United States presidential election, 1952

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United States presidential election, 1952
United States
← 1948 November 4, 1952 1956 →

All 531 electoral votes of the Electoral College
266 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 63.3%[1] Increase 10.3 pp
  General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower 1947.jpg AdlaiEStevenson1900-1965.jpg
Nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower Adlai Stevenson
Party Republican Democratic
Home state New York[2][3] Illinois
Running mate Richard Nixon John Sparkman
Electoral vote 442 89
States carried 39 9
Popular vote 34,075,529 27,375,090
Percentage 55.2% 44.3%

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About this image
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Eisenhower/Nixon, blue denotes those won by Stevenson/Sparkman. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Harry S. Truman
Democratic

Elected President

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican

The United States presidential election of 1952 was the 42nd quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 4, 1952. Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower won a landslide victory, ending a string of Democratic Party wins that stretched back to 1932. He carried the Republican Party (GOP) to narrow control of the House and Senate, during this time, Cold War tension between the United States and the Soviet Union was at a high level, as was fear of Communism in the US, epitomized by the campaign of McCarthyism. Foreign policy was a main issue in the race for the Republican nomination, the nation was polarized over the stalemated Korean War, and the extent of corruption in the federal government became a major issue as well. The economy was prosperous and economic and social issues played little role in the campaign.

Incumbent President Harry S. Truman, having been knocked out of the race by a poor showing in the early primaries, decided to back the Governor of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson. Stevenson had gained a reputation in Illinois as a reformer and intellectual; however, he had vacillated a great deal on whether he even wanted to run for the presidency. President Truman had several meetings with Stevenson about the President's desire for Stevenson to become the standard-bearer for the party. Truman became very frustrated with Stevenson and his high level of indecision before Stevenson actually committed to running, the Republican Party saw an intense battle for its nomination contest between the senior Senator of Ohio, Robert A. Taft and Eisenhower. The issue was foreign policy, with Eisenhower supporters attacking Taft as too isolationist. Taft saw little role for the United States in the Cold War.[4] Eisenhower, the former NATO commander and World War II hero, narrowly defeated Taft. Eisenhower then crusaded against the Truman policies he blasted as "Korea, Communism and Corruption." Eisenhower did well in all major demographic and regional groups outside the Deep South.

Nominations[edit]

Republican Party[edit]

Republican Party (United States)
Republican Party Ticket, 1952
Dwight D. Eisenhower Richard Nixon
for President for Vice President
Dwight David Eisenhower, photo portrait by Bachrach, 1952.jpg
VP-Nixon copy (3x4).jpg
1st
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
(1951–1952)
U.S. Senator from California
(1950–1953)
Campaign

The fight for the Republican nomination was between General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who became the candidate of the party's moderate eastern establishment; Senator Robert A. Taft from Ohio, the longtime leader of the Republican Party's conservative wing; Governor Earl Warren of California, who appealed to Western delegates and independent voters; and former Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesota, who still had a base of support in the Midwest.

The moderate Eastern Republicans were led by New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the party's presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948. The moderates tended to be interventionists, who felt that America needed to fight the Cold War overseas and confront the Soviet Union in Eurasia; they were also willing to accept most aspects of the social welfare state created by the New Deal in the 1930s. The moderates were also concerned with ending the Republicans' losing streak in presidential elections; they felt that the personally popular Eisenhower had the best chance of beating the Democrats. For this reason, Dewey himself declined the notion of a third run for president, even though he still had a large amount of support within the party, the GOP had been out of power for 20 years, and the sentiment that a proper two-party system needed to be reestablished was strong, also a Republican Party in control of the White House would have more incentive to reign in unpopular demagogues such as Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The conservative Republicans, led by Taft, were based in the Midwest and parts of the South, the Midwest was a bastion of conservatism and isolationist sentiment, dislike of Europeans, in particular Great Britain, was common, and there was a widespread feeling that the British manipulated US foreign policy and were eager to kowtow to the Soviet Union, although attitudes were beginning to change among the younger generation who had fought in World War II. Taft had unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 1940 and 1948 presidential elections, losing both times to moderate candidates from New York (Wilkie and Dewey). Taft, 63, felt that this was his last chance to run for president and so his friends and supporters worked extra hard to ensure that he win the nomination.

Warren, although highly popular in California, refused to campaign in the presidential primaries and thus limited his chances of winning the nomination, he did retain the support of the California delegation, and his supporters hoped that, in the event of an Eisenhower-Taft deadlock, Warren might emerge as a compromise candidate.

After being persuaded to run, Eisenhower scored a major victory in the New Hampshire primary, when his supporters wrote his name onto the ballot, giving him an upset victory over Taft. However, from there until the Republican Convention the primaries were divided fairly evenly between the two, and by the time the convention opened, the race for the nomination was still too close to call. Taft won the Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, and South Dakota primaries, while Eisenhower won the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Oregon primaries. Stassen and Warren only won their home states of Minnesota and California respectively, which effectively ended their chances of earning the nomination. General Douglas MacArthur also got ten delegates from various states (mostly Oregon), but had made it clear from early in the race that he had no interest in being nominated.

