1956 United States presidential election in North Carolina

← 1952 November 6, 1956[1] 1960 →

All 14 North Carolina votes to the Electoral College
 
Nominee Adlai Stevenson Dwight D. Eisenhower
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Pennsylvania[a][2]
Running mate Estes Kefauver Richard Nixon
Electoral vote 14 0
Popular vote 590,530 575,062
Percentage 50.66% 49.34%


President before election

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican

Elected President

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican

The 1956 United States presidential election in North Carolina took place on November 6, 1956, as part of the 1956 United States presidential election. North Carolina voters chose 14[3] representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

As a former Confederate state, North Carolina had a history of Jim Crow laws, disfranchisement of its African-American population and dominance of the Democratic Party in state politics. However, unlike the Deep South, the Republican Party had sufficient historic Unionist white support from the mountains and northwestern Piedmont to gain one-third of the statewide vote total in most general elections,[4] where turnout was higher than elsewhere in the former Confederacy due substantially to the state's early abolition of the poll tax in 1920.[5] Like Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma, the relative strength of Republican opposition meant that North Carolina never had statewide white primaries, although certain counties did use a white primary until it was banned by Smith v. Allwright.[6]

Following the banning of white primaries by the Supreme Court, North Carolina in 1948 offered less support to the Dixiecrat bolt than any other former Confederate state, due to the economic liberalism of its Black Belt and solid Democratic party discipline due to consistent Republican opposition.[7] Although there was little satisfaction with Harry S. Truman during his second term,[8] the loyalty of the white voters of the state’s Black Belt and the previously anti-Al Smith Outer Banks meant that unlike Texas, Florida and Virginia, urban middle-class Republican voting was inadequate to carry North Carolina for Eisenhower.[9]

During the 1940s and 1950s, the proportion of blacks registered to vote in the state increased steadily from less than ten percent to around twenty percent by the time of Brown v. Board of Education. Several Piedmont cities had blacks on their councils,[10] although blacks in rural areas generally remained without hope of registering. The state would largely escape the overt “Massive Resistance” seen in neighbouring Virginia,[11] and four of its congressmen did not sign the Southern Manifesto.[12] Nonetheless, although the Greensboro school board voted 6–1 to desegregate within a day of Brown,[13] no serious desegregation would take place until well into the 1960s, while two non-signers would be challenged and defeated in 1956 primaries.[b]

Polls

Source Rating As of
The Daily Press[14] Safe D September 29, 1956
The Daily Times-News[15] Safe D October 26, 1956
Asheville Citizen-Times[16] Safe D October 28, 1956
Fort Worth Star-Telegram[17] Safe D November 2, 1956
Corpus Christi Times[18] Likely D November 3, 1956
The Philadelphia Inquirer[19] Likely D November 4, 1956
The Salt Lake Tribune[20] Likely D November 4, 1956

Results

1956 United States presidential election in North Carolina
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Adlai Stevenson 590,530 50.66%
Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower (inc.) 575,062 49.34%
Total votes 1,165,592 100%

