Harry S. Truman
Democratic

Elected President

Harry S. Truman
Democratic

The 1948 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 2, 1948 as part of the 1948 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 became uncompetitive outside certain eastern German areas 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 two wartime elections, the formerly Democratic German counties in the east of the state - which had been powerfully opposed to the Civil War because they saw it as a "Yankee" war and opposed the military draft instituted during it[4] - viewed Communism as a much greater threat to America than Nazism and consequently opposed President Roosevelt's war effort.[5] Consequently, these historically Democratic counties became virtually the most Republican in the entire state, and the two wartime elections were very close after Roosevelt had in 1932 and 1936, aided by the support of Robert M. La Follette Jr., carried the Badger State by more than two-to-one.

As the Progressive Party disintegrated and its members returned to the GOP, that party regained its hegemony in the state legislature and Congressional representation, so that by 1946 Wisconsin had an entirely Republican Congressional delegation for the first time since the 71st Congress, and the Democrats' representation in the state legislature fell as low as it had been since that same point.

Vote

Although the state's Republican presidential primary went to Harold E. Stassen of neighbouring Minnesota, the earliest polls had second-time nominee Thomas E. Dewey well ahead of incumbent Harry S. Truman.[6] A final poll on the first day of November had Dewey leading by 56 percent to 41 percent, with "People's Progressive" nominee and former Vice-President Henry A. Wallace on three percent.[7]

Nonetheless, as he achieved elsewhere in the Midwest, Truman made a major comeback to claim Wisconsin by a larger margin than Roosevelt had done in 1940. His victory was attributed to the fact that Dewey, compared to 1944, soft-pedalled the issue of communism,[8] to the fact that a large number of isolationist voters who had been responsible for the dramatic Republican presidential gains earlier in the decade stayed home, and to fear of loss of New Deal farm programs if Dewey were elected.[9] Henry Wallace's candidacy, of which much had been expected due to the state's isolationism, disappointed, receiving only 1.98 percent of the vote mostly from historically progressive Scandinavian-Americans,[10] further helping Truman.

Results

1948 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[11]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Harry S. Truman 647,310 50.70% 12
Republican Thomas E. Dewey 590,959 46.28% 0
People's Progressive Henry A. Wallace 25,282 1.98% 0
Socialist Norman Thomas 12,547 0.98% 0
Independent Socialist Labor Edward A. Teichert 399 0.03% 0
Independent Socialist Workers Farrell Dobbs 303 0.02% 0
Totals 1,276,098 100.0% 12

