1924 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

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Robert La Follette Sr crop.jpg
Calvin Coolidge cph.3g10777 crop.jpg
John William Davis.jpg
Nominee Robert M. La Follette Calvin Coolidge John W. Davis
Party Progressive Republican Democratic
Home state Wisconsin Massachusetts West Virginia
Running mate Burton K. Wheeler Charles G. Dawes Charles W. Bryan
Electoral vote 13 0 0
Popular vote 453,678 311,614 68,115
Percentage 54.0% 37.1% 8.1%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1924.svg
County Results

President before election

Calvin Coolidge
Republican

Elected President

Calvin Coolidge
Republican

The 1924 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 4, 1924 as part of the 1924 United States presidential election. State voters chose 13 electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

At the beginning of the campaign in July, La Follette listed nine states as “in” for him, including Wisconsin.[1] Although early opinion polls showed La Follette attracting large numbers of those German and Scandinavian-Americans who completely deserted Cox in 1920,[2] newer polls later in the fall showed Wisconsin as the only state La Follette was certain to carry.[3] These later polls proved correct, with La Follette carrying Wisconsin with 53.96 percent of the popular vote, but winning no other state.[4]

La Follette carried 62 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, with Coolidge gaining majorities only in the heavily Yankee and pro-establishment counties bordering Illinois, in Pepin County on the western border, and in Marinette and Florence Counties bordering Michigan.

As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last time a third-party presidential candidate has carried a state outside the former Confederacy.[a]

This was the first presidential election in which a Republican won the White House without carrying Wisconsin, a feat which would not occur again until 1988, when George H.W. Bush lost the state.

Background

Wisconsin had since the decline of the Populist movement been substantially a one-party state dominated by the Republican Party.[5] The Democratic Party became entirely uncompetitive outside certain German Catholic counties adjoining Lake Michigan as the upper classes, along with the majority of workers who followed them, completely fled from William Jennings Bryan’s agrarian and free silver sympathies.[6] As Democratic strength weakened severely after 1894 – although the state did develop a strong Socialist Party to provide opposition to the GOP – Wisconsin developed the direct Republican primary in 1903 and this ultimately created competition between the “League” under Robert M. La Follette, and the conservative “Regular” faction.[7]

The beginning of the 1910s would see a minor Democratic revival as many La Follette progressives endorsed Woodrow Wilson,[8] but this flirtation would not be long-lasting as Wilson’s “Anglophile” foreign policies were severely opposed by Wisconsin’s largely German- and Scandinavian-American populace.[9] The 1918 mid-term elections saw the Midwestern farming community largely desert the Democratic Party due to supposed preferential treatment of Southern farmers:[10] Democratic seats in the Midwest fell from thirty-four to seventeen,[11] and in 1920 Wisconsin’s status as a one-party Republican state was solidified as James M. Cox won less than a sixth of the state’s presidential vote and Democrats claimed only four state legislative seats, all but one of which would be lost in 1922.

At the same time, the Republican Party both at the state and national levels was severely divided between an ascendant conservative faction and a progressive faction, whose leader was Wisconsin’s own veteran senator Robert M. La Follette.[12] After a fierce debate the Democratic Party nominated former Congressman John W. Davis of West Virginia,[13] who although West Virginia was a border state whose limited African-American population had not been disenfranchised as happened in all former Confederate States,[14] shared the extreme social conservatism of Southern Democrats of the time. Davis supported poll taxes, opposed women's suffrage, and believed in strictly limited government with no expansion in nonmilitary fields.[15]

The conservatism of the major-party nominees made La Follette mount a third-party challenge, which he had planned even beforehand.[16] Wisconsin’s Senator was formally nominated on July 4 by the "Conference for Progressive Political Action" and developed a platform dedicated to eliminating child labor and American interference in Latin American political affairs, along with a formal denunciation of the Ku Klux Klan.[17] La Follette also proposed major judicial reforms including amendments allowing congress to override judicial review and to re-enact laws declared unconstitutional.[18] La Follette also called for election of federal judges for ten-year terms.[19]

Results

1924 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[20]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Progressive Robert M. La Follette 453,678 53.96% 13
Republican Calvin Coolidge (incumbent) 311,614 37.06% 0
Democratic John W. Davis 68,115 8.10% 0
Independent William Z. Foster 3,773 0.45% 0
Prohibition Herman Faris 2,918 0.35% 0
Independent Frank Tetes Johns 458 0.05% 0
Independent William J. Wallace 270 0.03% 0
Totals 840,826 100.00% 13

