Alternate History

US Presidential Election 1908 (Vive l'Emperor)

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<1904 1912>
Turnout: 14,296,923
President Theodore Roosevelt, 1904
Nominee Theodore Roosevelt Alton B. Parker
Party Republican Democratic
Running Mate William H. Taft Henry G. Davis
States Carried 42 18
Popular Vote 8,372,810 5,924,113
Percentage 58.56% 31.44%

Republican Nomination

The Republican nomination was a tough contest. Both living Republican former Presidents (Robert T. Lincoln and William McKinley) refused to run for another term. 1904 Presidential nominee Charles W. Fairbanks made it clear that he would seek the nomination, as did the previous vice presidential nominee, Elihu Root. Favorite sons Philander C. Knox and Robert M. La Follette also received support. However New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt had strong support in his home state and had launched a nationwide campaign in 1904 (though didn't receive the nomination). Roosevelt was popular with the people, but not with the big party bosses who had kept the 1904 nomination far out of Roosevelt's reach. The party bosses supported William Howard Taft of Ohio, a popular and likeable figure. Taft won the first two ballots but Roosevelt was able to convince delegates to switch to him following the second ballot. The nominees then split into two clear camps, Roosevelt and Taft gaining over 300 delegates per ballot, and Root and Fairbanks getting less than 200. La Follette and Knox both withdrew after losing support on the fifth and sixth ballots. Gradually Fairbanks and Root lost support to Taft and Roosevelt and on the 9th ballot Root withdrew and endorsed Roosevelt. On the tenth Fairbanks withdrew, but failed to endorse either candidate. On the 11th ballot there were only seven votes in it. Following hours of behind closed doors meetings between Roosevelt, Taft and Root they decided to endorse Roosevelt and withdraw. In return Roosevelt put forward Taft for his vice president (Roosevelt immediately regretted the idea) and the convention accepted. Roosevelt also named Root as his choice for Secretary of State, the first time a presidential candidate had announced any positions in his future cabinet. This was largely to reassure more conservative Republicans, and both Root and Taft were put forward to balance the ticket.

Nominee 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Theodore Roosevelt 271 289 312 327 331 332 340 342 360 465 504 1005
William H. Taft 303 306 309 323 329 328 326 326 331 431 497 -
Charles W. Fairbanks 235 185 174 176 180 180 179 178 147 132 - -
Elihu Root 100 134 165 168 179 179 176 175 175 - - -
Philander C. Knox 23 14 10 6 2 1 - - - - - -
Robert M. La Follette 16 8 2 1 1 1 - - - - - -

Democratic Nomination

Nominee 1 2 3 4

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