Republican Convention[edit]

When the 1952 Republican National Convention opened in Chicago, Illinois, most political experts rated Taft and Eisenhower as neck-and-neck in the delegate vote totals. Eisenhower's managers, led by Dewey and Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., accused Taft of "stealing" delegate votes in Southern states such as Texas and Georgia. They claimed that Taft's leaders in these states had unfairly denied delegate spots to Eisenhower supporters and put Taft delegates in their place. Lodge and Dewey proposed to evict the pro-Taft delegates in these states and replace them with pro-Eisenhower delegates; they called this proposal "Fair Play." Although Taft and his supporters angrily denied this charge, the convention voted to support Fair Play 658 to 548, and Taft lost many Southern delegates. Eisenhower also received two more boosts, firstly when several uncommitted state delegations, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, decided to support him, and secondly when Stassen released his delegates and asked them to support Eisenhower, whose moderate policies he much preferred to those of Taft, the removal of many pro-Taft Southern delegates and the support of the uncommitted states decided the nomination in Eisenhower's favor.

However, the mood at the convention was one of the most bitter and emotional in American history. When Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois, a Taft supporter, pointed at Dewey on the convention floor during a speech and accused him of leading the Republicans "down the road to defeat," mixed boos and cheers rang out from the delegates, and there were even fistfights between some Taft and Eisenhower delegates.

In the end, Eisenhower narrowly defeated Taft on the first ballot. To heal the wounds caused by the battle, he went to Taft's hotel suite and met with him. Taft issued a brief statement congratulating Eisenhower on his victory, but he was bitter about what he felt was the untrue "stealing delegates" charge, and he withheld his active support for Eisenhower for several weeks after the convention; in September 1952 Taft and Eisenhower met again at Morningside Heights in New York City, where Taft promised to support Eisenhower actively in exchange for Eisenhower agreeing to a number of requests. These included a demand that Eisenhower give Taft's followers a fair share of patronage positions if he won the election, and that Eisenhower agree to balance the federal budget and "fight creeping domestic socialism in every field." Eisenhower agreed to the terms, and Taft campaigned hard for the Republican ticket.[5] In fact, Eisenhower and Taft agreed on most domestic issues; their disagreements were primarily in foreign policy.[6]

Though there were initial suggestions that Warren could have earned the party's vice presidential slot for the second successive election if he were to withdraw and endorse Eisenhower, he ultimately chose not to do so. Eisenhower himself had been partial to giving the VP nod to Stassen, who had endorsed Eisenhower of his own accord and had generally similar political positions, the party bosses, however, were keen to find a running mate who could mollify Taft's supporters, as the schism between the moderate and conservative wings was so severe that in the worst case it could potentially lead to the conservatives bolting and running Taft as a third-party candidate.

Eisenhower had apparently given little thought to choosing his running mate, when asked, he replied that he assumed the convention would pick someone, the spot ultimately fell to the young California Congressman Richard Nixon, who was seen as being in the exact center of the GOP. Nixon was known as an aggressive campaigner and a fierce anti-communist, however he shied away from some of the more extreme ideas of the party's right wing, including isolationism and dismantling the New Deal. Most historians now believe that Eisenhower's nomination was primarily due to the feeling that he was a "sure winner" against the Democrats; most of the delegates were conservatives who would probably have supported Taft if they felt he could have won the general election.

Despite not earning the presidential or vice presidential nominations, Warren would subsequently be appointed as Chief Justice in October 1953, while Stassen would hold various positions within Eisenhower's administration.

The balloting at the Republican Convention went as follows:[7]

Presidential Balloting, RNC 1952
Ballot 1st Before Shifts 1st After Shifts
Dwight D. Eisenhower 595 845
Robert A. Taft 500 280
Earl Warren 81 77
Harold Stassen 20 0
Douglas MacArthur 10 4

Democratic Party[edit]

Democratic Party (United States)
Democratic Party Ticket, 1952
Adlai Stevenson II John J. Sparkman
for President for Vice President
Adlai E. Stevenson.jpg
Alabama Sen. John Sparkman.jpg
31st
Governor of Illinois
(1949–1953)
U.S. Senator from Alabama
(1946–1979)
Campaign

The expected candidate for the Democratic nomination was incumbent President Harry S. Truman, since the newly passed 22nd Amendment did not apply to whoever was president at the time of its passage, he was eligible to run again. But Truman entered 1952 with his popularity plummeting, according to polls, the bloody and indecisive Korean War was dragging into its third year, Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist crusade was stirring public fears of an encroaching "Red Menace," and the disclosure of widespread corruption among federal employees (including some high-level members of Truman's administration) left Truman at a low political ebb. Polls showed that he had a 66% disapproval rating, a record only matched decades later by Richard Nixon and surpassed by George W. Bush.[8]