Results by county

County John Calvin Coolidge
Republican
John William Davis
Democratic
Robert Marion La Follette, Sr.
Independent
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin[b] Total votes cast[21]
# % # % # % # % # %
Adams 779 28.99% 173 6.44% 1,724 64.16% 11 0.41% 945 35.17% 2,687
Ashland 2,272 32.44% 449 6.41% 4,204 60.02% 79 1.13% 1,932 27.58% 7,004
Barron 2,703 29.44% 377 4.11% 6,010 65.47% 90 0.98% 3,307 36.02% 9,180
Bayfield 1,675 36.41% 205 4.46% 2,601 56.54% 119 2.59% 926 20.13% 4,600
Brown 7,611 37.90% 2,328 11.59% 10,024 49.92% 117 0.58% 2,413 12.02% 20,080
Buffalo 1,324 33.05% 176 4.39% 2,474 61.76% 32 0.80% 1,150 28.71% 4,006
Burnett 958 30.34% 76 2.41% 2,088 66.12% 36 1.14% 1,130 35.78% 3,158
Calumet 938 18.59% 569 11.28% 3,503 69.42% 36 0.71% 2,565 50.83% 5,046
Chippewa 5,135 41.72% 560 4.55% 6,517 52.95% 96 0.78% 1,382 11.23% 12,308
Clark 3,130 31.27% 552 5.51% 6,208 62.02% 120 1.20% 3,078 30.75% 10,010
Columbia 4,724 40.41% 907 7.76% 5,968 51.05% 91 0.78% 1,244 10.64% 11,690
Crawford 1,687 29.82% 936 16.54% 2,977 52.62% 58 1.03% 1,290 22.80% 5,658
Dane 12,280 31.32% 2,081 5.31% 24,595 62.73% 252 0.64% 12,315 31.41% 39,208
Dodge 5,167 30.45% 2,019 11.90% 9,610 56.63% 175 1.03% 4,443 26.18% 16,971
Door 1,891 38.56% 235 4.79% 2,715 55.36% 63 1.28% 824 16.80% 4,904
Douglas 5,887 39.14% 638 4.24% 8,255 54.89% 259 1.72% 2,368 15.75% 15,039
Dunn 3,177 40.13% 284 3.59% 4,385 55.39% 70 0.88% 1,208 15.26% 7,916
Eau Claire 5,149 46.46% 629 5.68% 5,222 47.12% 83 0.75% 73 0.66% 11,083
Florence 594 50.21% 49 4.14% 523 44.21% 17 1.44% -71 -6.00% 1,183
Fond du Lac 8,516 41.62% 2,222 10.86% 9,576 46.80% 146 0.71% 1,060 5.18% 20,460
Forest 1,104 40.74% 299 11.03% 1,259 46.46% 48 1.77% 155 5.72% 2,710
Grant 5,714 40.33% 1,518 10.71% 6,825 48.17% 112 0.79% 1,111 7.84% 14,169
Green 2,922 35.07% 423 5.08% 4,885 58.64% 101 1.21% 1,963 23.56% 8,331
Green Lake 1,988 37.45% 1,090 20.53% 2,187 41.19% 44 0.83% 199 3.75% 5,309
Iowa 3,291 40.07% 689 8.39% 4,133 50.32% 100 1.22% 842 10.25% 8,213
Iron 1,058 40.17% 84 3.19% 1,400 53.15% 92 3.49% 342 12.98% 2,634
Jackson 1,662 32.24% 255 4.95% 3,167 61.44% 71 1.38% 1,505 29.19% 5,155
Jefferson 4,250 31.22% 1,374 10.09% 7,885 57.93% 102 0.75% 3,635 26.71% 13,611
Juneau 1,917 31.10% 403 6.54% 3,785 61.40% 59 0.96% 1,868 30.30% 6,164
Kenosha 10,341 55.45% 1,517 8.13% 6,695 35.90% 96 0.51% -3,646 -19.55% 18,649
Kewaunee 1,018 23.90% 395 9.27% 2,804 65.82% 43 1.01% 1,786 41.92% 4,260
La Crosse 5,733 32.49% 1,252 7.09% 10,543 59.74% 119 0.67% 4,810 27.26% 17,647
Lafayette 2,671 34.69% 1,265 16.43% 3,681 47.81% 82 1.07% 1,010 13.12% 7,699
Langlade 2,572 35.98% 926 12.95% 3,578 50.05% 73 1.02% 1,006 14.07% 7,149
Lincoln 1,857 26.84% 503 7.27% 4,465 64.54% 93 1.34% 2,608 37.70% 6,918
