The U.S. Presidential Election, 1936 was a major Republican victory in which former President Winston Churchill defeated President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Republican Nomination

Republican candidates

  • Senator William Borah of Idaho
  • Former President Winston Churchill of New York
  • Governor Alf Landon of Kansas
  • several favorite-son candidates

Former President Winston Churchill was the leading contender from the beginning. However progressive Senator William Borah of Idaho won several primaries and gave Churchill a run for his money in several others. Kansas Governor Alf Landon won the support of several state conventions and made Churchill campaign hard for the state convention delegations.

At the Republican convention, Churchill won the nomination on the first ballot and chose Landon as his running mate.

Democrat Nomination

Democrat candidates

  • Attorney Henry S. Breckenridge of New York
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York
  • Congressman Upton Sinclair of California
  • Former Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York

President Roosevelt was growing unpopular even with his own party. Roosevelt's main opponent in the Democrat primaries was former New York Governor Al Smith, New York attorney Henry Breckenridge ran as a conservative Democrat while Sinclair ran as a left-wing Democrat. Smith won primaries in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania while Roosevelt carried Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Breckenridge won in New Jersey were only he and Smith were on the ballot, Sinclair carried California by a narrow margin over Roosevelt.

At the Democrat convention, Roosevelt won the nomination on the first ballot but only with 15 more delegate votes than he needed. Vice President Albert Ritchie had died earlier that year and House Minority Leader John Nance Garner was nominated for Vice President.

General Election

The economic hard times coupled with a lack of support from conservative Democrats doomed Roosevelt's re-election bid. Churchill campaign on a return to constitutional government and lower taxes and a strong national defense. On Election night, Churchill and the Republicans were elected in a landslide over Roosevelt and the liberals. This election also marked the end of Democrat control of the 'Solid South', from this point on the South will a swing region leaning more and more Republican. The two main factors in this shift were; thr New Deal lack of support for southerns who were suffering, and also President Roosevelt liberal position of blacks and civil rights.

Candidate Party Popular vote Electoral vote Running mate
Winston Churchill Republican 28,075,271 (56.1%) 435 Alfred Mossman Landon
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Democrat 21,109,490 (42.1%) 96 John Nance Garner
Others - 900,593 (1.8%) 0 -

Congressional Election

The Republicans won overwhelming victories in the Senate elections including the North Carolina and Tennessee senate elections, giving them over 60 Republican Senators. The Republicans also won over 300 seats in the House and this ensured that Churchill and the conservatives would have the power to pass their own legislation and repealing that of the New Deal.

See also

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