Kefauver won all but three primaries, but failed to win nomination

Truman's main opponent was populist Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver, who had chaired a nationally televised investigation of organized crime in 1951 and was known as a crusader against crime and corruption, the Gallup poll of February 15 showed Truman's weakness: nationally Truman was the choice of only 36% of Democrats, compared with 21% for Kefauver. Among independent voters, however, Truman had only 18% while Kefauver led with 36%; in the New Hampshire primary, Kefauver upset Truman, winning 19,800 votes to Truman's 15,927 and capturing all eight delegates. Kefauver graciously said that he did not consider his victory "a repudiation of Administration policies, but a desire...for new ideas and personalities." Stung by this setback, Truman soon announced that he would not seek re-election (however, Truman insisted in his memoirs that he had decided not to run for reelection well before his defeat by Kefauver).

With Truman's withdrawal, Kefauver became the front-runner for the nomination, and he won most of the primaries. Other primary winners were Senator Hubert Humphrey, who won his home state of Minnesota, while Senator Richard Russell Jr. from Georgia won the Florida primary and U.S. diplomat W. Averell Harriman won West Virginia. However, most states still chose their delegates to the Democratic Convention via state conventions, which meant that the party bosses – especially the mayors and governors of large Northern and Midwestern states and cities – were able to choose the Democratic nominee. These bosses (including Truman) strongly disliked Kefauver; his investigations of organized crime had revealed connections between Mafia figures and many of the big-city Democratic political organizations.[9] The party bosses thus viewed Kefauver as a maverick who could not be trusted, and they refused to support him for the nomination.[9]

Instead, with Truman taking the initiative, they began to search for other, more acceptable, candidates. However, most of the other candidates had a major weakness. Richard Russell had much Southern support, but his support of racial segregation and opposition to civil rights for Southern blacks led many liberal Northern and Midwestern delegates to reject him.[9] Truman favored W. Averell Harriman of New York, but he had never held an elective office and was inexperienced in politics. Truman next turned to his vice-president, Alben W. Barkley, but at 74 he was rejected as being too old by labor union leaders. Other minor or favorite son candidates included Oklahoma Senator Robert S. Kerr, Governor Paul A. Dever of Massachusetts, Senator Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota, and Senator J. William Fulbright from Arkansas.

One candidate soon emerged who seemingly had few political weaknesses: Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, the grandson of former Vice-President Adlai E. Stevenson, he came from a distinguished family in Illinois and was well known as a gifted orator, intellectual, and political moderate. In the spring of 1952, Truman tried to convince Stevenson to take the presidential nomination, but Stevenson refused, stating that he wanted to run for re-election as Governor of Illinois. Yet Stevenson never completely took himself out of the race, and as the convention approached, many party bosses, as well as normally apolitical citizens, hoped that he could be "drafted" to run.

Democratic Convention[edit]

The 1952 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago in the same coliseum the Republicans had gathered in several weeks earlier. Since the convention was being held in his home state, Governor Stevenson – who still proclaimed that he was not a presidential candidate – was asked to give the welcoming address to the delegates. He proceeded to give a witty and stirring address that led his supporters to begin a renewed round of efforts to nominate him, despite his protests, after meeting with Jacob Arvey, the "boss" of the Illinois delegation, Stevenson finally agreed to enter his name as a candidate for the nomination. The party bosses from other large Northern and Midwestern states quickly joined in support. Kefauver led on the first ballot, but had far fewer votes than necessary to win. Stevenson gradually gained strength until he was nominated on the third ballot.

After the delegates nominated Stevenson, the convention then turned to selecting a vice-presidential nominee, after narrowing it down to Senators John Sparkman, and A. S. Mike Monroney, President Truman and a small group of political insiders chose Sparkman, a conservative and segregationist from Alabama, for the nomination. The convention largely complied and nominated Sparkman as Stevenson's running mate, he was chosen because of his Southern identity and conservative record; party leaders hoped this factor would create a balanced ticket.

General election[edit]

CBS News' coverage of the 1952 United States presidential election

Campaign issues[edit]

The Eisenhower campaign was one of the first presidential campaigns to make a major, concerted effort to win the female vote. Many of his radio and television commercials discussed topics such as education, inflation, ending the war in Korea, and other issues that were thought to appeal to women, the Eisenhower campaign made extensive use of female campaign workers. These workers made phone calls to likely Eisenhower voters, distributed "Ike" buttons and leaflets, and threw parties to build support for the GOP ticket in their neighborhoods, on election day, Eisenhower won a solid majority of the female vote.[10]

Eisenhower campaigned by attacking "Korea, Communism, and Corruption"—that is, what the Republicans regarded as the failures of the outgoing Truman administration to deal with these issues,[11] the Eisenhower campaign accused the administration of "neglecting Latin America" and thus "leading them into the arms of wily Communist agents waiting to exploit local misery and capitalize on any opening to communize the Americas."[12] Charges that Soviet spies had infiltrated the government plagued the Truman Administration and also became a "major campaign issue" for Eisenhower,[13] the Republicans blamed the Democrats for the military's failure to be fully prepared to fight in Korea; they accused the Democrats of harboring communist spies within the federal government; and they blasted the Truman Administration for the numbers of officials who had been accused of various crimes.