Results by county

1956 United States presidential election in North Carolina by county[21]
County Adlai Stevenson II
Democratic
Dwight David Eisenhower
Republican
Margin
% # % # % #
Greene 93.67% 3,285 6.33% 222 87.34% 3,063
Martin 92.73% 5,730 7.27% 449 85.47% 5,281
Bertie 87.79% 3,373 12.21% 469 75.59% 2,904
Franklin 87.00% 5,298 13.00% 792 73.99% 4,506
Northampton 85.03% 4,242 14.97% 747 70.05% 3,495
Pitt 82.52% 11,873 17.48% 2,515 65.04% 9,358
Jones 82.47% 1,952 17.53% 415 64.93% 1,537
Edgecombe 80.97% 7,830 19.03% 1,840 61.94% 5,990
Warren 79.19% 2,733 20.81% 718 58.39% 2,015
Hoke 79.12% 1,944 20.88% 513 58.24% 1,431
Robeson 79.06% 10,516 20.94% 2,785 58.12% 7,731
Nash 78.91% 9,969 21.09% 2,665 57.81% 7,304
Hertford 78.79% 2,708 21.21% 729 57.58% 1,979
Gates 78.49% 1,244 21.51% 341 56.97% 903
Columbus 77.24% 7,805 22.76% 2,300 54.48% 5,505
Halifax 77.01% 7,860 22.99% 2,346 54.03% 5,514
Duplin 76.66% 6,931 23.34% 2,110 53.32% 4,821
Wilson 74.64% 8,328 25.36% 2,830 49.27% 5,498
Currituck 74.49% 1,425 25.51% 488 48.98% 937
Onslow 74.26% 4,692 25.74% 1,626 48.53% 3,066
Granville 73.28% 4,013 26.72% 1,463 46.57% 2,550
Chowan 72.76% 1,485 27.24% 556 45.52% 929
Lenoir 72.76% 6,847 27.24% 2,564 45.51% 4,283
Bladen 72.56% 4,078 27.44% 1,542 45.12% 2,536
Scotland 72.21% 3,042 27.79% 1,171 44.41% 1,871
Vance 71.57% 4,922 28.43% 1,955 43.14% 2,967
Beaufort 71.56% 5,730 28.44% 2,277 43.12% 3,453
Camden 70.33% 813 29.67% 343 40.66% 470
Richmond 69.40% 6,592 30.60% 2,907 38.79% 3,685
Anson 68.69% 3,598 31.31% 1,640 37.38% 1,958
Pender 68.52% 2,196 31.48% 1,009 37.04% 1,187
Lee 68.12% 4,163 31.88% 1,948 36.25% 2,215
Craven 68.12% 6,317 31.88% 2,956 36.25% 3,361
Hyde 67.68% 1,028 32.32% 491 35.35% 537
Caswell 67.21% 2,468 32.79% 1,204 34.42% 1,264
Johnston 66.82% 9,852 33.18% 4,893 33.63% 4,959
Person 66.36% 3,433 33.64% 1,740 32.73% 1,693
Union 65.50% 6,383 34.50% 3,362 31.00% 3,021
Washington 65.34% 1,947 34.66% 1,033 30.67% 914
Harnett 64.99% 7,421 35.01% 3,998 29.98% 3,423
Pasquotank 61.86% 2,963 38.14% 1,827 23.72% 1,136
Wayne 61.55% 6,756 38.45% 4,220 23.10% 2,536
Wake 59.61% 22,427 40.39% 15,194 19.23% 7,233
Tyrrell 59.42% 615 40.58% 420 18.84% 195
Pamlico 59.06% 1,376 40.94% 954 18.11% 422
Perquimans 59.04% 1,022 40.96% 709 18.08% 313
Cumberland 56.95% 8,862 43.05% 6,699 13.90% 2,163
Cleveland 54.30% 8,408 45.70% 7,076 8.60% 1,332
Chatham 52.68% 4,151 47.32% 3,729 5.36% 422