Manitowoc 4,828 29.54% 1,599 9.78% 9,814 60.04% 104 0.64% 4,986 30.50% 16,345
Marathon 5,577 29.22% 1,109 5.81% 12,193 63.88% 209 1.09% 6,616 34.66% 19,088
Marinette 4,911 54.68% 571 6.36% 3,411 37.98% 88 0.98% -1,500 -16.70% 8,981
Marquette 1,109 31.19% 587 16.51% 1,820 51.18% 40 1.12% 711 19.99% 3,556
Milwaukee 50,730 34.27% 14,510 9.80% 81,697 55.19% 1,092 0.74% 30,967 20.92% 148,029
Monroe 2,661 26.70% 428 4.30% 6,747 67.71% 129 1.29% 4,086 41.00% 9,965
Oconto 2,562 33.12% 602 7.78% 4,506 58.25% 65 0.84% 1,944 25.13% 7,735
Oneida 1,769 33.07% 324 6.06% 3,196 59.74% 61 1.14% 1,427 26.67% 5,350
Outagamie 6,426 35.39% 1,255 6.91% 10,357 57.03% 122 0.67% 3,931 21.65% 18,160
Ozaukee 1,015 20.71% 592 12.08% 3,264 66.61% 29 0.59% 2,249 45.90% 4,900
Pepin 1,226 55.88% 206 9.39% 737 33.59% 25 1.14% -489 -22.29% 2,194
Pierce 2,788 40.97% 298 4.38% 3,661 53.80% 58 0.85% 873 12.83% 6,805
Polk 2,793 37.57% 317 4.26% 4,251 57.18% 73 0.98% 1,458 19.61% 7,434
Portage 2,854 27.76% 2,010 19.55% 5,347 52.01% 69 0.67% 2,493 24.25% 10,280
Price 1,754 32.81% 323 6.04% 3,151 58.94% 118 2.21% 1,397 26.13% 5,346
Racine 13,040 50.21% 1,463 5.63% 11,298 43.51% 168 0.65% -1,742 -6.71% 25,969
Richland 2,669 42.11% 898 14.17% 2,660 41.97% 111 1.75% -9 -0.14% 6,338
Rock 14,815 60.92% 1,453 5.97% 7,923 32.58% 129 0.53% -6,892 -28.34% 24,320
Rusk 1,932 39.11% 272 5.51% 2,677 54.19% 59 1.19% 745 15.08% 4,940
St. Croix 3,600 39.68% 718 7.91% 4,693 51.72% 62 0.68% 1,093 12.05% 9,073
Sauk 3,935 35.60% 555 5.02% 6,400 57.91% 162 1.47% 2,465 22.30% 11,052
Sawyer 990 37.53% 135 5.12% 1,487 56.37% 26 0.99% 497 18.84% 2,638
Shawano 2,063 23.01% 471 5.25% 6,337 70.69% 94 1.05% 4,274 47.67% 8,965
Sheboygan 6,974 34.56% 1,350 6.69% 11,714 58.04% 143 0.71% 4,740 23.49% 20,181
Taylor 1,389 29.49% 185 3.93% 3,079 65.37% 57 1.21% 1,690 35.88% 4,710
Trempealeau 2,083 31.26% 373 5.60% 4,148 62.24% 60 0.90% 2,065 30.99% 6,664
Vernon 2,670 30.41% 406 4.62% 5,599 63.78% 104 1.18% 2,929 33.36% 8,779
Vilas 873 42.11% 119 5.74% 1,038 50.07% 43 2.07% 165 7.96% 2,073
Walworth 7,484 57.22% 1,162 8.88% 4,335 33.14% 99 0.76% -3,149 -24.07% 13,080
Washburn 1,422 38.91% 158 4.32% 2,043 55.90% 32 0.88% 621 16.99% 3,655
Washington 1,987 24.44% 980 12.05% 5,081 62.49% 83 1.02% 3,094 38.05% 8,131
Waukesha 7,026 45.45% 1,965 12.71% 6,348 41.06% 120 0.78% -678 -4.39% 15,459
Waupaca 3,654 33.89% 665 6.17% 6,395 59.32% 67 0.62% 2,741 25.42% 10,781
Waushara 1,602 35.43% 249 5.51% 2,606 57.63% 65 1.44% 1,004 22.20% 4,522
Winnebago 11,239 48.70% 1,801 7.80% 9,891 42.86% 147 0.64% -1,348 -5.84% 23,078
Wood 3,469 30.32% 548 4.79% 7,303 63.83% 122 1.07% 3,834 33.51% 11,442
Totals 311,614 37.06% 68,115 8.10% 453,678 53.96% 7,419 0.88% -142,064 -16.90% 840,826

