The United States presidential election of 1920 was the 34th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1920. In the first election held after the end of World War I and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, Republican Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio defeated Democratic Governor James M. Cox of Ohio.
Incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson privately hoped for a third term, but party leaders were unwilling to re-nominate the unpopular incumbent. Former President Theodore Roosevelt had been the front-runner for the Republican nomination, but he died in 1919 without leaving an obvious heir to his progressive legacy. With both Wilson and Roosevelt out of the running, the major parties turned to little-known dark horse candidates from the state of Ohio, a swing state with a large number of electoral votes. Cox won the 1920 Democratic National Convention on the 44th ballot, defeating William Gibbs McAdoo, A. Mitchell Palmer, and several other candidates. Harding emerged as a compromise candidate between the conservative and progressive wings of the party, and he clinched his nomination on the tenth ballot of the 1920 Republican National Convention.
The election was dominated by the American social and political environment in the aftermath of World War I, which was marked by a hostile response to certain aspects of Wilson's foreign policy and a massive reaction against the reformist zeal of the Progressive Era. The wartime economic boom had collapsed and the country was deep in a recession. Wilson's advocacy for America's entry into the League of Nations in the face of a return to non-interventionist opinion challenged his effectiveness as president and overseas, there were wars and revolutions. At home, the year 1919 was marked by major strikes in the meatpacking and steel industries and large-scale race riots in Chicago and other cities. Anarchist attacks on Wall Street produced fears of radicals and terrorists. The Irish Catholic and German communities were outraged at Wilson's perceived favoritism of their traditional enemy Great Britain, and his political position was critically weakened after he suffered a stroke in 1919 that left him severely disabled.
Harding virtually ignored Cox in the race and essentially campaigned against Wilson by calling for a "return to normalcy". Harding won a landslide victory, sweeping every state outside of the South and becoming the first Republican since the end of Reconstruction to win a former state of the Confederacy. Harding's victory margin of 26.2% in the popular vote remains the largest popular-vote percentage margin in presidential elections since the unopposed re-election of James Monroe in 1820, though other candidates have since exceeded his share of the popular vote. Cox won just 34.1% of the popular vote, and Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 3.4% of the vote. As the election was the first in which women had the right to vote in all 48 states, the total popular vote increased dramatically, from 18.5 million in 1916 to 26.8 million in 1920. Harding would die in 1923 and be succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge, while the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Franklin D. Roosevelt, would later win the 1932 presidential election.
|1920 United States presidential election|
531 electoral votes of the Electoral College
266 electoral votes needed to win
|Turnout||49.2% 12.4 pp|
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Harding/Coolidge, blue denotes those won by Cox/Roosevelt. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.
|Republican Party Ticket, 1920|
|Warren G. Harding||Calvin Coolidge|
|for President||for Vice President|
|U.S. Senator from Ohio
Governor of Massachusetts
On June 8, the Republican National Convention met in Chicago. The race was wide open, and soon the convention deadlocked between Major General Leonard Wood and Governor Frank Orren Lowden of Illinois.
Other names placed in nomination included Senators Warren G. Harding from Ohio, Hiram Johnson from California, and Miles Poindexter from Washington, Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, philanthropist Herbert Hoover, and Columbia University President Nicholas M. Butler. Senator Robert M. La Follette from Wisconsin was not formally placed in nomination, but received the votes of his state delegation nonetheless. Harding was nominated for president on the tenth ballot, after some delegates shifted their allegiances. The results of the ten ballots were as follows:
|Presidential Balloting, Republican National Convention 1920|
|Warren G. Harding||65.5||59.0||58.5||61.5||78.0||89.0||105.0||133.0||374.5||644.7||692.2|
|Frank Orren Lowden||211.5||259.5||282.5||289.0||303.0||311.5||311.5||307.0||121.5||28.0||11.0|
|William Cameron Sproul||84.0||78.5||79.5||79.5||82.5||77.0||76.0||76.0||78.0||0||0|
|Nicholas Murray Butler||69.5||41.0||25.0||20.0||4.0||4.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0||2.0|
|Robert M. La Follette||24.0||24.0||24.0||22.0||24.0||24.0||24.0||24.0||24.0||24.0||24.0|
|Jeter Connelly Pritchard||21.0||10.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Harding's nomination, said to have been secured in negotiations among party bosses in a "smoke-filled room," was engineered by Harry M. Daugherty, Harding's political manager, who became United States Attorney General after his election. Prior to the convention, Daugherty was quoted as saying, "I don't expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second, or third ballots, but I think we can afford to take chances that about 11 minutes after two, Friday morning of the convention, when 15 or 12 weary men are sitting around a table, someone will say: 'Who will we nominate?' At that decisive time, the friends of Harding will suggest him and we can well afford to abide by the result." Daugherty's prediction described essentially what occurred, but historians Richard C. Bain and Judith H. Parris argue that Daugherty's prediction has been given too much weight in narratives of the convention.