Stevenson hoped to exploit the rift between the conservative Taft Republicans and the moderate Eisenhower Republicans;[14] in a speech in Baltimore, Stevenson said, "The GOP elephant has two heads nowadays, and I can't tell from day to day who's driving the poor beast, Senator Taft or the General. I doubt that America will entrust its future, its hopes, to the master of a house divided against itself."[14] Stevenson, Truman, and other Democrats campaigning that fall also criticized Senator Joseph McCarthy and other right-wing Republicans for what they believed were reckless and unwarranted attacks and congressional investigations into leading government officials and public servants;[15] in a Salt Lake City speech Stevenson stated that right-wing Republicans were "quick with accusations, with defamatory hints and whispering campaigns when they see a chance to scare or silence those with whom they disagree. Rudely, carelessly, they invade the field of thought, of conscience, which belongs to God, and not to Senators...McCarthy and men like him can say almost anything, and if my opponent's conscience permits, he can try to help all of them get reelected."[15] Stevenson said that right-wing attacks on government officials such as General George Marshall, who had served Truman as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, reflected a "middle of the gutter approach" to politics.[16] President Truman repeatedly criticized Senator McCarthy's character and temperament, and called on Eisenhower to repudiate him.[17] Stevenson ridiculed right-wing Republicans "who hunt Communists in the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries while hesitating to aid the gallant men and women who are resisting the real thing in the front lines of Europe and Asia...They are finally the men who seemingly believe that we can confound the Kremlin by frightening ourselves to death."[18] In return, Senator McCarthy often confused the names Adlai and Alger, the first name of convicted Soviet spy Alger Hiss, by stating "Alger, I mean Adlai..." in his speeches.[19] McCarthy, in response to Stevenson's criticisms, also stated during the campaign that he would like to get on the Stevenson campaign trail "with a club and make a good and loyal American" out of Stevenson.[16]

Adlai Stevenson warns against a return of the Republican policies of Herbert Hoover

Neither Stevenson nor Sparkman had been a part of the Truman administration and they largely ignored its record, preferring to hark back to the Roosevelt's New Deal achievements while warning of against a repetition of the Hoover depression. Historian Herbert Parmet says that although Stevenson:

tried to separate his campaign from Truman's record, his efforts failed to dispel the widespread recognition that, for a divided America, torn by paranoia and unable to understand what had disrupted the anticipated tranquility of the postwar world, the time for change had really arrived. Neither Stevenson nor anyone else could have dissuaded the electorate from its desire to repudiate 'Trumanism.'[20]

Campaign[edit]

Eisenhower presidential campaign in Baltimore, Maryland, September 1952

Many Democrats were particularly upset when Eisenhower, on a scheduled campaign swing through Wisconsin, decided not to give a speech he had written criticizing McCarthy's methods, and then allowed himself to be photographed shaking hands with McCarthy as if he supported him. Truman, formerly friends with Eisenhower, never forgot what he saw as a betrayal; he had previously thought Eisenhower would make a good president, but said, "he has betrayed almost everything I thought he stood for."[21]

Despite these mishaps, Eisenhower retained his enormous personal popularity from his leading role in World War II, and huge crowds turned out to see him around the nation, his campaign slogan, "I Like Ike," was one of the most popular in American history. Stevenson attracted the support of the young, emergent postwar intellectual class, however Eisenhower was seen as more appealing to Main Street. Stevenson was ridiculed in some quarters as too effeminate to be president, the staunchly conservative New York Daily News called him "Adelaide" Stevenson, even though he had a reputation as a ladies' man and several mistresses.

A notable event of the 1952 campaign concerned a scandal that emerged when Richard Nixon, Eisenhower's running mate, was accused by several newspapers of receiving $18,000 in undeclared "gifts" from wealthy donors; in reality, contributions were by design only from early supporters and limited to $1,000, with full accountability. Nixon, who had been accusing the Democrats of hiding crooks, suddenly found himself on the defensive. Eisenhower and his aides considered dropping Nixon from the ticket and picking another running mate.

Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage for the winning candidate. Shades of red are for Eisenhower (Republican) and shades of blue are for Stevenson (Democratic).