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Due to conflicts over black civil rights and to their disenfranchisement, third-party “states’ rights” candidates carried four Confederate states in 1948, two 1960 and five in 1968.
  2. ^ Because La Follette carried Wisconsin, and he and Coolidge were the top two candidates in the state and in every county, all margins given are La Follette vote minus Coolidge vote and all percentage margins La Follette percentage minus Coolidge percentage.

References

  1. ^ ‘La Follette’s Managers Claiming Nine States’; The Ridgway News (Ridgway, Illinois), July 24, 1924, p. 1
  2. ^ Tucker, Garland; High Tide of American Conservatism: Davis, Coolidge, and the 1924 Election, p. 191 ISBN 193711029X
  3. ^ Tucker; High Tide of American Conservatism, p. 231
  4. ^ "1924 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  5. ^ Burnham, Walter Dean; 'The System of 1896: An Analysis'; in The Evolution of American Electoral Systems, pp. 178-179 ISBN 0313213798
  6. ^ Sundquist, James; Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years, p. 526 ISBN 0815719094
  7. ^ Hansen, John Mark; Shigeo Hirano, and Snyder, James M. Jr.; ‘Parties within Parties: Parties, Factions, and Coordinated Politics, 1900-1980’; in Gerber, Alan S. and Schickler, Eric; Governing in a Polarized Age: Elections, Parties, and Political Representation in America, pp. 165-168 ISBN 978-1-107-09509-0
  8. ^ Crews, Kenneth D.; ‘Woodrow Wilson, Wisconsin, and the Election of 1912’; Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3: ‘Presidents, Vice Presidents and Political Parties: Performance and Prospects’ (Summer, 1982), pp. 369-376
  9. ^ Leary, William M. (jr.); ‘Woodrow Wilson, Irish Americans, and the Election of 1916’; The Journal of American History, Vol. 54, No. 1 (June 1967), pp. 57-72
  10. ^ Morello, John A.; Albert D. Lasker, Advertising, and the Election of Warren G. Harding, p. 64 ISBN 0275970302
  11. ^ Hough, Jerry F.; Changing Party Coalitions: The Mystery of the Red State-Blue State Alignment, pp. 86-87 ISBN 0875864090
  12. ^ Moore, John A.; ‘The Original Supply Siders: Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge’; The Independent Review, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Spring 2014), pp. 597-618
  13. ^ Paulson, Arthur C.; Realignment and Party Revival: Understanding American Electoral Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, p. 51 ISBN 0275968650
  14. ^ Ranney, Joseph A.; In the Wake of Slavery: Civil War, Civil Rights, and the Reconstruction of Southern Law; p. 141 ISBN 0275989720
  15. ^ Newman, Roger K.; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, p. 153 ISBN 0300113005
  16. ^ Richardson, Danny G.; Others: "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive Movement: Third-Party Politics in the 1920s, p. 180 ISBN 0595481264
  17. ^ Richardson; Others, pp. 182-183
  18. ^ Moreno, Paul D.; The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal: The Twilight of Constitutionalism and the Triumph of Progressivism, p. 205 ISBN 1107067715
  19. ^ Parrish, Michael E.; Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941, pp. 70-71 ISBN 0393311341
  20. ^ "1924 Presidential General Election Results – Wisconsin". Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  21. ^ Wisconsin State Election Board; ‘Summary Vote for Presidential Electors, November 4, 1924’; Wisconsin Blue Book 1925 pp. 506-517