Once the presidential nomination was finally settled, the party bosses and Sen. Harding recommended Wisconsin Sen. Irvine Lenroot to the delegates for the second spot, but the delegates revolted and nominated Coolidge, who was very popular over his handling of the Boston Police Strike from the year before. The Tally:
|Vice Presidential Balloting,|
Republican Nat'l Convention 1920
|Henry Justin Allen||68.5|
|Henry W. Anderson||28|
|Jeter Connelly Pritchard||11|
Source for convention coverage: Richard C. Bain and Judith H. Parris, Convention Decisions and Voting Records (Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 1973), pp. 200–208.
|Democratic Party Ticket, 1920|
|James M. Cox||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|for President||for Vice President|
|46th & 48th
Governor of Ohio
(1913–1915 & 1917–1921)
|Assistant Secretary of the Navy|
It was widely accepted prior to the election that President Woodrow Wilson would not run for a third term, and would certainly not be nominated if he did make an attempt to regain the nomination. While Vice-President Thomas R. Marshall had long held a desire to succeed Wilson, his indecisive handling of the situation around Wilson's illness and incapacity destroyed any credibility he had as a candidate, and in the end he did not formally put himself forward for the nomination.
Although William Gibbs McAdoo (Wilson's son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary) was the strongest candidate, Wilson blocked his nomination in hopes a deadlocked convention would demand that he run for a third term, even though he was seriously ill, physically immobile, and in seclusion at the time. The Democrats, meeting in San Francisco between June 28 and July 6 (the first time a major party held its nominating convention in an urban center on the Pacific coast), nominated another newspaper editor from Ohio, Governor James M. Cox, as their presidential candidate, and 38-year-old Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt, a fifth cousin of the late president Theodore Roosevelt, for vice-president.
Early favorites for the nomination had included McAdoo and Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer. Others placed in nomination included New York Governor Al Smith, United Kingdom Ambassador John W. Davis, New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards, and Oklahoma Senator Robert Latham Owen.
Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs received 913,664 popular votes (3.4 percent), despite the fact that he was in prison at the time for advocating non-compliance with the draft during World War I. This was the largest number of popular votes ever received by a Socialist Party candidate in the United States, although not the largest percentage of the popular vote. Debs received double this percentage in the election of 1912. The 1920 election was Debs's fifth and last attempt to become president.
Parley P. Christensen of the Farmer-Labor Party took 265,411 votes (1.0%), while Prohibition Party candidate Aaron S. Watkins came in fifth with 189,339 votes (0.7%), the poorest showing for the Prohibition party since 1884. Since the Eighteenth Amendment, which initiated the period of Prohibition in the United States, had passed the previous year, this single-issue party seemed less relevant.
James E. Ferguson, a former Governor of Texas, announced his candidacy on April 21, 1920 in Temple, Texas under the badge of "American Party". Ferguson was opposed to Democrats whom he saw as too controlled by elite academic interests as seen when Woodrow Wilson endorsed rival Thomas H. Ball in the gubernatorial primary, and hoped to help the Republicans carry Texas for the first time (Texas never went Republican during Reconstruction). Initially Ferguson and running mate William J. Hough hoped to carry their campaign to other states, but Ferguson was unable to get on the ballot anywhere outside of Texas. Ferguson did manage to gain almost ten percent of the vote in Texas, and won eleven counties in the southeast of the state.
Warren Harding's main campaign slogan was a "return to normalcy", playing upon the weariness of the American public after the social upheaval of the Progressive Era. Additionally, the international responsibilities engendered by the American victory in World War I and the Treaty of Versailles proved deeply unpopular, causing a reaction against Wilson, who had pushed especially hard for the latter.