Eisenhower, who barely knew Nixon, waffled and refused to comment on the incident. Nixon saved his political career, however, with a dramatic half-hour speech, the "Checkers speech," on live television; in this speech, Nixon denied the charges against him, gave a detailed account of his modest financial assets, and offered a glowing assessment of Eisenhower's candidacy. The highlight of the speech came when Nixon stated that a supporter had given his daughters a gift – a dog named "Checkers" – and that he would not return it, because his daughters loved it. The "Checkers speech" led hundreds of thousands of citizens nationwide to wire the Republican National Committee urging the Republican Party to keep Nixon on the ticket, and Eisenhower stayed with him.

Despite the red-baiting of the right wing of the GOP, the campaign on the whole was conducted with a considerable degree of dignity and Stevenson was seen as reinvigorating a Democrat Party that had become exhausted after 20 years in power and refreshing its appeal with younger voters, he accused Eisenhower of silently tolerating Joseph McCarthy's excesses, and that the GOP was dominated by "men who hunt communists in the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries while refusing to help the brave men and women confronting the real thing in Europe and Asia". Stevenson went before the American Legion, a bastion of hardline conservatism, and boldly declared that there was nothing patriotic or American about what Joseph McCarthy was doing.

Even with the dignified nature of the campaign, the dislike between the two candidates was visible; Stevenson criticized Eisenhower's non-condemnation of McCarthy and use of television spots, and Eisenhower, while he had initially respected Stevenson, in time came to view him as simply another career politician, something he strongly disliked.

The 1952 election campaign was the first one to make use of the new medium of television, in part thanks to the efforts of Rosser Reeves, the head of the Ted Bates Agency, a leading advertising firm. Reeves had initially proposed a series of radio spots to Thomas Dewey in the 1948 campaign, but Dewey considered them undignified, and Reeves maintained that Dewey might have won the election had he been slightly more open-minded.

Studying Douglas MacArthur's keynote speech at the Republican convention in July, Reeves believed that the general's words were "powerful", but "unfocused" and "all over the map". Eisenhower's public speeches were even worse, he was unable to make his point to the voting public in a clear, legible manner. Reeves felt that Eisenhower needed to condense his message down to a few simple, easily digestible slogans.

Eisenhower at first also fared poorly on television and had a difficult time appearing relaxed and at ease on camera, the TV lighting was not flattering and it made him look old and unattractive, in particular his forehead tended to glisten under the lights. Eisenhower became upset when CBS correspondent Dave Schoenbrun pointed this out and suggested he try altering his poses to make his forehead less noticeable and also apply makeup so it would not shine from the lighting. Eventually, he gave in and agreed to these modifications. Reeves also wanted Eisenhower to not wear his eyeglasses on camera in order to look younger, but he could not read the prompter board without them, so Reeves devised a large, handwritten signboard.

Reeves's TV work, although pioneering, was the subject of considerable criticism on the grounds that he was attempting to sell a presidential candidate to the public in the same manner that one might sell a car or a brand of toothpaste. Adlai Stevenson for his part would have nothing to do with television at all and condemned Eisenhower's use of the medium, calling it "selling the presidency like cereal", he himself made a point of the fact that he did not own a TV or watch television, and many of his inner circle did likewise.

Both campaigns made use of television ads. A notable ad for Eisenhower was an issue-free, feel-good animated cartoon with a soundtrack song by Irving Berlin called "I Like Ike." For the first time, a presidential candidate's personal medical history was released publicly, as were partial versions of his financial histories, because of the issues raised in Nixon's speech.[22] Near the end of the campaign, Eisenhower, in a major speech, announced that if he won the election he would go to Korea to see if he could end the war, his great military prestige, combined with the public's weariness with the conflict, gave Eisenhower the final boost he needed to win.

Throughout the entire campaign, Eisenhower led in all opinion polls, and by wide margins in most of them.

Citizens for Eisenhower[edit]

To circumvent the local Republican Party apparatus mostly controlled by Taft supporters, the Eisenhower forces created a nationwide network of grass-roots clubs, "Citizens for Eisenhower." Independents and Democrats were welcome, as the group specialized in canvassing neighborhoods and holding small group meetings. Citizens for Eisenhower hoped to revitalize the GOP by expanding its activist ranks and by supporting moderate and internationalist policies, it did not endorse candidates other than Eisenhower. However Eisenhower paid it little attention after he won, and it failed to maintain its impressive starting momentum. Instead it energized the conservative Republicans, leading finally to the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964. Long-time Republican activists viewed the newcomers with suspicion and hostility. More significantly, activism in support of Eisenhower did not translate into enthusiasm for the party cause.[23]

Results[edit]