Results by county

County Harry S. Truman
Democratic
Thomas Edmund Dewey
Republican
Henry Agard Wallace
People's Progressive
Norman Mattoon Thomas
Socialist
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast[12]
# % # % # % # % # % # %
Adams 1,419 51.39% 1,259 45.60% 70 2.54% 10 0.36% 3 0.11% 160 5.80% 2,761
Ashland 4,110 54.73% 3,135 41.75% 234 3.12% 28 0.37% 2 0.03% 975 12.98% 7,509
Barron 6,148 51.17% 5,516 45.91% 286 2.38% 66 0.55% 0 0.00% 632 5.26% 12,016
Bayfield 3,081 52.80% 2,338 40.07% 392 6.72% 24 0.41% 0 0.00% 743 12.73% 5,835
Brown 18,449 50.47% 17,729 48.50% 243 0.66% 121 0.33% 16 0.04% 720 1.97% 36,558
Buffalo 2,563 51.33% 2,350 47.07% 48 0.96% 31 0.62% 1 0.02% 213 4.27% 4,993
Burnett 2,177 55.83% 1,590 40.78% 120 3.08% 8 0.21% 4 0.10% 587 15.06% 3,899
Calumet 2,662 38.53% 4,185 60.57% 32 0.46% 27 0.39% 3 0.04% -1,523 -22.04% 6,909
Chippewa 7,702 54.62% 6,146 43.58% 210 1.49% 41 0.29% 3 0.02% 1,556 11.03% 14,102
Clark 4,840 43.31% 5,885 52.66% 382 3.42% 64 0.57% 4 0.04% -1,045 -9.35% 11,175
Columbia 5,615 46.14% 6,406 52.64% 104 0.85% 42 0.35% 2 0.02% -791 -6.50% 12,169
Crawford 3,639 50.65% 3,465 48.23% 55 0.77% 18 0.25% 8 0.11% 174 2.42% 7,185
Dane 35,486 58.50% 22,934 37.80% 1,341 2.21% 870 1.43% 33 0.05% 12,552 20.69% 60,664
Dodge 8,212 43.59% 10,381 55.11% 160 0.85% 78 0.41% 7 0.04% -2,169 -11.51% 18,838
Door 2,440 32.71% 4,911 65.84% 90 1.21% 18 0.24% 0 0.00% -2,471 -33.13% 7,459
Douglas 12,278 63.79% 6,252 32.48% 620 3.22% 94 0.49% 4 0.02% 6,026 31.31% 19,248
Dunn 4,894 52.16% 4,319 46.03% 131 1.40% 33 0.35% 5 0.05% 575 6.13% 9,382
Eau Claire 9,971 55.27% 7,825 43.37% 178 0.99% 67 0.37% 1 0.01% 2,146 11.89% 18,042
Florence 885 50.34% 756 43.00% 107 6.09% 9 0.51% 1 0.06% 129 7.34% 1,758
Fond du Lac 8,904 38.57% 13,760 59.61% 283 1.23% 126 0.55% 10 0.04% -4,856 -21.04% 23,083
Forest 2,208 61.97% 1,251 35.11% 89 2.50% 10 0.28% 5 0.14% 957 26.86% 3,563
Grant 6,575 43.57% 8,299 55.00% 125 0.83% 87 0.58% 3 0.02% -1,724 -11.43% 15,089
Green 3,881 46.21% 4,403 52.43% 68 0.81% 45 0.54% 1 0.01% -522 -6.22% 8,398
Green Lake 1,722 30.06% 3,939 68.76% 50 0.87% 17 0.30% 1 0.02% -2,217 -38.70% 5,729
Iowa 3,917 50.26% 3,745 48.05% 100 1.28% 31 0.40% 1 0.01% 172 2.21% 7,794
Iron 2,665 63.32% 1,281 30.43% 240 5.70% 21 0.50% 2 0.05% 1,384 32.88% 4,209
Jackson 2,921 52.51% 2,553 45.89% 63 1.13% 25 0.45% 1 0.02% 368 6.62% 5,563
Jefferson 7,256 46.13% 8,244 52.42% 151 0.96% 75 0.48% 2 0.01% -988 -6.28% 15,728
Juneau 2,889 42.43% 3,793 55.71% 99 1.45% 28 0.41% 0 0.00% -904 -13.28% 6,809
Kenosha 17,987 56.02% 12,780 39.80% 1,046 3.26% 281 0.88% 15 0.05% 5,207 16.22% 32,109
Kewaunee 2,746 42.39% 3,646 56.28% 64 0.99% 15 0.23% 7 0.11% -900 -13.89% 6,478
La Crosse 12,345 53.07% 10,525 45.25% 299 1.29% 86 0.37% 5 0.02% 1,820 7.82% 23,260
Lafayette 3,740 52.65% 3,288 46.28% 55 0.77% 19 0.27% 2 0.03% 452 6.36% 7,104
Langlade 4,346 53.78% 3,441 42.58% 275 3.40% 18 0.22% 1 0.01% 905 11.20% 8,081
Lincoln 3,368 42.67% 4,339 54.97% 140 1.77% 37 0.47% 10 0.13% -971 -12.30% 7,894
Manitowoc 13,401 53.90% 10,947 44.03% 355 1.43% 150 0.60% 10 0.04% 2,454 9.87% 24,863
Marathon 15,898 56.62% 11,494 40.93% 368 1.31% 310 1.10% 9 0.03% 4,404 15.68% 28,079
Marinette 6,468 51.48% 5,869 46.71% 169 1.35% 56 0.45% 3 0.02% 599 4.77% 12,565
Marquette 1,095 34.59% 2,033 64.21% 24 0.76% 14 0.44% 0 0.00% -938 -29.63% 3,166