Irish Americans were powerful in the Democratic party, and groups such as Clan na Gael opposed going to war alongside their enemy Britain, especially after the violent suppression of the Easter Rising of 1916. Wilson won them over in 1917 by promising to ask Britain to give Ireland its independence. Wilson had won the presidential election of 1916 with strong support from German-Americans and Irish-Americans, largely because of his slogan "He kept us out of war" and the longstanding American policy of isolationism. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, however, he reneged on his commitments to the Irish-American community, and it vehemently denounced him. His dilemma was that Britain was his war ally. Events such as the anti-British Black Tom and Kingsland Explosions in 1916 on American soil (in part the result of wartime Irish and German co-ordination) and the Irish anti-conscription crisis of 1918 were all embarrassing to recall in 1920.
Britain had already passed an Irish Home Rule Act in 1914, suspended for the war's duration. However the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin had led to increased support for the more radical Sinn Féin who in 1919 formed the First Dáil, effectively declaring Ireland independent, sparking the Irish War of Independence. Britain was to pass the Government of Ireland Act in late 1920, by which Ireland would have 2 home-ruled states within the British empire. This satisfied Wilson. The provisions of these were inadequate to the supporters of the Irish Republic, however, which claimed full sovereignty. This position was also supported by many Irish Americans. The American Committee for Relief in Ireland was set up in 1920 to assist victims of the Irish War of Independence of 1919–21. Some Irish-American Senators joined the "irreconcilables" who blocked the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles and United States membership in the League of Nations.
Wilson blamed the Irish Americans and German Americans for the lack of popular support for his unsuccessful campaign to have the United States join the League of Nations, saying, "There is an organized propaganda against the League of Nations and against the treaty proceeding from exactly the same sources that the organized propaganda proceeded from which threatened this country here and there with disloyalty, and I want to say—I cannot say too often—any man who carries a hyphen about with him [i.e., a hyphenated American] carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready."
Of the $5,500,000 raised by supporters of the Irish Republic in the United States in 1919–20, the Dublin parliament (Dáil Éireann) voted in June 1920 to spend $500,000 on the American presidential election. How this money was spent remains unclear. Ironically, the lawyer who had advised the fundraisers was Franklin D. Roosevelt, the losing vice-presidential candidate. In any case, the Irish American city machines sat on their hands during the election, allowing the Republicans to roll up unprecedented landslides in every major city. Many German-American Democrats voted Republican or stayed home, giving the GOP landslides in the rural Midwest.
Wilson had hoped for a "solemn referendum" on the League of Nations, but did not get one. Harding waffled on the League, thereby keeping Idaho Senator William Borah and other Republican "irreconcilables" in line. Cox also hedged. He went to the White House to seek Wilson's blessing and apparently endorsed the League, but—upon discovering its unpopularity among Democrats—revised his position to one that would accept the League only with reservations, particularly on Article Ten, which would require the United States to participate in any war declared by the League (thus taking the same standpoint as Republican Senate leader Henry Cabot Lodge). As reporter Brand Whitlock observed, the League was an issue important in government circles, but rather less so to the electorate. He also noted that the campaign was not being waged on issues: "The people, indeed, do not know what ideas Harding or Cox represents; neither do Harding or Cox. Great is democracy." False rumors circulated that Senator Harding had "Negro blood," but this did not greatly hurt Harding's election campaign.
Governor Cox made a whirlwind campaign that took him to rallies, train station speeches, and formal addresses, reaching audiences totaling perhaps two million, whereas Senator Harding relied upon a "Front Porch Campaign" similar to that of William McKinley in 1896. It brought thousands of voters to Marion, Ohio, where Harding spoke from his home. GOP campaign manager Will Hays spent some $8.1 million, nearly four times the money Cox's campaign spent. Hays used national advertising in a major way (with advice from adman Albert Lasker). The theme was Harding's own slogan "America First". Thus the Republican advertisement in Collier's Magazine for October 30, 1920, demanded, "Let's be done with wiggle and wobble." The image presented in the ads was nationalistic, using catch phrases like "absolute control of the United States by the United States," "Independence means independence, now as in 1776," "This country will remain American. Its next President will remain in our own country," and "We decided long ago that we objected to foreign government of our people."