On election day, Eisenhower won a decisive victory, winning over 55% of the popular vote and carrying thirty-nine of the forty-eight states. Stevenson did not win a single state north of the Mason–Dixon line or west of Arkansas, whilst Eisenhower took three Southern states that the Republicans had won only once since Reconstruction: Virginia, Florida, and Texas, despite the Republican win in Florida, this remains the last time to date a Democrat has won Collier County before southwestern Florida was turned into a growing Sun Belt Republican stronghold, and is also the last time a Democrat has won Aiken County, South Carolina, before the "Solid South" would collapse in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement.[24] 1952 is also, however, the last time a Republican won Yolo County, California, or Native American Rolette County, North Dakota, and the last until Donald Trump in 2016 that the Republicans won Pacific County, Washington, or Swift County, Minnesota.[24] This was the last time the Republicans won Missouri until 1968 and the last time the Democrats won Kentucky until 1964, it is also the last time that a Republican won the election without Kentucky. Stevenson's 700-vote win was the smallest percentage margin in any state since Woodrow Wilson won New Hampshire by fifty-six votes in 1916.

This election was the first in which a computer (the UNIVAC I) was used to predict the results.[25]

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
vote
Running mate
Count Percentage Vice-presidential candidate Home state Electoral vote
Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican New York 34,075,529 55.18% 442 Richard Nixon California 442
Adlai Stevenson Democratic Illinois 27,375,090 44.33% 89 John Sparkman Alabama 89
Vincent Hallinan Progressive California 140,746 0.23% 0 Charlotta Bass New York 0
Stuart Hamblen Prohibition Texas 73,412 0.12% 0 Enoch A. Holtwick Illinois 0
Eric Hass Socialist Labor New York 30,406 0.05% 0 Stephen Emery New York 0
Darlington Hoopes Socialist Pennsylvania 20,203 0.03% 0 Samuel H. Friedman New York 0
Douglas MacArthur Constitution Arkansas 17,205 0.03% 0 Harry F. Byrd Virginia 0
Farrell Dobbs Socialist Workers Minnesota 10,312 0.02% 0 Myra Tanner Weiss California 0
Other 9,039 0.02% Other
Total 61,751,942 100% 531 531
Needed to win 266 266

Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. "1952 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved September 16, 2012. Source (Electoral Vote): "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved August 1, 2005. 

Popular vote
Eisenhower
55.18%
Stevenson
44.33%
Others
0.49%
Electoral vote
Eisenhower
83.24%
Stevenson
16.76%
1952 Electoral Map.png

Results by state[edit]

[26]

