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The Presidential Election of 1932

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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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Presentation Transcript
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

Incumbent president Hoover’s popularity had fallen greatly since his victory in 1928 and people did not think he could handle the economic crisis or prohibition

  • The Republican party had been dominant for decades
    • Fourth Party System
  • Result: “Time for a change” effect
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

Hoover was easily re-nominated as the Republican candidate

  • However, there was a battle over the vice presidential nominee
    • Vice President Charles Curtis was challenged by James Harbord
    • Curtis won
Party Primaries and Nominations- Republican Party
party primaries and nominations

No significant third party nominees

  • Americans were not interested in third party nominees
  • They joined the Democrats
Party Primaries and Nominations
candidates roosevelt

Well known for being the governor of New York

    • 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

  • 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:

    • 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

    • 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 outcome2

Popular Vote

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

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

  • 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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