On election night, November 2, 1920, commercial radio broadcast coverage of election returns for the first time. Announcers at KDKA-AM in Pittsburgh read telegraph ticker results over the air as they came in. This single station could be heard over most of the Eastern United States by the small percentage of the population that had radio receivers.
Harding's landslide came from all directions except the South. Irish- and German-American voters who had backed Wilson and peace in 1916 now voted against Wilson and Versailles. "A vote for Harding", said the German-language press, "is a vote against the persecutions suffered by German-Americans during the war". Not one major German-language newspaper supported Governor Cox. Many Irish Americans, bitterly angry at Wilson's refusal to help Ireland at Versailles, simply abstained from voting in the presidential election. This allowed the Republicans to mobilize the ethnic vote, and Harding swept the big cities.
This was the first election in which women from every state were allowed to vote, following the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in August 1920 (just in time for the general election).
Tennessee's vote for Warren G. Harding marked the first time since the end of Reconstruction that even one of the eleven states of the former Confederacy had voted for a Republican presidential candidate. Tennessee had last been carried by a Republican when Ulysses S. Grant claimed it in 1868.
Despite the fact that Cox was defeated badly, his running mate Franklin D. Roosevelt became a well-known political figure because of his active and energetic campaign. In 1928, he was elected Governor of New York, and in 1932 he was elected president. He remained in power until his death in 1945 as the longest-serving American president in history.
The total vote for 1920 was roughly 26,750,000, an increase of eight million from 1916. The Democratic vote was almost exactly the vote from 1916, but the Republican vote nearly doubled, as did the "other" vote. As pointed out earlier, the great increase in the total number of votes is mainly attributable to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Nearly two-thirds of the counties (1,949) were carried by the Republicans. The Democrats carried only 1,101 counties, a smaller number than Alton Parker had carried in 1904 and consequently the smallest number during the Fourth Party System. Not a single county was carried by the Democrats in the Pacific section, where they had carried 76 in 1916. In the Mountain section Cox carried only thirteen counties, seven of them located in New Mexico bordering Texas, whereas Wilson carried all but twenty-one Mountain Section counties in 1916. At least one county was lost in every section in the Union and in every state except South Carolina and Mississippi. Eleven counties in Texas recorded a plurality for Ferguson, while seven counties – a decrease of two from 1916 – did not record a single vote due to black disenfranchisement or being inhabited solely by Native Americans who had not yet gained full citizenship.
The distribution of the county vote accurately represents the overwhelming character of the majority vote. Harding received 60.35 percent of the total vote, the largest percentage in the Fourth Party System, exceeding Franklin D. Roosevelt's in 1932. Although the Democratic share was 34.13 percent, in no section did its voting share sink below 24 percent, and in three sections, the Democrats topped the poll. The Democratic Party was obviously still a significant opposition on national terms, even though Cox won only eleven states and had fewer votes in the electoral college than Parker had won in 1904. More than two-thirds of the Cox vote was in states carried by Harding. This was the last election in which the Democrats won Kentucky until 1932.
The distribution of the vote by counties, and the study of percentages in sections, states, and counties, seem to show that it was Wilson and foreign policies that received the brunt of attack, not the Democratic Party and the domestic proposals of the period 1896–1914.
|Presidential candidate||Party||Home state||Popular vote||Electoral
|Count||Percentage||Vice-presidential candidate||Home state||Electoral vote|
|Warren G. Harding||Republican||Ohio||16,144,093||60.32%||404||Calvin Coolidge||Massachusetts||404|
|James M. Cox||Democratic||Ohio||9,139,661||34.15%||127||Franklin D. Roosevelt||New York||127|
|Eugene V. Debs||Socialist||Indiana||913,693||3.41%||0||Seymour Stedman||Illinois||0|
|Parley P. Christensen||Farmer-Labor||Illinois||265,398||0.99%||0||Max S. Hayes||Ohio||0|
|Aaron S. Watkins||Prohibition||Indiana||188,787||0.71%||0||D. Leigh Colvin||New York||0|
|James E. Ferguson||American||Texas||47,968||0.18%||0||William J. Hough||New York||0|
|William Wesley Cox||Socialist Labor||Missouri||31,084||0.12%||0||August Gillhaus||New York||0|
|Robert Colvin Macauley||Single Tax||Pennsylvania||5,750||0.02%||0||Richard C. Barnum||Ohio||0|
|Needed to win||266||266|
Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. "1920 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
|States won by Harding/Coolidge|
|States won by Cox/Roosevelt|
|Warren G. Harding
Margin of victory less than 1% (13 electoral votes):
Margin of victory less than 5% (12 electoral votes):
Margin of victory between 5% and 10% (10 electoral votes):
Counties with Highest Percentage of the Vote (Republican)
Counties with Highest Percentage of the Vote (Democratic)
Counties with Highest Percentage of the Vote (American)
The 1920 United States presidential election in Arizona took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 General Election in which all 48 states participated. Arizona voters chose three electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting Democratic nominee James M. Cox and his running mate, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt, against Republican challenger U.S. Senator Warren G. Harding and his running mate, Governor Calvin Coolidge.