Haywood 52.21% 7,598 47.79% 6,955 4.42% 643
New Hanover 51.97% 10,247 48.03% 9,470 3.94% 777
Jackson 51.95% 3,787 48.05% 3,503 3.90% 284
Orange 51.90% 4,743 48.10% 4,396 3.80% 347
Sampson 51.84% 7,197 48.16% 6,685 3.69% 512
Yancey 51.35% 2,964 48.65% 2,808 2.70% 156
Durham 51.13% 13,835 48.87% 13,226 2.25% 609
Carteret 50.46% 3,875 49.54% 3,804 0.92% 71
Brunswick 49.98% 3,297 50.02% 3,299 -0.03% -2
Rockingham 49.73% 8,896 50.27% 8,991 -0.53% -95
Alleghany 49.57% 1,670 50.43% 1,699 -0.86% -29
Montgomery 47.90% 3,088 52.10% 3,359 -4.20% -271
Alamance 47.64% 11,029 52.36% 12,123 -4.73% -1,094
Stokes 47.63% 3,948 52.37% 4,341 -4.74% -393
Moore 47.45% 4,729 52.55% 5,238 -5.11% -509
Polk 47.23% 2,527 52.77% 2,823 -5.53% -296
Clay 47.16% 1,287 52.84% 1,442 -5.68% -155
Macon 47.02% 3,025 52.98% 3,408 -5.95% -383
Swain 46.96% 1,794 53.04% 2,026 -6.07% -232
Transylvania 46.82% 3,435 53.18% 3,901 -6.35% -466
Lincoln 46.80% 5,838 53.20% 6,637 -6.40% -799
Rutherford 46.78% 7,208 53.22% 8,200 -6.44% -992
Ashe 46.46% 3,982 53.54% 4,588 -7.07% -606
Madison 46.42% 3,693 53.58% 4,263 -7.16% -570
Gaston 46.32% 15,671 53.68% 18,159 -7.35% -2,488
Graham 45.75% 1,486 54.25% 1,762 -8.50% -276
Buncombe 45.67% 19,044 54.33% 22,655 -8.66% -3,611
Dare 44.94% 839 55.06% 1,028 -10.12% -189
McDowell 44.54% 4,392 55.46% 5,468 -10.91% -1,076
Surry 43.82% 7,020 56.18% 9,001 -12.37% -1,981
Cherokee 42.60% 2,843 57.40% 3,830 -14.79% -987
Alexander 41.84% 2,710 58.16% 3,767 -16.32% -1,057
Watauga 41.01% 3,223 58.99% 4,636 -17.98% -1,413
Burke 40.35% 7,999 59.65% 11,823 -19.29% -3,824
Guilford 40.13% 21,948 59.87% 32,751 -19.75% -10,803
Iredell 39.57% 7,286 60.43% 11,125 -20.85% -3,839
Randolph 38.95% 8,404 61.05% 13,174 -22.11% -4,770
Caldwell 38.78% 6,861 61.22% 10,833 -22.45% -3,972
Stanly 38.55% 6,693 61.45% 10,667 -22.89% -3,974
Davidson 38.17% 9,987 61.83% 16,178 -23.66% -6,191
Mecklenburg 37.98% 27,227 62.02% 44,469 -24.05% -17,242
Catawba 37.25% 11,424 62.75% 19,246 -25.50% -7,822
Rowan 35.72% 9,761 64.28% 17,562 -28.55% -7,801
Forsyth 35.01% 15,819 64.99% 29,368 -29.98% -13,549
Wilkes 33.71% 5,870 66.29% 11,544 -32.58% -5,674
Cabarrus 33.15% 7,173 66.85% 14,462 -33.69% -7,289
Davie 31.45% 2,110 68.55% 4,599 -37.10% -2,489
Henderson 30.22% 4,003 69.78% 9,243 -39.56% -5,240
Yadkin 30.15% 2,361 69.85% 5,469 -39.69% -3,108
Mitchell 20.03% 1,069 79.97% 4,269 -59.95% -3,200
Avery 19.47% 969 80.53% 4,009 -61.07% -3,040

