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The United States presidential election of 1948 was the 41st quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1948. Democrat Richard Russell was the landslide winner, ending the two Republican wins of the 1940s thus far. Russell carried the Democratic Party to narrow control of the House and Senate. During this time, Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was at a high level, as was fear of communism in the US, epitomised by the campaign of McCarthyism. Foreign policy was a main issue in the race for the Democratic nomination. Not only was Cold War anxiety running high, but the extent of corruption in the federal government became a major issue as well. Russell promised zero tolerance for corruption and a more hawkish foreign policy then incumbent Taft. The economy was prosperous, and thus economic and social issues played little role in the campaign.
Incumbent president Robert Taft decided not to run. The Republican Party instead nominated senator Arthur Vandinberg of Michigan. Vandinberg gained a reputation in Michigan as an intellectual and eloquent orator. The Democratic Party saw a contest between the liberal and conservative wings, with Henry Wallace leading the former and Richard Russell leading the later. Russell won out for the nomination. He was the first Democrat elected since Huey Long in 1936.
|Candidates||Richard Russell||Arthur Vandenberg|
|Running Mate||Harry Byrd||Earl Warren|
Next Election: 1952
Prior Election: 1944