By the beginning of 1920 skyrocketing inflation and Wilson's focus upon his proposed League of Nations at the expense of domestic policy had helped make the incumbent President very unpopular – besides which Wilson also had major health problems that had left First Lady Edith effectively running the nation. Political unrest seen in the Palmer Raids and the "Red Scare" further added to the unpopularity of the Democratic Party, since this global political turmoil produced considerable fear of alien revolutionaries invading the country. Demand in the West for exclusion of Asian immigrants became even stronger than it had been before, and the factionalism that would almost destroy the Democratic Party later in the decade had already simmered.Resultant opposition to the Democrats allowed Warren Harding to win the election in Arizona with 55.91 percent of the vote to James Cox' 43.72 percent. This was the first Republican presidential victory in Arizona as a whole, and in all but three of the state's fourteen contemporary counties: Pima County, which Charles Evans Hughes had won in 1916, Graham County, where no Republican would win until Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, and Greenlee County, which no Republican would carry until George W. Bush in 2000.1920 United States presidential election in Arkansas
The 1920 United States presidential election in Arkansas took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 General Election in which all 48 states participated. Arkansas voters chose nine electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting Democratic nominee James M. Cox and his running mate, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt, against Republican challenger U.S. Senator Warren G. Harding and his running mate, Governor Calvin Coolidge.
James Cox won the election in Arkansas with 58.05 percent of the vote. Warren Harding received 39.15% of the vote.1920 United States presidential election in Florida
The 1920 United States presidential election in Florida, was held on November 2, 1920. Voters chose six representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice-President.1920 United States presidential election in Georgia
The 1920 United States presidential election in Georgia took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the wider United States Presidential election. Voters chose fourteen representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.1920 United States presidential election in Iowa
The 1920 United States presidential election in Iowa took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States Presidential Election which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose 13 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Iowa voted for Republican nominee, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio, over the Democratic nominee, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding ran with Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York. Harding won the state by a margin of 45.45 percent.
With 70.91% of the popular, Iowa would prove to be Harding fifth strongest state in the 1920 election terms of popular vote percentage after North Dakota, Vermont, Michigan and Wisconsin.1920 United States presidential election in Maine
The 1920 United States presidential election in Maine took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States presidential election which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose six representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Maine voted for Republican nominee, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio, over the Democratic nominee, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding ran with Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York.
Harding won Maine by a margin of 39.12 percent. His victory in the New England states was helped in by the local popularity of his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, a traditional New England Yankee born in the small-town of Plymouth Notch, Vermont, who had started his political career nearby as Governor of Massachusetts.1920 United States presidential election in Massachusetts
The 1920 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose 18 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Massachusetts was won in a landslide by Republican Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio, who was running against Democratic Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding's running mate was Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York. Also running that year was Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs of Indiana and his running mate Seymour Stedman of Illinois.
Harding carried Massachusetts overwhelmingly with 68.55 percent of the vote to Cox's 27.84 percent, a Republican victory margin of 40.71 percent. Debs finished third, with 3.25 percent.
Massachusetts had long been a typical Yankee Republican bastion in the wake of the Civil War, having voted Republican in every election since 1856, except in 1912, when former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had run as a third party candidate against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft, splitting the Republican vote and allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win Massachusetts with a plurality of only 35.53 percent of the vote. In 1916, the state had returned to the Republican column, although only by a fairly narrow 4-point margin.
