The United States presidential election of 1956 was the 43rd quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 6, 1956. The popular incumbent President, Democrat Richard Russell, decided against running for re-election and instead sought to return to the senate. The Democrats nominated conservative Virginia senator Harry Byrd and the Republicans liberal former governor of Minnesota Harold Stassen. The election contest focused on issues of foreign affairs and economic growth, but Byrd was on the right side of these issues. With Cold War anxiety high Byrd promised a hawkish attitude toward the Soviet Union that would re-enforce American prominence on the world stage, whereas Stassen was more conciliatory and interested in diplomacy. Business was booming in the late 1950s and although both candidates were pro-Market Byrd ran on a campaign of drastically shrinking the size of the federal government, by cutting bureaucracy legally and fiscally. There was a general attitude of contentedness that contributed to a large win for the incumbent Democratic party.
|Candidate||Harry Byrd||Harold Stassen|
|Running Mate||Estes Kefauver||Wayne Morse|
|Prior Candidate||Richard Russell||Earl Warren|
Last Election: 1952
Next Election: 1960