1948 Georgia gubernatorial special election

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1948 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary
Flag of the State of Georgia (1920-1956).svg
  1946 September 8, 1948 1950  
  HermanTalmadge.jpg Melvin Thompson.jpg
Nominee Herman Talmadge Melvin E. Thompson
Party Democratic Democratic
Electoral vote31298
Popular vote357,865312,035
Percentage51.77%45.14%

1948 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary.svg
County results
Talmadge:     40-50%     50-60%     60-70%     70-80%     80-90%
Thompson:     40-50%     50-60%     60-70%     70-80%

Governor before election

Melvin E. Thompson
Democratic

Elected Governor

Herman Talmadge
Democratic

The 1948 Georgia gubernatorial special election took place on November 2, 1948, in order to elect the Governor of Georgia.

Contents

The election was held as ordered by the Supreme Court of Georgia's decision in 1947 declaring Melvin E. Thompson governor in the wake of The Three Governors Controversy. [1] Herman Talmadge, the son of the winner of the 1946 election, the late Eugene Talmadge, [2] defeated Governor Thompson in the Democratic primary by a margin of 51.8% to 45.1% with three other candidates getting 3.1% of the vote [1] [3] and then proceeded to win the general election with 97.51% of the vote.

As was common at the time, the Democratic candidate ran with only token opposition in the general election so therefore the Democratic primary was the real contest, and winning the primary was considered tantamount to election.

Democratic primary

The Democratic primary election was held on September 8, 1948. As Talmadge won a majority of county unit votes, there was no run-off.

County unit system

From 1917 until 1962, the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Georgia used a voting system called the county unit system to determine victors in statewide primary elections. [4]

The system was ostensibly designed to function similarly to the Electoral College, but in practice the large ratio of unit votes for small, rural counties to unit votes for more populous urban areas provided outsized political influence to the smaller counties. [5] [6]

Under the county unit system, the 159 counties in Georgia were divided by population into three categories. The largest eight counties were classified as "Urban", the next-largest 30 counties were classified as "Town", and the remaining 121 counties were classified as "Rural". Urban counties were given 6 unit votes, Town counties were given 4 unit votes, and Rural counties were given 2 unit votes, for a total of 410 available unit votes. Each county's unit votes were awarded on a winner-take-all basis. [5] [6]

Candidates were required to obtain a majority of unit votes (not necessarily a majority of the popular vote), or 206 total unit votes, to win the election. If no candidate received a majority in the initial primary, a runoff election was held between the top two candidates to determine a winner. [7]

Candidates

Results

Democratic primary [11] [3] [12]
CandidateVotes%CUV
Herman Talmadge 357,86551.77312
Melvin E. Thompson 312,03545.1498
Hoke O'Kelley13,2261.910
Hoke Willis4,9630.720
Joseph A. Rabun3,1500.460

General election

In the general election, Talmadge faced token opposition.

Results

Barfoot was a candidate of the Progressive Party. [13]

1948 Georgia gubernatorial special election [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic Herman Talmadge 354,711 97.51%
Write-in Morgan Blake8,0172.20%
Write-in James L. Barfoot6650.18%
Write-in Melvin E. Thompson 3240.09%
Write-in Ralph McGill220.01%
Write-in All others240.01%
Turnout 363,763100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

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1926 Georgia gubernatorial election

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1928 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1928 Georgia gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 1928, in order to elect the Governor of Georgia.

1930 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1930 Georgia gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 1930, in order to elect the Governor of Georgia.

1932 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1932 Georgia gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 1932, in order to elect the Governor of Georgia.

1934 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1934 Georgia gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 1934, in order to elect the Governor of Georgia.

1936 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1936 Georgia gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 1936, in order to elect the Governor of Georgia.

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References

  1. 1 2 "Melvin E. Thompson (1903-1980)". New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  2. "Herman Talmadge (1913-2002)". New Georgia Encyclopedia.
  3. 1 2 "GA Governor, 1948 - Special D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  4. "County Unit System". Georgia County Clerks Association. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  5. 1 2 "Eugene Talmadge". The Jim Crow Encyclopedia. The African American Experience. Archived from the original on 23 January 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  6. 1 2 "County Unit System, eh?". Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  7. Buchanan, Scott (13 June 2017). "County Unit System". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  8. "Hoke O'Kelley Memorial Library". Emory University: History and Traditions. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  9. Rev. William C. Kernan (24 January 1947). "The Common Defense". The Ithacan. XVIII (14). Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. p. 2. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  10. "Qualifications Of Candidates Listed" (PDF). The Technique. Atlanta, Georgia. 27 August 1948. p. 2. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  11. Congressional Quarterly 1998, p. 107.
  12. Georgia Register 1950, pp. 574-577.
  13. "Fire damages Barfoot home, 2 buildings". The Atlanta Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia. 25 September 1948. p. 1. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  14. Congressional Quarterly 1998, p. 48.
  15. "GA Governor, 1948 - Special Election". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  16. Glashan 1979, pp. 68-69.
  17. Georgia Register 1950, pp. 614-617.
  18. America Votes 5, p. 82.

Bibliography