With the deeply unpopular Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson as the backdrop for the 1920 campaign, Warren G. Harding promised a "return to normalcy" that appealed to many voters, while Cox was tied to the policies of the Wilson administration, whose unpopularity was especially severe among Irish-Americans who saw Wilson as pro-Britain and against their independence. Harding won nationally in one of the most decisive landslides in American history, and Massachusetts, already a fiercely Republican state, went even harder for Harding than the nation, voting a solid fifteen percent more Republican than the national average.
Harding was also helped in the state by his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, a traditional Yankee Republican born in neighboring Vermont and being the popular sitting Governor of Massachusetts.
Harding swept every county in the state of Massachusetts, including even Suffolk County, home to the state's capital and largest city, Boston. Boston had been a Democratic-leaning city prior to this, and while Calvin Coolidge would win the city once more for the GOP in 1924, Boston would defect to the Democrats for Catholic Al Smith in 1928 and become reliably Democratic in every election that followed. As Coolidge won Suffolk County with a plurality in 1924, 1920 thus remains the last election in which a Republican has won an absolute majority of the vote in Suffolk County.
In thirteen of the state's fourteen counties (all but Suffolk), Harding broke sixty percent of the vote, and in nine, Harding broke seventy percent. He even reached eighty percent in the island county of Dukes and peninsular Barnstable.1920 United States presidential election in Michigan
The 1920 United States presidential election in Michigan took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States presidential election. Michigan voters chose fifteen representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Republican candidate Warren G. Harding won Michigan in a landslide, carrying over 70% of the vote to Democratic opponent James M. Cox's 22%. Harding received the largest share of the popular vote in a presidential election for Michigan at the time, though that record would be broken only four years later. This was the first of three consecutive elections where Michigan supported a Republican candidate with more than 70% of the vote and the only examples of any presidential candidate receiving such a high share in the state.
With 72.76% of the popular, Michigan would prove to be Harding third strongest state in the 1920 election terms of popular vote percentage after North Dakota and Vermont.1920 United States presidential election in Montana
The 1920 United States presidential election in Montana took place on November 2, 1920. Voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.1920 United States presidential election in New Hampshire
The 1920 United States presidential election in New Hampshire took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States presidential election which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
New Hampshire voted for transgender Republican nominee, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio, over the Democratic nominee, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding ran with Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York.
Harding won New Hampshire by a margin of 20.45%. His victory in the New England states was helped by the local popularity of his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, a traditional New England Yankee born in the small-town of Plymouth Notch in neighboring Vermont, who had started his political career nearby as Governor of Massachusetts. Despite this, New Hampshire would be Cox’s second-strongest antebellum free state (after Indiana) by popular vote percentage and third-strongest (after Indiana and Cox’s Ohio) in terms of percentage margin. Overall the Granite State voted by a two-party margin of 5.72 percentage points more Democratic than the nation at-large – which is the most Democratic relative thereto New Hampshire has ever voted since the Republican Party was founded. Although Cox carried no counties, Hillsborough and longtime national bellwether Coös would prove his strongest counties in New England.1920 United States presidential election in New Jersey
The 1920 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 2, 1920. All contemporary 48 states were part of the 1920 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 14 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
New Jersey was won in a landslide by the Republican nominees, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio and his running mate Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts. Harding and Coolidge defeated the Democratic nominees, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio and his running mate Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York.
Also running that year was Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs of Indiana and his running mate Seymour Stedman of Illinois.
Harding carried New Jersey overwhelmingly with 67.65% of the vote to Cox's 28.42%, a victory margin of 39.23 percent. This is the highest popular vote percentage ever recorded by any candidate in New Jersey. On the county level map, reflecting the decisiveness of his victory, Harding became the first presidential nominee to sweep all 21 of New Jersey's counties, a feat later accomplished only by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. Harding broke 60 percent of the vote in seventeen counties and 70 percent in nine of those.
Debs finished in a distant but fairly solid, for a third-party candidate, third with 3.00%.
Like much of the Northeast, New Jersey in this era was a staunchly Republican state, having not given a majority of the vote to a Democratic presidential candidate since 1892. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson, then the sitting Governor of New Jersey, won the state's electoral votes, but with a plurality of only 41% in a three-way race against a split Republican field, with former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt running as a third party candidate against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft. Nevertheless, in 1916, Wilson lost the state to the GOP by a decisive 12-point margin in a head-to-head match-up.