Analysis

North Carolina was carried by Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, with 50.66 percent of the popular vote, over incumbent Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 49.34 percent.[22][23] As in 1952, the key to Stevenson’s victory was the powerful loyalty of Black Belt and Outer Banks white voters. The east–west partisan split seen in 1928 and 1952 became so consistent that Stevenson won only four counties in the western bloc — with Eisenhower’s gain vis-à-vis 1952 of around 6 points concentrated in traditionally Democratic mountain and Piedmont counties[21] — but in the coastal plain Eisenhower won only Dare and Brunswick Counties. Critical help for Stevenson also came from gaining a much larger proportion of the growing urban black electorate than elsewhere in the Confederacy.[c]

Alleghany County voted Republican for the first time ever, whilst Dare County voted Republican for the first time since 1896, and McDowell County for the first time since 1908.[25] This was the last time until 1992 that North Carolina would vote for the losing candidate in a presidential election, and remains the last time that a Republican has won the presidency without carrying the state.

Notes

  1. ^ Although he was born in Texas and grew up in Kansas before his military career, at the time of the 1952 election Eisenhower was president of Columbia University and was, officially, a resident of New York. During his first term as president, he moved his private residence to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and officially changed his residency to Pennsylvania.
  2. ^ These were Charles B. Deane and Richard Thurmond Chatham.[12]
  3. ^ It is estimated that Eisenhower gained under forty percent of black voters in major North Carolina cities, whereas he gained over seventy percent in Atlanta and Richmond and over half in Memphis.[24]

References

  1. ^ "United States Presidential election of 1956 — Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Presidents". David Leip. Retrieved September 27, 2017. Eisenhower's home state for the 1956 Election was Pennsylvania
  3. ^ "1956 Election for the Forty-Fourth Term (1961-65)". Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  4. ^ Phillips, Kevin P. The Emerging Republican Majority. pp. 210, 242. ISBN 978-0-691-16324-6.
  5. ^ Key, Valdimer Orlando (1949). Southern Politics in State and Nation. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 502.
  6. ^ Klarman, Michael J. (2001). "The White Primary Rulings: A Case Study in the Consequences of Supreme Court Decision-Making". Florida State University Law Review. 29: 55–107.
  7. ^ Guthrie, Paul Daniel (August 1955). The Dixiecrat Movement of 1948 (Thesis). Bowling Green State University. p. 183. Docket 144207.
  8. ^ Grayson, A.G. (December 1975). "North Carolina and Harry Truman, 1944-1948". Journal of American Studies. 9 (3): 283–300.
  9. ^ Strong, Donald S. (August 1955). "The Presidential Election in the South, 1952". The Journal of Politics. 17 (3): 343–389.
  10. ^ Christensen, Rob (2008). The paradox of Tar Heel politics: the personalities, elections, and events that shaped modern North Carolina. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 264–265. ISBN 9780807831892.
  11. ^ Christensen. The paradox of Tar Heel politics, pp. 155-156
  12. ^ a b Badger, Tony (1999). "Southerners Who Refused To Sign the Southern Manifesto". The Historical Journal. Cambridge University Press. 42 (2): 528–532.
  13. ^ Telgen, Diane (2005). Brown v. Board of Education. Detroit, Michigan: Omnigraphics. p. 78. ISBN 9780780807754.
  14. ^ Lawrence, David (September 29, 1956). "Dissension in South Won't Affect Adlai". The Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. p. 4.
  15. ^ "How Do Former Citizens for Eisenhower Stand?". The Daily Times-News. Burlington, North Carolina. October 26, 1956. p. 4.
  16. ^ Robinson, Charles K.; Ramsey, Claude S., eds. (October 28, 1956). "Polls Favor Ike and Democrats". Asheville Citizen-Times. Asheville, North Carolina: Robert Bunelle. p. 28.
  17. ^ "Final Babson Poll Shows Eisenhower Winning Easily". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. CTS. November 2, 1956. p. 22.
  18. ^ Trohan, Walter (November 3, 1956). "Hour of Decision Near: Eisenhower Lead Increasing Daily". Corpus Christi Times. Chicago Tribune Service. p. 4.
  19. ^ "What the Polls Show — Eisenhower Victory Is Indicated across Nation". The Philadelphia Inquirer. November 4, 1956. pp. B 1, B 3.
  20. ^ Lawrence, W.H. (November 4, 1956). ""Times Team" Counts Up 20-State GOP Margin". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. A 11.
  21. ^ a b "NC US President Race, November 06, 1956". Our Campaigns.
  22. ^ "1956 Presidential General Election Results — North Carolina". Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  23. ^ "The American Presidency Project — Election of 1956". Retrieved June 10, 2017.
  24. ^ Phillips. The Emerging Republican Majority, p. 299
  25. ^ Menendez, Albert J. (2005). The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 265–268. ISBN 0786422173.