1912 Flag of the United States 1920
1916 American Presidential Elections
November 7, 1916
492px-President Woodrow Wilson portrait December 2 1912 432px-Robert M. La Follette, Sr. 459px-Charles Fairbanks photo portrait seated
Nominee Woodrow Wilson Robert M La Follette Charles Fairbanks
Party Democratic Progressive Republican
Home state New York Wisconsin Indiana
Running mate Marshall Hiram Johnson
President before election
Woodrow Wilson
Elected President
Woodrow Wilson

The 1916 American Presidential Elections occurred while the bloody World War One was going on in Europe. Although most American sympathies lay with Britain and France the public still wished to have America officially neutral. Incumbent Woodrow Wilson won primarily due to the continued split of the Republican and Progressive parties. His opponents were former Vice President Charles Fairbanks and Senator Robert LaFollette.


Republican Nomination

Republican Primary

Candidate Gallery

Charles Hughes was a popular choice for more moderate Republicans who wished to reconcile with the Progressive Party. Hughes was seen as more moderate. Fairbanks was more conservative and had the experience of being vice president behind him, which made him seem more competent. John Weeks also ran but did not gain much support. During the years between this election and the election of 1912 many more liberal and even moderate Republicans had left the party for the Progressives. Thus Hughes could not gain enough delgates and Fairbanks won the convention.

John Weeks was chosen as Vice President mainly because he had some support in the party and was seen as Conservative enough by the party leaders.

Democratic Nomination

Democratic Primary

Candidate Gallery

Woodrow Wilson was very popular in the Democratic Party being the first Democratic President in a long time. He easily won the primary with nearly no opposition.

Progressive Nomination

Progressive Primary

Candidate Gallery

The Progressive Primaries where a quick affair. The only candidates where the ones who where in the highest offices, and for the Progressives it was the senate. Robert La Follette became a popular among the people and the delegates. There was an effort to draft another Roosevelt/Debs ticket but both declined due to health issues and age. Debs did support LaFollette however.

LaFollette was seen as the only man who could hold the party together due to his powerful personality which was much like Roosevelt at times. He gained a vast majority of the delegates. He choose Hiram Johnson as his running mate. Both where former governors and current senators.


World War One dominated the campaign. Wilson's slogan "He kept us out of war" was very popular as most Americans wished to stay neutral. Out of the three candidates only Fairbanks seemed more apt to go to war with Germany. He supported greater mobilization and this cost him large amounts of votes. LaFollette was very popular among German immigrants and Socialists. A majority of the Socialists decided that LaFollette's stance was good enough to keep themselves happy and thus the coalition continued with many Socialists joining the Progressives. Eugene Debs gave a speech at Philadelphia which was highly reported on. He fully supported LaFollette and for the time being the Progressives. Theodore Roosevelt also continued to support the Progressives. Fairbanks fell down in the polls greatly after this occurred.


Candidates Party Electoral Vote Popular Vote
Wilson/Marshall Democratic 266 41.4
LaFollette/Johnson Progressive 137 30.5
Fairbanks/Weeks Republican 128 27.1