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Gevenny Fernandez. The Presidential Election of 1932. The Republicans controlled the White House In 1930, the Democrats took over the House of Representatives with a majority of 51%, for the first time in over a decade They were also one seat away from gaining Senate majority.

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Gevenny fernandez

Gevenny Fernandez

The Presidential Election of 1932


Historical context

  • The Republicans controlled the White House

  • In 1930, the Democrats took over the House of Representatives with a majority of 51%, for the first time in over a decade

  • They were also one seat away from gaining Senate majority

Historical Context


Incumbent nominee herbert hoover

8 negative keys according to The Keys to the White House

According to the keys, need 6 or more negative keys for the incumbent president to be defeated

Negative keys: 1- incumbent-party mandate, 5- short-term economy, 6- long-term economy, 7- policy change, 8- social unrest, 11-foreign/military success, 12- incumbent charisma, 13-challenger charisma

Incumbent nominee- Herbert Hoover


Historical context issues

  • The Great Depression was the biggest issue of that time

    • From 1921-1929: many economic advances, which Hoover expected to continue

    • However, over the next 3 years, the economy and market declined steadily

  • Prohibition was also a prominent issue

    • People wanted to bring back alcohol for the tax revenues

Historical Context- issues


Historical context social climate

  • Social Unrest

    • Protests by farmers, unemployed workers, and displaced individuals (“wandering population”) in 1931 and 1932

    • “Bonus Expeditionary Force”- veterans demanding to be allowed to cash in their veterans’ bonuses set up camp in the capital

Historical context- Social climate


Historical context1

Historical context


Party primaries and nominations democratic party

  • Roosevelt had the support of the majority of delegates at the Democratic convention

  • However, he did not have the 2/3 majority to win the nomination

  • Main opposition- Smith and John Nance Garner (Speaker of the House in 1931)

  • First ballot- short by 100 delegates

  • After 3 ballots, Garner released his delegates

  • Fourth ballot, Roosevelt won the party nomination

Party Primaries and Nominations- Democratic Party


Party primaries and nominations republican party

Party Primaries and Nominations- Republican Party


Party primaries and nominations

Party Primaries and Nominations


Candidates roosevelt

  • Well known for being the governor of New York the Democratic convention

    • He had been reelected governor in a landslide in 1930

  • People still remembered his cousin, Theodore Roosevelt

  • FDR had been the losing vice presidential nominee in 1920 

  • Downplayed his polio so that the public would think he was fit to run the country

    • Polio was seen as a lower class disease

Candidates- Roosevelt


Candidates roosevelt1

  • Although not that well-known, he was very charismatic the Democratic convention

  • Tried to avoid controversial issues like religion and the KKK

  • Tried to appeal to everyone, even some republicans

  • Tried to unite the Democratic party

    • The Democratic Party was more united during the 1932 election than they had been throughout the whole Fourth Party System, partly due to Roosevelt’s efforts

Candidates- roosevelt


Candidates hoover

  • Just months after his inauguration, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 occurred and caused the Great Depression

    • Most of his presidential term was spent in the depression

  • Considering Hoover’s commitment to limited government, his policies demonstrated boldness

    • Hoover did more to fight the economic depression than any previous president

  • However, it was not enough

    • Many democratic leaders, including Roosevelt criticized him for not taking it far enough

Candidates- Hoover


Candidates hoover1

  • His programs: of 1929 occurred and caused the Great Depression

    • Federal loans to businesses and banks

    • Purchases of farm commodities

    • Selected increases in federal spending

    • Banking reform

  • His policies did little to help the economic situation. Some actually made it worse

  • 1930- Republicans enacted the Hawley-Smoot Tariff, which raised import duties to the highest rates ever

  • Hoover also imposed a major tax increase, which reduced funds to consumers and investors

Candidates- hoover


Candidates hoover2

  • Very unpopular, to the point where people threw rotten vegetables at him during his speeches around the country, during his campaign

  • Also unpopular among his own party

  • His party was divided

    • Many of the more prominent Republicans did not support him and some even strongly opposed him

    • Some of them even supported Roosevelt instead

Candidates- hoover


General election campaign roosevelt

  • Roosevelt accused Hoover of being a socialist for his protectionist policies

  • Roosevelt attacked Hoover for not improving the economic situation and blamed him for the Great Depression

  • Roosevelt’s strategy was very successful because of Hoover’s overwhelming unpopularity

  • Candidate of Change

  • FDR made a historically significant speech when he personally accepted the Democratic party nomination

    • Famous words: “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people”

General Election Campaign- Roosevelt


General election campaign roosevelt1

  • In the same speech, Roosevelt promised to "abolish useless offices" and "eliminate unnecessary functions of Government"

  • Also promised to restore international trade – as opposed to Hoover’s protectionist trade policies

  • His campaign song was “Happy Days are Here Again” and became the most popular in American political history, while also becoming the Democratic Party’s unofficial anthem

General Election Campaign- Roosevelt


General election campaign hoover

  • He promised recovery, but this quickly became a joke when no improvement was seen throughout his presidency

  • Hoover could not do much more than to defend himself and promise recovery

  • Hoover increased taxes and restricted trade

  • Hoover criticized Roosevelt and said he would only worsen the Depression by decreasing taxes, reducing government intervention in the economy, and promoting international trade

General Election Campaign- Hoover


Election outcome

  • FDR won by a landslide improvement was seen throughout his presidency

    • Broke records by winning 472 electoral votes

  • The region that held the most support for Hoover was the northeast and the New England area

  • Most of the Rest of the United States, especially in the electoral vote, supported Roosevelt

Election outcome


Election outcome1
Election Outcome improvement was seen throughout his presidency


Election outcome2

Popular Vote improvement was seen throughout his presidency

Franklin Roosevelt 22,821,277 57.41%

Herbert Hoover 15,761,254 39.65%

Norman Thomas 884,885 2.23%

William Foster 103,307 0.26%

Other (+) 181,175 0.46%

Election Outcome


Election outcome3

Electoral Vote improvement was seen throughout his presidency

Franklin Roosevelt 472 88.9%

Herbert Hoover 59 11.1%

Norman Thomas 0 0.0%

William Foster 0 0.0%

Other (+) 0 0.0%

Election outcome


Historical significance

  • Realigning election improvement was seen throughout his presidency

  • Many states which were previously Republican became Democratic states

  • Ended a long era of Republican dominance and started a streak of Democratic dominance (Shift from Fourth Party System to Fifth Party System)

    • The republicans would not return to the White House until the nomination of war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952

    • For all but 6 years after 1932, the democrats controlled the House of Representatives, too

Historical significance


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