1936 United States presidential election in North Dakota

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FDR in 1933 (cropped).jpg
LandonPortr (cropped).jpg
WilliamLemke22.jpg
Nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt Alf Landon William Lemke
Party Democratic Republican Union
Home state New York Kansas North Dakota
Running mate John Nance Garner Frank Knox Thomas C. O'Brien
Electoral vote 4 0 0
Popular vote 163,148 72,751 36,708
Percentage 59.60% 26.58% 13.41%

North Dakota Presidential Election Results 1936.svg
County Results
Roosevelt
  40-50%
  50-60%
  60-70%
  70-80%

The 1936 United States presidential election in North Dakota took place on November 3, 1936, as part of the 1936 United States presidential election. Voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

Ever since statehood, North Dakota had been overwhelmingly Republican at state level and in many presidential elections,[1] although progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson was able to carry the state in both his campaigns in 1912 and 1916, in the second due to his anti-war platform. In the following three elections, the state's voting would be shaped by its extreme isolationism in the aftermath of President Wilson's pushing of the nation into World War I and his “League of Nations” proposal, to which the Russian-Germans who dominated North Dakota's populace were vehemently opposed.[2] The Peace Garden State thus shifted markedly from voting four-to-one for Warren G. Harding against the pro-League James M. Cox in 1920, to being the second-strongest state for Robert La Follette under the Nonpartisan League banner in 1924, to strong pro-Catholic and anti-Prohibition voting for Al Smith in 1928. Severe drought and depression in the following three years turned the state overwhelmingly to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, despite President Hoover's call to “be safe” by supporting him, and at the same time North Dakota elected progressive, pro-New Deal Republicans to fill its House and Senate seats.[3] One of these, Gerald Nye, would say in 1934 that the GOP needed to

turn its back up “that which has been its undoing, namely the private money bags”.[4]

Local third-party candidacy

Controversial Louisiana Governor and Senator Huey P. Long had planned to run against incumbent Roosevelt on an economically more radical platform in the 1936 election,[5] but was assassinated in September 1935. The ashes of Long's movement were taken over by “radio priest” Father Charles Coughlin, who nominated local Representative William Lemke as the presidential candidate of the new “Union Party” on June 9,[6] whose platform was vague and clearly Coughlin's personal creation.[7] Lemke had had a long history as a progressive reformer since endorsing Woodrow Wilson in 1912.[8]

Vote

Lemke was a poor campaigner and speaker, and unable to build his hoped-for “consensus of despair” amongst agrarian radicals, southern poor whites, Catholics and the elderly.[9] The “favorite son” effect and the state's extreme isolationism meant Lemke received 13.41 percent of his home state's vote – over four and a half times the 2.88 percent of on-ballot votes he won nationally.[a] Lemke exceeded 28 percent in the counties of Burke, Sheridan and Hettinger, and ran second ahead of Republican nominee Alf Landon in six counties. However, he did not make the impact personally expected when nominated, and unlike elsewhere in the nation, Lemke's best vote was not where ethnic and religious influences might have been expected to give him the largest vote, but in the northwest where local leaders held votes for him.[10] Nonetheless, only Ross Perot in 1992 and Evan McMullin in 2016 have since equalled Lemke's performance for a third-party candidate in any non-southern county.[b]

Roosevelt won North Dakota by a margin of 33.02 percentage points and for the second consecutive election carried every county in the state. As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last time that a Democratic presidential candidate has carried every county in the state, as well as the last time one has carried the following counties: Golden Valley, Grant, Kidder, Logan, McIntosh, Mercer and Sheridan.[11]

Results

1936 United States presidential election in North Dakota[12]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes % Electoral votes
Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt John Nance Garner 163,148 59.60% 4
Republican Alf Landon Frank Knox 72,751 26.58% 0
Union William Lemke Thomas C. O'Brien 36,708 13.41% 0
Socialist Norman Thomas George A. Nelson 552 0.20% 0
Communist Earl Browder James W. Ford 360 0.13% 0
Prohibition D. Leigh Colvin Claude A. Watson 197 0.07% 0
Total 273,716 100.0% 4