States won by Eisenhower/Nixon
States won by Stevenson/Sparkman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican
Adlai Stevenson
Democratic
Vincent Hallinan
Progressive
Stuart Hamblen
Prohibition
Eric Hass
Socialist Labor
Margin State Total
State electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % electoral
votes
#  % #
Alabama 11 149,231 35.02 275,075 64.55 11 1,814 0.43 -125,844 -29.53 426,120 AL
Arizona 4 152,042 58.35 4 108,528 41.65 43,514 16.70 260,570 AZ
Arkansas 8 177,155 43.76 226,300 55.90 8 886 0.22 1 0.00 -49,145 -12.14 404,800 AR
California 32 3,035,587 56.83 32 2,257,646 42.27 24,692 0.46 16,117 0.30 273 0.01 777,941 14.56 5,341,603 CA
Colorado 6 379,782 60.27 6 245,504 38.96 1,919 0.30 352 0.06 134,278 21.31 630,103 CO
Connecticut 8 611,012 55.70 8 481,649 43.91 1,466 0.13 535 0.05 129,363 11.79 1,096,911 CT
Delaware 3 90,059 51.75 3 83,315 47.88 155 0.09 234 0.13 242 0.14 6,744 3.88 174,025 DE
Florida 10 544,036 54.99 10 444,950 44.97 99,086 10.02 989,337 FL
Georgia 12 198,979 30.34 456,823 69.66 12 -257,844 -39.32 655,803 GA
Idaho 4 180,707 65.42 4 95,081 34.42 443 0.16 85,626 31.00 276,231 ID
Illinois 27 2,457,327 54.84 27 2,013,920 44.94 9,363 0.21 443,407 9.90 4,481,058 IL
Indiana 13 1,136,259 58.11 13 801,530 40.99 1,222 0.06 15,335 0.78 979 0.05 334,729 17.12 1,955,325 IN
Iowa 10 808,906 63.75 10 451,513 35.59 5,085 0.40 2,882 0.23 139 0.01 357,393 28.17 1,268,773 IA
Kansas 8 616,302 68.77 8 273,296 30.50 6,038 0.67 343,006 38.27 896,166 KS
Kentucky 10 495,029 49.84 495,729 49.91 10 336 0.03 1,161 0.12 893 0.09 -700 -0.07 993,148 KY
Louisiana 10 306,925 47.08 345,027 52.92 10 -38,102 -5.84 651,952 LA
Maine 5 232,353 66.05 5 118,806 33.77 332 0.09 156 0.04 113,547 32.28 351,786 ME
Maryland 9 499,424 55.36 9 395,337 43.83 7,313 0.81 104,087 11.54 902,074 MD
Massachusetts 16 1,292,325 54.22 16 1,083,525 45.46 4,636 0.19 886 0.04 1,957 0.08 208,800 8.76 2,383,398 MA
Michigan 20 1,551,529 55.44 20 1,230,657 43.97 3,922 0.14 10,331 0.37 1,495 0.05 320,872 11.47 2,798,592 MI
Minnesota 11 763,211 55.33 11 608,458 44.11 2,666 0.19 2,147 0.16 2,383 0.17 154,753 11.22 1,379,483 MN
Mississippi 8 112,966 39.56 172,566 60.44 8 -59,600 -20.87 285,532 MS
Missouri 13 959,429 50.71 13 929,830 49.14 987 0.05 885 0.05 169 0.01 29,599 1.56 1,892,062 MO
Montana 4 157,394 59.39 4 106,213 40.07 723 0.27 548 0.21 51,181 19.31 265,037 MT
Nebraska 6 421,603 69.15 6 188,057 30.85 233,546 38.31 609,660 NE
Nevada 3 50,502 61.45 3 31,688 38.55 18,814 22.89 82,190 NV
New Hampshire 4 166,287 60.92 4 106,663 39.08 59,624 21.84 272,950 NH
New Jersey 16 1,374,613 56.81 16 1,015,902 41.99 5,589 0.23 989 0.04 5,815 0.24 358,711 14.83 2,419,554 NJ
New Mexico 4 132,170 55.39 4 105,661 44.28 225 0.09 297 0.12 35 0.01 26,509 11.11 238,608 NM
New York 45 3,952,815 55.45 45 3,104,601 43.55 64,211 0.90 1,560 0.02 848,214 11.90 7,128,241 NY
North Carolina 14 558,107 46.09 652,803 53.91 14 -94,696 -7.82 1,210,910 NC
North Dakota 4 191,712 70.97 4 76,694 28.39 344 0.13 302 0.11 115,018 42.58 270,127 ND
Ohio 25 2,100,391 56.76 25 1,600,367 43.24 500,024 13.51 3,700,758 OH
Oklahoma 8 518,045 54.59 8 430,939 45.41 87,106 9.18 948,984 OK
Oregon 6 420,815 60.54 6 270,579 38.93 3,665 0.53 150,236 21.61 695,059 OR
Pennsylvania 32 2,415,789 52.74 32 2,146,269 46.85 4,222 0.09 8,951 0.20 1,377 0.03 269,520 5.88 4,580,969 PA
Rhode Island 4 210,935 50.89 4 203,293 49.05 187 0.05 83 0.02 7,642 1.84 414,498 RI
South Carolina 8 168,082 49.28 173,004 50.72 8 -4,922 -1.44 341,086 SC
South Dakota 4 203,857 69.27 4 90,426 30.73 113,431 38.54 294,283 SD
Tennessee 11 446,147 49.99 11 443,710 49.71 885 0.10 1,432 0.16 2,437 0.27 892,553 TN
Texas 24 1,102,878 53.13 24 969,228 46.69 294 0.01 1,983 0.10 133,650 6.44 2,075,946 TX
Utah 4 194,190 58.93 4 135,364 41.07 58,826 17.85 329,554 UT
Vermont 3 109,717 71.45 3 43,355 28.23 282 0.18 66,362 43.22 153,557 VT
Virginia 12 349,037 56.32 12 268,677 43.36 311 0.05 1,160 0.19 80,360 12.97 619,689 VA
Washington 9 599,107 54.33 9 492,845 44.69 2,460 0.22 633 0.06 106,262 9.64 1,102,708 WA
West Virginia 8 419,970 48.08 453,578 51.92 8 -33,608 -3.85 873,548 WV
Wisconsin 12 979,744 60.95 12 622,175 38.71 2,174 0.14 770 0.05 357,569 22.25 1,607,370 WI
Wyoming 3 81,047 62.71 3 47,934 37.09 194 0.15 36 0.03 33,113 25.62 129,251 WY
TOTALS: 531 34,075,529 55.18 442 27,375,090 44.33 89 140,746 0.23 73,412 0.12 30,406 0.05 6,700,439 10.85 61,751,942 US

Close state races[edit]

Election results in these states were within one percentage point (21 electoral votes):

  1. Kentucky, 0.07%
  2. Tennessee, 0.27%

Election results in these states were within five percentage points (36 electoral votes):

  1. South Carolina, 1.44%
  2. Missouri, 1.56%
  3. Rhode Island, 1.84%
  4. West Virginia, 3.85%
  5. Delaware, 3.88%

Election results in these states were between five and ten percentage points (140 electoral votes):

