1940 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

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1940 United States presidential election in Wisconsin
Flag of Wisconsin (1913-1981).svg
  1936 November 5, 1940 1944  
  FDRoosevelt1938.png WendellWillkie.png
Nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt Wendell Willkie
Party Democratic Republican
Home state New York [1] New York [1]
Running mate Henry A. Wallace Charles L. McNary
Electoral vote120
Popular vote704,821679,206
Percentage50.15%48.32%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1940.svg
County Results

President before election

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

Elected President

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic

The 1940 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 5, 1940 as part of the 1940 United States presidential election. State voters chose 12 electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Contents

Background

Politics in Wisconsin since the Populist movement had been dominated by the Republican Party. [2] The Democratic Party had been uncompetitive outside certain eastern German areas, as the upper classes, along with the majority of workers who followed them, fled from William Jennings Bryan’s agrarian and free silver sympathies. [3] 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. [4] This ultimately would develop into the Wisconsin Progressive Party in the late 1930s, which was opposed to the conservative German Democrats and to the national Republican Party, and allied with Franklin D. Roosevelt at the federal level.

In 1936, despite continuing Democratic gains in industrial and urban areas, German Catholic areas of Wisconsin gave substantial support to Union Party candidate William Lemke due to his support for rigid isolationism. [5] When the next presidential election came, the Progressive Party had lost ground in 1938 but World War II had divided the country deeply on ethnic lines. Germans – especially German Catholics – and Irish Catholics believed Communism in the shape of Stalinist Russia was a much greater danger to the United States than Nazism and that the United States should not aid Britain and France, [6] whereas the British and French, bound by ties to their homeland, were strongly in favor of such aid.

Vote

Republican nominee Willkie visited Wisconsin in his campaign in September, saying change was needed to make the American political system work. [7] By late September opinion polls suggested he had the edge over Roosevelt in the state. [8] Even as some other states of the Midwest moved towards President Roosevelt, Wisconsin was still seen as likely to go to Willkie as Senator Robert M. La Follette Jr. strongly opposed war aid to Britain and France. [9] A Gallup poll four days before voting showed Willkie still ahead but falling. [10]

In the end, however, unlike in Iowa, Michigan and Indiana, Roosevelt’s gains proved enough to pass Willkie, and he carried Wisconsin, although by a massively reduced margin compared to 1932 and 1936. Whereas Alf Landon had carried only four of Wisconsin’s seventy-one counties, Willkie carried forty-two. Most significantly, Willkie established the historically German “WOW counties” surrounding Milwaukee as reliable GOP strongholds that as of 2020 have not voted Democratic since except during Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide in 1964. Roosevelt’s win was due to his seventy-eight-thousand vote plurality in Milwaukee County, and to maintaining his strength in the unionized, Scaniavian-American northwest.

Results

1940 United States presidential election in Wisconsin [11]
PartyCandidateVotesPercentageElectoral votes
Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt 704,82150.15%12
Republican Wendell Willkie 679,20648.32%0
Socialist Norman Thomas 15,0711.07%0
Communist Earl R. Browder 2,3940.17%0
Prohibition Roger W. Babson 2,1480.15%0
Socialist Labor John W. Aiken 1,8820.13%0
Totals1,399,098100.0%12