Results by county

County[13] Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Democratic
Alfred Mossman Landon
Republican
William Frederick Lemke
Union
Norman Mattoon Thomas
Socialist
Earl Russell Browder
Communist
David Leigh Colvin
Prohibition
Margin Total votes cast
# % # % # % # % # % # % # %
Adams 1,321 54.95% 746 31.03% 310 12.90% 5 0.21% 7 0.29% 15 0.62% 575 23.92% 2,404
Barnes 4,484 57.89% 2,324 30.00% 909 11.74% 17 0.22% 4 0.05% 8 0.10% 2,160 27.89% 7,746
Benson 3,343 62.33% 1,020 19.02% 985 18.37% 11 0.21% 1 0.02% 3 0.06% 2,323 43.32% 5,363
Billings 729 59.17% 329 26.70% 155 12.58% 18 1.46% 1 0.08% 0 0.00% 400 32.47% 1,232
Bottineau 3,286 56.86% 1,224 21.18% 1,236 21.39% 24 0.42% 2 0.03% 7 0.12% 2,050[c] 35.47% 5,779
Bowman 1,118 55.62% 534 26.57% 346 17.21% 11 0.55% 1 0.05% 0 0.00% 584 29.05% 2,010
Burke 1,821 48.81% 684 18.33% 1,180 31.63% 25 0.67% 17 0.46% 4 0.11% 641[c] 17.18% 3,731
Burleigh 6,314 64.94% 2,447 25.17% 905 9.31% 22 0.23% 27 0.28% 8 0.08% 3,867 39.77% 9,723
Cass 12,400 57.22% 7,632 35.22% 1,548 7.14% 62 0.29% 14 0.06% 14 0.06% 4,768 22.00% 21,670
Cavalier 3,533 60.82% 1,657 28.52% 614 10.57% 1 0.02% 1 0.02% 3 0.05% 1,876 32.29% 5,809
Dickey 2,287 51.30% 1,533 34.39% 595 13.35% 5 0.11% 33 0.74% 5 0.11% 754 16.91% 4,458
Divide 2,212 62.56% 585 16.54% 731 20.67% 4 0.11% 3 0.08% 1 0.03% 1,481[c] 41.88% 3,536
Dunn 2,257 66.76% 732 21.65% 379 11.21% 1 0.03% 11 0.33% 1 0.03% 1,525 45.10% 3,381
Eddy 1,729 63.78% 579 21.36% 382 14.09% 3 0.11% 17 0.63% 1 0.04% 1,150 42.42% 2,711
Emmons 2,424 57.95% 1,117 26.70% 638 15.25% 2 0.05% 2 0.05% 0 0.00% 1,307 31.25% 4,183
Foster 1,894 68.65% 685 24.83% 175 6.34% 4 0.14% 1 0.04% 0 0.00% 1,209 43.82% 2,759
Golden Valley 991 59.73% 581 35.02% 77 4.64% 4 0.24% 6 0.36% 0 0.00% 410 24.71% 1,659
Grand Forks 9,222 63.39% 4,312 29.64% 980 6.74% 17 0.12% 9 0.06% 9 0.06% 4,910 33.75% 14,549
Grant 1,858 53.76% 1,022 29.57% 566 16.38% 6 0.17% 4 0.12% 0 0.00% 836 24.19% 3,456
Griggs 1,665 61.15% 666 24.46% 386 14.18% 2 0.07% 1 0.04% 3 0.11% 999 36.69% 2,723
Hettinger 1,383 41.69% 989 29.82% 937 28.25% 8 0.24% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 394 11.88% 3,317
Kidder 1,492 50.89% 872 29.74% 561 19.13% 1 0.03% 6 0.20% 0 0.00% 620 21.15% 2,932
LaMoure 2,412 49.52% 1,614 33.13% 826 16.96% 11 0.23% 1 0.02% 7 0.14% 798 16.38% 4,871
Logan 1,292 45.11% 984 34.36% 584 20.39% 1 0.03% 2 0.07% 1 0.03% 308 10.75% 2,864
McHenry 3,294 53.40% 1,619 26.24% 1,222 19.81% 8 0.13% 20 0.32% 6 0.10% 1,675 27.15% 6,169
McIntosh 1,900 52.36% 1,469 40.48% 255 7.03% 2 0.06% 1 0.03% 2 0.06% 431 11.88% 3,629
McKenzie 2,885 74.20% 570 14.66% 409 10.52% 5 0.13% 15 0.39% 4 0.10% 2,315 59.54% 3,888
McLean 4,018 58.55% 1,732 25.24% 1,028 14.98% 64 0.93% 16 0.23% 4 0.06% 2,286 33.31% 6,862
Mercer 1,924 53.16% 1,142 31.56% 548 15.14% 3 0.08% 2 0.06% 0 0.00% 782 21.61% 3,619
Morton 5,612 69.37% 1,857 22.95% 608 7.52% 3 0.04% 3 0.04% 7 0.09% 3,755 46.42% 8,090
Mountrail 2,775 58.19% 700 14.68% 1,227 25.73% 20 0.42% 39 0.82% 8 0.17% 1,548[c] 32.46% 4,769
Nelson 2,954 65.78% 1,002 22.31% 524 11.67% 6 0.13% 3 0.07% 2 0.04% 1,952 43.46% 4,491
Oliver 906 57.60% 469 29.82% 197 12.52% 1 0.06% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 437 27.78% 1,573
Pembina 4,139 63.86% 2,040 31.48% 293 4.52% 6 0.09% 3 0.05% 0 0.00% 2,099 32.39% 6,481
Pierce 2,168 57.60% 912 24.23% 676 17.96% 4 0.11% 3 0.08% 1 0.03% 1,256 33.37% 3,764
Ramsey 4,559 65.19% 1,784 25.51% 642 9.18% 6 0.09% 1 0.01% 1 0.01% 2,775 39.68% 6,993
Ransom 2,385 55.49% 1,303 30.32% 600 13.96% 5 0.12% 3 0.07% 2 0.05% 1,082 25.17% 4,298
Renville 1,766 61.73% 611 21.36% 444 15.52% 37 1.29% 2 0.07% 1 0.03% 1,155 40.37% 2,861
Richland 3,792 49.92% 2,386 31.41% 1,361 17.92% 47 0.62% 6 0.08% 4 0.05% 1,406 18.51% 7,596
Rolette 3,186 71.89% 857 19.34% 386 8.71% 3 0.07% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 2,329 52.55% 4,432
Sargent 2,306 64.47% 863 24.13% 397 11.10% 6 0.17% 3 0.08% 2 0.06% 1,443 40.34% 3,577
Sheridan 1,150 41.10% 834 29.81% 808 28.88% 1 0.04% 2 0.07% 3 0.11% 316 11.29% 2,798
Sioux 877 52.70% 585 35.16% 198 11.90% 2 0.12% 2 0.12% 0 0.00% 292 17.55% 1,664
Slope 896 63.05% 331 23.29% 193 13.58% 1 0.07% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 565 39.76% 1,421
Stark 4,012 65.35% 1,602 26.10% 511 8.32% 8 0.13% 2 0.03% 4 0.07% 2,410 39.26% 6,139
Steele 1,444 50.26% 724 25.20% 698 24.30% 4 0.14% 3 0.10% 0 0.00% 720 25.06% 2,873
Stutsman 5,564 59.39% 2,725 29.09% 1,064 11.36% 11 0.12% 2 0.02% 3 0.03% 2,839 30.30% 9,369
Towner 1,744 54.26% 720 22.40% 743 23.12% 3 0.09% 4 0.12% 0 0.00% 1,001[c] 31.14% 3,214
Traill 2,780 52.76% 1,807 34.29% 666 12.64% 5 0.09% 6 0.11% 5 0.09% 973 18.47% 5,269
Walsh 5,756 70.32% 1,813 22.15% 604 7.38% 8 0.10% 2 0.02% 2 0.02% 3,943 48.17% 8,185
Ward 8,872 63.12% 3,142 22.36% 2,005 14.27% 15 0.11% 13 0.09% 8 0.06% 5,730 40.77% 14,055
Wells 3,114 58.78% 1,263 23.84% 918 17.33% 3 0.06% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 1,851 34.94% 5,298
Williams 4,903 65.61% 1,021 13.66% 1,478 19.78% 23 0.31% 44 0.59% 4 0.05% 3,425[c] 45.83% 7,473
Totals 163,148 59.60% 72,751 26.58% 36,708 13.41% 552 0.20% 360 0.13% 197 0.07% 90,397 33.03% 273,716