  1. Louisiana, 5.84%
  2. Pennsylvania, 5.88%
  3. Texas, 6.44%
  4. North Carolina, 7.82%
  5. Massachusetts, 8.76%
  6. Oklahoma, 9.18%
  7. Washington, 9.64%
  8. Illinois, 9.90%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections". The American Presidency Project. UC Santa Barbara. 
  2. ^ Sabato, Larry; Ernst, Howard (2006). "Presidential Election 1952". Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections. Facts on File. p. 354. Retrieved 16 November 2016. Eisenhower, born in Texas, considered a resident of New York, and headquartered at the time in Paris, finally decided to run for the Republican nomination... 
  3. ^ "The Presidents". uselectionatlas.org. David Leip. Retrieved January 3, 2009. 
  4. ^ James Chace (2008). Acheson: The Secretary Of State Who Created The American World. Simon and Schuster. p. 326. ISBN 9780684864822. 
  5. ^ (Patterson, pp. 575-578)
  6. ^ (Patterson, pp. 591-592)
  7. ^ (Richard C. Bain and Judith H. Parris, Convention Decisions and Voting Records, pp. 280-286)
  8. ^ Page, Susan (April 22, 2008). "Disapproval of Bush breaks record". USA Today. Retrieved April 23, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c (McKeever, p. 186)
  10. ^ "1952: The Election of a Military Hero". The Press and the Presidency. Kennesaw State University, Department of Political Science & International Affairs. August 31, 2001. Retrieved November 20, 2008. 
  11. ^ Robert North Roberts; Scott John Hammond; Valerie A. Sulfaro (2012). Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms. ABC-CLIO. p. 255. ISBN 9780313380921. 
  12. ^ Smith, Peter H. (2007) [1996]. Talons of the Eagle: Dynamics of U.S. - Latin American Relations (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, USA. p. 392. 
  13. ^ Time: "The Corruption Issue: A Pandora's Box," September 24, 1956, accessed November 18, 2010
  14. ^ a b (Abels, p. 192)
  15. ^ a b (Halberstam, p. 234)
  16. ^ a b (Halberstam, p. 235)
  17. ^ (McCullough, p. 911)
  18. ^ (Halberstam, p. 236)
  19. ^ (McKeever, p. 237)
  20. ^ Quoted in Chester J. Pach, ed. (2017). A Companion to Dwight D. Eisenhower. Wiley. p. 136. 
  21. ^ Gibbs, Nancy (November 10, 2008). "When New President Meets Old, It's Not Always Pretty". Time. 
  22. ^ TIME: "National Affairs: Public Accounting," October 27, 1952, accessed November 18, 2010
  23. ^ Mason, Robert (2013). "Citizens for Eisenhower and the Republican Party, 1951–1965". The Historical Journal. 56 (2): 513–536. doi:10.1017/S0018246X12000593. 
  24. ^ a b Sullivan, Robert David; 'How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century'; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  25. ^ UNIVAC: the troubled life of America’s first computer arstechnica.com. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  26. ^ "1952 Presidential General Election Data – National". Retrieved March 18, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Blake, David Haven. Liking Ike: Eisenhower, Advertising, and the Rise of Celebrity Politics (Oxford UP, 2016). xvi, 281 pp.
  • Bowen, Michael. The roots of modern conservatism: Dewey, Taft, and the battle for the soul of the Republican party (2011)
  • Converse, Philip E., Warren E. Miller, Donald E. Stokes, Angus Campbell. The American Voter (1964) the classic political science study of voters in 1952 and 1956
  • David, Paul Theodore (1954). Presidential nominating politics in 1952.  5 vol of details on each region
  • Davies, Gareth, and Julian E. Zelizer, eds. America at the Ballot Box: Elections and Political History (2015) pp. 167-83, role of television.
  • Divine, Robert A. (1974). Foreign Policy and U.S. Presidential Elections, 1952–1960. 
  • Greene, John Robert. I Like Ike: The Presidential Election of 1952 (2017) excerpt
  • Halberstam, David. The Fifties. New York: Fawcett Columbine. (1993)
  • Hyman, Herbert H. and Paul B. Sheatsley. "The political appeal of President Eisenhower", Public Opinion Quarterly, 17 (1953–54), pp. 443–60
  • McCullough, David. Truman. New York: Simon & Schuster. (1992)
  • McKeever, Porter (1991). Adlai Stevenson: his life and legacy. 
  • Martin, John Bartlow. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois (1976) vol 1 covers his campaign in depth
  • Parmet, Herbert S. Eisenhower and the American crusades (1972)
  • Patterson, James T. (1972). Mr. Republican: a biography of Robert A. Taft. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). 
  • Pickett, William B. Eisenhower decides to run: presidential politics and Cold War strategy (2000)
  • Smith, Jean Edward. Eisenhower in War and Peace (2012) pp. 498–549 ISBN 978-1-4000-6693-3

Primary sources[edit]

  • Gallup, George H., ed. (1972). The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion, 1935–1971. 3 vols. Random House. 

External links[edit]