Presidential Elections 5   1932-72 
Party Control Flip-Flops Some Progress Made 

Other Presidential Elections 
1798-1824     1828-1852
    1856-1892     1896-1928     1976-2012 

Return to Political Eras Part 2  

Updated 11/21/18         Please link to, use to educate and share! 

Change came because 1) Bonus Army deaths caused outrage during the summer of 1932 and 2) Hoover's economic policies had done little to help the needy. Democrats promoted American Liberalism to a New Deal Coalition consisting of well-organized labor unions, Southerners, urban political machines, progressive intellectuals, populist farm groups and Roman Catholic, Jewish, and African Americans religious-ethno constituencies  

Some Experts feel a Sixth Party System emerged to end the New Deal coalition in the mid-1960s when the Republicans began to dominate in the South, rural areas, and the suburbs. Solidified in the1980s with the Moral Majority and the Reagan coalition this Republican Revolution continued in  2015 with their control of the 114th United States Congress . Would 2016 Republican successes mean the Clinton and Obama presidencies represented only Era 6 interruptions?

Presidential Elections



"And Now the Rest of the Story"

Election of 1932
The Great Depression provide the background. N.Y. Governor F. Roosevelt avoided divisive cultural issues and chose southern conservative John Nance of Texas as his running mate.
Election of 1936 was the most lopsided Electoral College presidential election.
Election of 1940 saw voters accept FDR's third term because of World War Two.
Election of 1944 NY Governor Dewey campaigned against big government New Deal programs but he couldn't get a change of course despite poor presidential health rumors that were somewhat dispelled by Roosevelt's vigorous campaigning.

Election of 1948 was a major upset as H.S.Truman fooled the pollsters when his whistle stop strategy proved personality had defeated New York Governor John Dewey's political machine.
Franklin D. Roosevelt continued the Presidential trend of doing anything "he" felt necessary" to protect the nation. Think John Adams, Abe Lincoln, FDR, R. Nixon, G.W. Bush. President Roosevelt was first to use massive debt to solve a non-military problem (Great Depression poverty). Like military debt, this new debt would be refinanced with little ever paid back (retired). The size of the deficits/debt over time has been lowered to reasonable levels by nominal GDP growth. Think Can this be done with projected SS, Medicare and pension contingent liabilities.
Harry S. Truman,
a product of the Kansas City Old boy's network, made these difficult decisions 1) used "the bomb" to quickly end WW2, 2) quickly recognized the new State of Israel 3) used the Marshall Plan & NATO to prevent a repeat of post WW I type international problems 4) officially ended Monroe Doctrine isolationism with the Truman Doctrine 5) set president when his ignored Congress with his "police action" in Koran and 6) he relieved from duty popular war hero General Douglas MacArthur who had trouble following Korean War presidential instructions.
Election of 1952 Winning Republican candidate Eisenhower had been courted by Democrats. He campaigned against the Truman policies he labeled as "Korea, Communism and Corruption."
Election 1956
saw a popular unhealthy president easily win the last 48 state election. Ike was the last presidential candidate born in the 19th century .
Dwight D. Eisenhower quickly ended the Korean War, extended U.S. the Middle-East involvement by helping England's Churchill overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government which was following Middle East custom by becoming more autocratic. Extended Cold War to left leaning anti-governments around the world. His accomplishments include enhanced national security with the 1956 Federal Aid Highway Act and increased Patriotism accomplished by making faith a more important part of American politics. Upon leaving office he warned of dangers from the military industrial complex.
Election of 1960 saw Kennedy win by only 112,827 votes though the Electoral College vote was 303 to 219. Nixon was the first loser to win the state battle 26 to 23 while Alabama and Mississippi went for Harry F. Byrd. Oklahoma's "faithless electors" accounted for the missing state. The election of two incumbent U.S. senators (Kennedy and Johnson) was a first that would not be repeated until 2008. John F. Kennedy Our first Roman Catholic president began with poor execution of the Eisenhower designed and Nixon planned Bay of Pigs Invasion. Many conservatives feel he should have drawn a RED LINE in relation to the 1961 Soviet inspired Berlin Wall crisis. Among his major accomplishments during his assassination shortened presidency were the 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Peace Corps, the Space Race to land an American on the moon and some Civil Rights progress.
Election of 1964 saw an unsuccessful bid from Republican conservative Senator Barry Goldwater but his ideas influenced the modern conservative movement and began a long Republican Party realignment. Lyndon B, Johnson was a master politician who put aside animosity from most Kennedys and ushered through congress the 1965 Social Security Amendments which created Medicare and Medicaid. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 began a long-delayed national healing process existing from long before the Civil War. Many feel Johnson's unpopular Vietnam War escalation and created a Credibility Gap negated this social progress.
Election of 1968 was a major realigning election as it permanently disrupted the New Deal Coalition that had dominated presidential politics for 36 years. It centered on restoring law and order to a country torn by riots and crime. A wrenching 1968 campaign was conducted during violence that included the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and subsequent race riots plus the assassination of Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. Nixon just beat Hubert Humphrey in the popular vote but easily won the Electoral College while third party candidate George Wallace got almost ten million votes for the far-right American Independent Party.
Election of 1972 was an easy Nixon victory as Senator McGovern's anti-war campaign was hurt by his outsider status, limited party support, perception he was a left-wing extremist and a V.P. nominee T. Eagleton scandal.
Richard M. Nixon was possibly our most contentious president. He accomplished a nuclear arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, instituted successful diplomatic relations with China and the Nixon Doctrine began the long process of ending the Cold War. Domestically he enforced desegregation, established the Environmental Protection Agency and tried but failed to control inflation with wage and price controls. His desire to maintain U.S. international credibility by extending U.S. Vietnam War involvement eliminated any possibility that liberals would ignore the Watergate Scandal and he was impeached.
Gerald Ford probably doomed his political future with a quick Nixon pardon. Ford lived longer than any other U.S. president, 93 years and 165 days and his 895-day presidency remains the shortest term of all presidents who did not die in office.