Milwaukee 187,637 54.72% 138,672 40.44% 9,718 2.83% 6,521 1.90% 362 0.11% 48,965 14.28% 342,910
Monroe 4,970 47.38% 5,347 50.97% 113 1.08% 59 0.56% 1 0.01% -377 -3.59% 10,490
Oconto 4,269 46.17% 4,865 52.61% 68 0.74% 44 0.48% 1 0.01% -596 -6.45% 9,247
Oneida 4,081 50.92% 3,729 46.53% 151 1.88% 46 0.57% 8 0.10% 352 4.39% 8,015
Outagamie 11,233 40.59% 16,161 58.40% 151 0.55% 119 0.43% 8 0.03% -4,928 -17.81% 27,672
Ozaukee 4,159 45.17% 4,866 52.85% 123 1.34% 59 0.64% 1 0.01% -707 -7.68% 9,208
Pepin 1,381 49.96% 1,333 48.23% 36 1.30% 14 0.51% 0 0.00% 48 1.74% 2,764
Pierce 4,395 52.91% 3,753 45.18% 121 1.46% 36 0.43% 1 0.01% 642 7.73% 8,306
Polk 5,330 55.68% 3,974 41.52% 216 2.26% 50 0.52% 2 0.02% 1,356 14.17% 9,572
Portage 8,154 59.13% 5,424 39.33% 134 0.97% 71 0.51% 8 0.06% 2,730 19.80% 13,791
Price 3,373 49.71% 2,952 43.51% 415 6.12% 41 0.60% 4 0.06% 421 6.20% 6,785
Racine 23,266 53.12% 19,029 43.45% 1,165 2.66% 329 0.75% 8 0.02% 4,237 9.67% 43,797
Richland 2,990 43.30% 3,836 55.55% 60 0.87% 17 0.25% 3 0.04% -846 -12.25% 6,906
Rock 16,150 47.93% 17,068 50.66% 297 0.88% 167 0.50% 10 0.03% -918 -2.72% 33,692
Rusk 3,401 54.51% 2,623 42.04% 187 3.00% 26 0.42% 2 0.03% 778 12.47% 6,239
Sauk 5,831 43.82% 7,140 53.66% 130 0.98% 197 1.48% 9 0.07% -1,309 -9.84% 13,307
Sawyer 2,177 47.75% 2,257 49.51% 100 2.19% 25 0.55% 0 0.00% -80 -1.75% 4,559
Shawano 4,192 39.33% 6,286 58.97% 136 1.28% 45 0.42% 0 0.00% -2,094 -19.65% 10,659
Sheboygan 15,339 53.00% 12,459 43.05% 692 2.39% 431 1.49% 21 0.07% 2,880 9.95% 28,942
St. Croix 6,173 57.69% 4,326 40.43% 154 1.44% 48 0.45% 0 0.00% 1,847 17.26% 10,701
Taylor 3,184 51.99% 2,579 42.11% 200 3.27% 159 2.60% 2 0.03% 605 9.88% 6,124
Trempealeau 4,711 55.67% 3,650 43.13% 74 0.87% 23 0.27% 5 0.06% 1,061 12.54% 8,463
Vernon 5,226 55.18% 4,139 43.71% 75 0.79% 24 0.25% 6 0.06% 1,087 11.48% 9,470
Vilas 1,688 36.93% 2,665 58.30% 169 3.70% 39 0.85% 10 0.22% -977 -21.37% 4,571
Walworth 5,377 33.29% 10,509 65.07% 170 1.05% 94 0.58% 1 0.01% -5,132 -31.78% 16,151
Washburn 2,708 54.98% 2,059 41.81% 131 2.66% 23 0.47% 4 0.08% 649 13.18% 4,925
Washington 4,495 38.87% 6,876 59.46% 127 1.10% 64 0.55% 3 0.03% -2,381 -20.59% 11,565
Waukesha 13,952 43.67% 17,324 54.22% 400 1.25% 260 0.81% 14 0.04% -3,372 -10.55% 31,950
Waupaca 4,020 30.97% 8,764 67.51% 132 1.02% 64 0.49% 2 0.02% -4,744 -36.54% 12,982
Waushara 1,430 27.69% 3,594 69.60% 110 2.13% 28 0.54% 2 0.04% -2,164 -41.91% 5,164
Winnebago 13,116 42.16% 17,165 55.18% 536 1.72% 278 0.89% 15 0.05% -4,049 -13.02% 31,110
Wood 7,999 49.23% 8,073 49.69% 125 0.77% 46 0.28% 4 0.02% -74 -0.46% 16,247
Totals 647,310 50.70% 590,959 46.28% 25,282 1.98% 12,547 0.98% 702 0.05% 56,351 4.41% 1,276,800

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. 381-382, 414 ISBN 978-0-691-16324-6
  5. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 387-388
  6. ^ Gallup, George; 'Dewey Barely Won Wisconsin In '44; It's in the Bag Today: Dewey to Fore In Wisconsin'; The Washington Post, September 25, 1948, p. 1
  7. ^ Gallup, George; 'Final Poll Gives Dewey 49.5%, Truman 44.5% of Popular Vote'; The Washington Post, November 1, 1948, p. 1
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 431
  10. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 433
  11. ^ "1948 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "WI US President Race, November 02, 1948". Our Campaigns.

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