Results by county

CountyFranklin Delano Roosevelt
Democratic
Wendell Lewis Willkie
Republican
Norman Mattoon Thomas
Socialist
Various candidates
Other parties
MarginTotal votes cast [12]
#%#%#%#%#%
Adams 1,88350.48%1,81848.74%160.43%130.35%651.74%3,730
Ashland 5,58660.01%3,59238.59%290.31%1021.10%1,99421.42%9,309
Barron 6,18343.46%7,80654.87%1070.75%1310.92%-1,623-11.41%14,227
Bayfield 4,38759.75%2,82938.53%520.71%741.01%1,55821.22%7,342
Brown 19,52654.18%16,37945.45%780.22%570.16%3,1478.73%36,040
Buffalo 2,51637.69%4,05660.76%741.11%290.43%-1,540-23.07%6,675
Burnett 2,51349.23%2,51049.17%500.98%320.63%30.06%5,105
Calumet 2,32430.08%5,32768.96%510.66%230.30%-3,003-38.87%7,725
Chippewa 7,25044.83%8,78154.30%720.45%680.42%-1,531-9.47%16,171
Clark 4,68332.48%9,50165.89%1180.82%1180.82%-4,818-33.41%14,420
Columbia 7,02145.63%8,26053.68%520.34%540.35%-1,239-8.05%15,387
Crawford 3,59543.35%4,66756.28%80.10%230.28%-1,072-12.93%8,293
Dane 40,33164.23%21,84534.79%4090.65%2020.32%18,48629.44%62,787
Dodge 8,93837.48%14,65161.43%1740.73%860.36%-5,713-23.95%23,849
Door 2,75033.29%5,46166.11%280.34%210.25%-2,711-32.82%8,260
Douglas 15,54866.12%7,69532.72%1220.52%1500.64%7,85333.40%23,515
Dunn 4,54539.05%6,96859.87%610.52%650.56%-2,423-20.82%11,639
Eau Claire 10,12951.07%9,59548.38%480.24%600.30%5342.69%19,832
Florence 98048.73%1,00850.12%120.60%110.55%-28-1.39%2,011
Fond du Lac 10,32337.76%16,80461.46%1240.45%910.33%-6,481-23.70%27,342
Forest 2,95163.61%1,67236.04%10.02%150.32%1,27927.57%4,639
Grant 7,45839.76%11,14359.40%460.25%1120.60%-3,685-19.64%18,759
Green 4,56544.05%5,71155.10%480.46%400.39%-1,146-11.06%10,364
Green Lake 2,35732.23%4,91967.25%90.12%290.40%-2,562-35.03%7,314
Iowa 4,02544.04%4,97854.46%220.24%1151.26%-953-10.43%9,140
Iron 3,52566.90%1,67231.73%240.46%480.91%1,85335.17%5,269
Jackson 3,97551.09%3,74148.08%260.33%380.49%2343.01%7,780
Jefferson 7,84243.16%10,17856.02%930.51%560.31%-2,336-12.86%18,169
Juneau 3,55439.91%5,26859.15%540.61%300.34%-1,714-19.25%8,906
Kenosha 17,17457.68%12,18240.91%2620.88%1590.53%4,99216.76%29,777
Kewaunee 3,38946.60%3,86253.11%110.15%100.14%-473-6.50%7,272
La Crosse 13,07948.58%13,71150.92%720.27%620.23%-632-2.35%26,924
Lafayette 4,31545.81%5,05953.71%230.24%220.23%-744-7.90%9,419
Langlade 5,19052.88%4,52346.09%370.38%640.65%6676.80%9,814
Lincoln 3,95139.57%5,81258.21%1311.31%900.90%-1,861-18.64%9,984
Manitowoc 13,14250.30%12,61648.29%2480.95%1200.46%5262.01%26,126
Marathon 13,72446.57%15,26451.80%3731.27%1080.37%-1,540-5.23%29,469
Marinette 7,70349.75%7,68849.65%480.31%440.28%150.10%15,483
Marquette 1,19527.71%3,08671.57%110.26%200.46%-1,891-43.85%4,312
Milwaukee 209,86159.76%131,12037.34%8,4842.42%1,7320.49%78,74122.42%351,197
Monroe 4,67336.33%8,04262.52%840.65%640.50%-3,369-26.19%12,863
Oconto 5,27345.55%6,23853.88%370.32%290.25%-965-8.34%11,577
Oneida 5,37558.77%3,69440.39%590.65%180.20%1,68118.38%9,146
Outagamie 12,16840.47%17,73358.98%990.33%670.22%-5,565-18.51%30,067
Ozaukee 3,66241.98%4,91356.32%1251.43%230.26%-1,251-14.34%8,723
Pepin 1,19433.90%2,27264.51%391.11%170.48%-1,078-30.61%3,522