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Lemke—O‘Brien ticket was not on the ballot in Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia.
  2. ^ Between 1948 and 1968 inclusive, the political impact of the Civil Rights Movement meant unpledged and "Dixiecrat" nominees frequently exceeded Lemke’s best performance and outpolled one or both major-party nominees in the Deep South and occasionally elsewhere in antebellum slave states.
  3. ^ a b c d e f In this county where Lemke ran second ahead of Landon, margin given is Roosevelt vote minus Lemke vote and percentage margin Roosevelt percentage minus Lemke percentage.

References

  1. ^ 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. 143-159 ISBN 978-1-107-09509-0
  2. ^ Lubell, Samuel; The Future of American Politics (1956), pp. 156-164
  3. ^ Grant, Michael Johnston; Francis, Charles A. and Flora, Cornelia; Down and Out on the Family Farm: Rural Rehabilitation in the Great Plains, 1929-1945, pp. 69-70 ISBN 9780803271050
  4. ^ Sheppard, Si; The Buying of the Presidency? Franklin D. Roosevelt, the New Deal, and the Election of 1936, p. 25 ISBN 9781440831058
  5. ^ Berlet, Chip and Lyons, Matthew N.; Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, p. 128 ISBN 9781572305687
  6. ^ Brinkley, Alan; Voices of Protest: Huey Long, Father Coughlin, and the Great Depression, p. 255 ISBN 9780394522418
  7. ^ Schlesinger, Arthur M.; The Politics of Upheaval, 1935-1936, pp. 554-559 ISBN 0618340874
  8. ^ Pearson, Drew and Allen, Robert S.; ‘The Washington Merry-Go-Round’; The Lock Haven Express, August 1, 1936, p. 1
  9. ^ Horowitz, David A.; Beyond Left and Right: Insurgency and the Establishment, pp. 113-114 ISBN 0252065689
  10. ^ Blackorby, Edward C.; ‘William Lemke: Agrarian Radical and Union Party Presidential Candidate’; The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 49, No. 1 (June 1962), pp. 67-84
  11. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  12. ^ "1936 Presidential General Election Results – North Dakota". Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "ND US President Race, November 03, 1936". Our Campaigns.