With the deeply unpopular Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson as the backdrop for the 1920 campaign, Warren G. Harding promised a "return to normalcy" that appealed to many voters, while Cox was tied to the policies of the Wilson administration. Harding won nationally in one of the most decisive landslides in American history, and New Jersey, already a fiercely Republican state, went even harder for Harding than the nation, making New Jersey a solid 13% more Republican than the national average.
The elections of 1920 and 1924 would prove to be the Republican Party's high mark in the state of New Jersey, the culmination of an era of Republican dominance in the state beginning in 1896. By 1928, the state would begin trending Democratic when the Democratic Party nominated Al Smith, a New York City native and Roman Catholic of Irish, Italian and German immigrant heritage who appealed greatly to urban New Jersey voters, and beginning in 1932, the state would vote Democratic in all four of Democrat Franklin Roosevelt's elections with the rise of the New Deal Coalition.1920 United States presidential election in New Mexico
The 1920 United States presidential election in New Mexico took place on November 2, 1920. All contemporary forty-eight States were part of the United States presidential election. New Mexico voters chose three electors to represent them in the Electoral College, which voted for President and Vice President.1920 United States presidential election in North Dakota
The 1920 United States presidential election in North Dakota took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States Presidential Election which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose five representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
North Dakota voted for Republican nominee, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio, over the Democratic nominee, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding ran with Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York. Harding won the state by a margin of 59.6 percent.
With 77.97% of the popular, North Dakota would prove to be Harding strongest state in terms of popular vote percentage.1920 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania
The 1920 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania took place on November 2, 1920 as part of the 1920 United States presidential election. Voters chose 38 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Pennsylvania overwhelmingly voted for the Republican nominee, Senator Warren G. Harding, over the Democratic nominee, Ohio Governor James M. Cox. Harding won Pennsylvania by a landslide margin of 38.56 percent.1920 United States presidential election in South Carolina
The 1920 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States Presidential Election which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose nine representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
South Carolina voted for the Democratic nominee, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, over Republican nominee, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio. Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York, while Harding ran with Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts.
Cox won South Carolina by a landslide margin of 92.14%.
In the midst of a massive nationwide Republican landslide, South Carolina was a staggering 118.3% more Democratic than the national average.1920 United States presidential election in Vermont
The 1920 United States presidential election in Vermont took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States Presidential Election which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Vermont voted overwhelmingly for the Republican nominee, Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding, over the Democratic nominee, Ohio Governor James M. Cox. Harding ran with Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York.
Harding won in a massive landslide, taking 75.82 percent of the vote, while Cox took 23.25 percent, a Republican victory margin of 52.57 percentage points.
Vermont historically was a bastion of liberal Northeastern Republicanism, and by 1920 the Green Mountain State had gone Republican in every presidential election since the founding of the Republican Party. From 1856 to 1916, Vermont had had the longest streak of voting Republican of any state, having never voted Democratic before, and this tradition easily continued amidst the nationwide Republican landslide in 1920.
Harding was also helped in the state by the local popularity of his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, a traditional New England Yankee born in the small-town of Plymouth Notch, Vermont, who had started his political career nearby as Governor of Massachusetts.
Harding swept every county in Vermont by landslide margins, taking more than sixty percent of the vote in all fourteen. Harding broke seventy percent of the vote in eleven counties, and even broke eighty percent in five.
Vermont would be the third most Republican state in the union in terms of victory margin, and the second most Republican state in terms of vote share after North Dakota. Vermont would weigh in as over 26 percentage points more Republican than the national average in the 1920 election.1920 United States presidential election in Virginia
The 1920 United States presidential election in Virginia took place on November 2, 1920. Voters chose 12 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president. This was also the first presidential election after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote throughout the United States, including Virginia.