Pierce 3,25932.59%6,62466.25%690.69%470.47%-3,365-33.65%9,999
Polk 4,97944.27%6,03153.62%1851.64%530.47%-1,052-9.35%11,248
Portage 10,14863.78%5,67035.63%500.31%440.28%4,47828.14%15,912
Price 4,04249.94%3,87947.93%670.83%1051.30%1632.01%8,093
Racine 23,53254.75%18,75343.63%4801.12%2130.50%4,77911.12%42,978
Richland 3,52438.56%5,52760.48%300.33%580.63%-2,003-21.92%9,139
Rock 17,54346.29%20,14153.15%1040.27%1100.29%-2,598-6.86%37,898
Rusk 3,57849.97%3,48448.66%420.59%560.78%941.31%7,160
Sauk 6,10638.87%9,36359.61%1160.74%1220.78%-3,257-20.74%15,707
Sawyer 2,43946.61%2,74552.46%250.48%240.46%-306-5.85%5,233
Shawano 5,24144.51%6,37754.16%940.80%620.53%-1,136-9.65%11,774
Sheboygan 15,80049.77%15,30548.21%5041.59%1380.43%4951.56%31,747
St. Croix 4,89841.24%6,85757.74%800.67%410.35%-1,959-16.50%11,876
Taylor 3,77149.11%3,66847.77%1902.47%490.64%1031.34%7,678
Trempealeau 5,17548.92%5,31950.28%400.38%450.43%-144-1.36%10,579
Vernon 5,77646.24%6,61452.95%250.20%770.62%-838-6.71%12,492
Vilas 2,47051.48%2,25146.92%250.52%521.08%2194.56%4,798
Walworth 5,44931.77%11,59467.59%620.36%490.29%-6,145-35.82%17,154
Washburn 2,90150.35%2,80548.68%200.35%360.62%961.67%5,762
Washington 4,68335.00%8,50163.54%1501.12%460.34%-3,818-28.54%13,380
Waukesha 12,85942.94%16,72655.86%2870.96%710.24%-3,867-12.91%29,943
Waupaca 4,61629.09%11,09969.95%870.55%640.40%-6,483-40.86%15,866
Waushara 1,74726.13%4,87272.88%270.40%390.58%-3,125-46.75%6,685
Winnebago 15,57045.08%18,69754.14%640.19%2040.59%-3,127-9.05%34,535
Wood 8,57446.59%9,65452.46%970.53%770.42%-1,080-5.87%18,402
Totals704,82150.15%679,20648.32%15,0711.07%6,4240.46%25,6151.82%1,405,522

See also

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References

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  2. Burnham, Walter Dean; 'The System of 1896: An Analysis'; in The Evolution of American Electoral Systems, pp. 178-179 ISBN   0313213798
  3. Sundquist, James; Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years, p. 526 ISBN   0815719094
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  5. Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 387-388 ISBN   978-0-691-16324-6
  6. Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 47, 159
  7. Hagery, James A.; ‘Willkie Demands Out System Stand: Change of Administration Is Needed to Save Democracy, He Says in Wisconsin “Must Make System Work”’; The New York Times , September 28, 1940, p. 1
  8. Grimes, W.H.; ‘Willkie’s Chances In Midwest: Editors Give Him Edge in Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana’; The Wall Street Journal , September 25, 1940, p. 1
  9. Catledge, Turner; ‘Wisconsin Trend Buck Roosevelt: Anti-War Feeling Is the Main Factor Involved – Betting Odds 11 to 10 for Willkie’; The New York Times, October 28, 1940, p. 8
  10. Gallup, George; ‘The Gallup Poll: Willkie Gain in 3 States, but Roosevelt Reverses Trend in Michigan’; Daily Boston Globe , November 2, 1940, p. 1
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  12. "WI US President Race, November 05, 1940". Our Campaigns.