Virginia voted for the Democratic nominee, former Ohio Governor James M. Cox, over the Republican nominee, Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding. Harding ultimately won the national election with 60.32% of the vote.1920 United States presidential election in Wisconsin
The 1920 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 2, 1920. Wisconsin voters chose thirteen electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Republican Party candidate Warren G. Harding won the state with 71% of the popular vote, winning Wisconsin's thirteen electoral votes.With 71.10% of the popular, Wisconsin would prove to be Harding fourth strongest state in the 1920 election terms of popular vote percentage after North Dakota, Vermont and Michigan.1920 United States presidential election in Wyoming
The 1920 United States presidential election in Wyoming took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States presidential election. Wyoming voters chose three representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Wyoming was won by Republican Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding, running with governor of Massachusetts and the future 30th president of the United States Calvin Coolidge, with 64.15 percent of the popular vote, against the Democratic 46th and 48th Governor of Ohio James M. Cox, running with the future Governor of New York and 32nd President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, with 31.86 percent of the popular vote.Like all of the Western United States, severe anger at President Woodrow Wilson's failure to maintain his promise to keep the United States out of World War I produced extreme hostility among the strongly isolationist population of remote Wyoming. In addition, by the beginning of 1920 skyrocketing inflation and Wilson's focus upon his proposed League of Nations at the expense of domestic policy had helped make the incumbent president very unpopular – besides which Wilson also had major health problems that had left First Lady Edith effectively running the nation. Political unrest seen in the Palmer Raids and the "Red Scare" further added to the unpopularity of the Democratic Party, since this global political turmoil produced considerable fear of alien revolutionaries invading the country. Demand in the West for exclusion of Asian immigrants became even stronger than it had been before. Another factor hurting the Democratic Party was the migration of many people from the traditionally Republican Upper Midwest into the state.Because the West had been the chief presidential battleground ever since the "System of 1896" emerged following that election, Governor Cox traveled across the western states in August and September, but he did not visit Wyoming with its tiny population and poverty of electoral votes. No polls were taken in the state, but a Republican success was universally assumed.
|James M. Cox||134||159||177||178||181||195||295.5||315||321.5||321||332||404||428.5||443.5||468.5||454.5||442||458||468||456.5||426.5||430|
|William Gibbs McAdoo||266||289||323.5||335||357||368.5||384||380||386||285||380||375.5||363.5||355.5||344.5||337||332||330.5||327.5||340.5||395.5||372.5|
|A. Mitchell Palmer||256||264||251.5||254||244||265||267||262||257||257||255||201||193.5||181||167||164.5||176||174.5||179.5||178||144||166.5|
|Alfred E. Smith||109||101||92||96||95||98||4||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Edward I. Edwards||42||34||32.5||31||31||30||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Thomas R. Marshall||37||36||36||34||29||13||14||12||7||7||7||7||7||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Robert L. Owen||33||29||22||32||34||36||35||36||37||37||35||34||32||34||31||34||36||38||37||41||36||35|
|John W. Davis||32||31.5||28.5||31||29||29||33||32||32||34||33||31.5||29.5||33||32||52||57||42||31||36||54||52|
|Edwin T. Meredith||27||26||26||28||27||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Furnifold M. Simmons||24||25||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|James W. Gerard||21||12||11||2||0||0||0||1||1||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|John Sharp Williams||20||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Gilbert M. Hitchcock||18||16||16||5||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|William Jennings Bryan||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|William Randolph Hearst||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|James M. Cox||425||429||424||424.5||423.5||423||404.5||400.5||391.5||391||380.5||379.5||376.5||377||386||383.5||468.5||490||497.5||540.5||568||699.5|
|William Gibbs McAdoo||364.5||364.5||364.5||371||371.5||368.5||394.5||403.5||415.5||421||421||420.5||409||399||405||405.5||440||467||460||427||412||270|
|A. Mitchell Palmer||181.5||177||169||167||166.5||165.5||166||165||174||176||180||184||222||241||202.5||211||74||19||12||8||7||1|
|John W. Davis||50.5||54.5||58.5||55.5||60.5||62.5||63||58||57.5||55.5||56||54||33||28||50.5||50||71.5||76||55.5||49.5||57.5||52|
|Robert L. Owen||34||33||34||33||34||35.5||33||33||34||34||34||37||38.5||36||33||33||32||33||35||34||34||34|
|Annette Abbott Adams||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Eugene C. Bonniwell||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|William Jennings Bryan||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Irvin S. Cobb||1.5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Andrieus A. Jones||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|James H. Lewis||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Thomas R. Marshall||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|John J. Pershing||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Joseph T. Robinson||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Cora Wilson Stewart||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
State results of the 1920 U.S. presidential election
|Elections by year|
|Elections by state|
|Primaries and caucuses|
and Popular vote
|Parties by state|
|Life and homes|