1948 United States presidential election in Georgia

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1948 United States presidential election in Georgia
Flag of the State of Georgia (1920-1956).svg
  1944 November 2, 1948 (1948-11-02) 1952  
  Harry-truman.jpg Strom Thurmond 1948.jpg Thomas Dewey.jpg
Nominee Harry Truman Strom Thurmond Thomas E. Dewey
Party Democratic Dixiecrat Republican
Home state Missouri South Carolina New York
Running mate Alben Barkley Fielding L. Wright Earl Warren
Electoral vote1200
Popular vote254,64685,05576,691

Georgia Presidential Election Results 1948.svg
County Results

President before election

Harry Truman

Elected President

Harry Truman

The 1948 United States presidential election in Georgia took place on November 2, 1948, as part of the wider United States Presidential election. Voters chose 12 representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.



With the exception of a handful of historically Unionist North Georgia counties – chiefly Fannin but also to a lesser extent Pickens, Gilmer and Towns – Georgia since the 1880s had been a one-party state dominated by the Democratic Party. Disfranchisement of almost all African-Americans and most poor whites had made the Republican Party virtually nonexistent outside of local governments in those few hill counties, and the national Democratic Party served as the guardian of white supremacy against a Republican Party historically associated with memories of Reconstruction. The only competitive elections were Democratic primaries, which state laws restricted to whites on the grounds of the Democratic Party being legally a private club. [1]

Dixiecrat revolt

However, on February 2, 1948, incumbent President Harry S. Truman, fearing that the antidemocratic practices and racial discrimination of the South would severely denigrate the United States' reputation in the Cold War, [2] launched the first Civil Rights bill since the end of Reconstruction, along with an executive order for desegregation of the military. Mississippi Governor Fielding Wright had already sounded a call for revolt, which he took to the Southern Governors Conference at Wakulla Springs, Florida, [3] to say that calls for civil rights legislation by national Democrats would not be tolerated in Dixie.

After Truman was renominated at the 1948 Democratic National Convention, Southern Democrats walked out and convened at Birmingham, Alabama on July 17, nominating South Carolina Governor James Strom Thurmond for president and Mississippi Governor Fielding L. Wright for vice president. [4]

Given that Georgia had no threat from the Republican Party and a relatively high proportion of African Americans in its population, one would have expected the Peach State to bolt from Truman's civil rights platform and nominate Thurmond as the official Democratic Party candidate.[ clarification needed ] However, leading "conservative" gubernatorial candidate Herman Talmadge had experienced the Three Governors controversy in 1947 which removed him from office [lower-alpha 1] until a special election was to be held concurrently with the presidential election. [5] Herman consequently feared that if he supported Thurmond for president, Truman loyalists would challenge him for governor in the concurrent general election. Moreover, neither the Talmadge nor the anti-Talmadge faction wished to be accused of bolting[ clarification needed ] during the summer's Democratic gubernatorial primary. [6]

Thus, although most of the Talmadge faction was pro-Thurmond, [7] it did not nominate as Democratic electors candidates pledged to support Thurmond and Fielding Wright, unlike the anti-Long faction in Louisiana. [6] Thurmond and Wright thus had to take their place on the ballot as the "States' Rights" party. Interim Governor Thompson also played an important role in ensuring the "Democratic" label would be given to electors supporting the national ticket. [8]


Because Southern senators and congressmen had their seniority to worry about as it determined places on committees, few of Georgia's congressmen would risk openly supporting Thurmond once Truman was established as the "Democratic" candidate. [9] Consequently, Truman had no trouble carrying the state by 40.49%, and Thurmond gained a majority in just 10 of 159 counties. Almost all of these Thurmond counties were located adjacent to the South Carolina governor's home county of Edgefield, South Carolina, while in most counties north of Atlanta Thurmond's percentage remained in single figures. [8]


United States presidential election in Georgia, 1948 [10]
PartyCandidateVotesPercentageElectoral votes
Democratic Harry Truman 254,64660.81%12
States' Rights Strom Thurmond 85,05520.31%0
Republican Thomas E. Dewey 76,69118.31%0
Progressive Henry Wallace 1,6360.39%0
Prohibition Claude Watson 7320.17%0
Socialist (Write-in) Norman Thomas 30.01%0

Results by county

CountyHarry S. Truman [11]
Thomas Edmund Dewey [11]
James Strom Thurmond [12]
States' Rights
Henry Agard Wallace [13]
Various candidates
Others parties
Total votes cast
# %# %# %# %# %
Appling 2,26870.72%2899.01%63919.93%50.16%60.19%3,207
Atkinson 93883.75%665.89%11410.18%10.09%10.09%1,120
Bacon 78563.56%1048.42%34327.77%20.16%10.08%1,235
Baker 21877.03%72.47%5820.49%00.00%00.00%283
Baldwin 1,13254.03%55926.68%39518.85%60.29%30.14%2,095
Banks 53389.13%386.35%264.35%00.00%10.17%598
Barrow 1,55475.69%1557.55%34416.76%00.00%00.00%2,053
Bartow 2,38477.71%44014.34%2036.62%280.91%130.42%3,068
Ben Hill 1,43875.84%22311.76%22511.87%10.05%90.47%1,896
Berrien 1,77283.31%1075.03%23711.14%60.28%50.24%2,127
Bibb 7,01149.80%3,04321.62%3,83727.26%1651.17%210.15%14,077
Bleckley 53663.96%718.47%22727.09%00.00%40.48%838
Brantley 46360.44%7910.31%22429.24%00.00%00.00%766
Brooks 97558.14%18811.21%51130.47%20.12%10.06%1,677
Bryan 1,14765.21%1357.67%47226.83%40.23%10.06%1,759
Bulloch 2,03668.95%2769.35%62521.16%60.20%100.34%2,953
Burke 35723.86%1077.15%1,02868.72%20.13%20.13%1,496
Butts 98784.50%615.22%11910.19%10.09%00.00%1,168
Calhoun 39977.63%367.00%7915.37%00.00%00.00%514
Camden 55250.88%20819.17%32429.86%10.09%00.00%1,085
Candler 58958.49%12512.41%29028.80%20.20%10.10%1,007
Carroll 2,67172.76%52614.33%47012.80%30.08%10.03%3,671
Catoosa 1,05168.34%26817.43%21413.91%30.20%20.13%1,538
Charlton 33959.68%7012.32%15927.99%00.00%00.00%568
Chatham 10,86445.46%5,96624.97%6,83928.62%2100.88%180.08%23,897
Chattahoochee 4639.66%10.86%6959.48%00.00%00.00%116
Chattooga 3,39685.97%3629.16%1874.73%40.10%10.03%3,950
Cherokee 1,26758.85%63129.31%25011.61%40.19%10.05%2,153
Clarke 3,09571.69%70716.38%49711.51%110.25%70.16%4,317
Clay 29580.38%3910.63%338.99%00.00%00.00%367
Clayton 2,19266.50%33910.29%75722.97%40.12%40.12%3,296
Clinch 1,28373.57%1689.63%28716.46%10.06%50.29%1,744
Cobb 4,76667.15%1,52421.47%77910.97%160.23%130.18%7,098
Coffee 3,16876.45%3097.46%65315.76%90.22%50.12%4,144
Colquitt 2,25565.08%53715.50%66419.16%70.20%20.06%3,465
Columbia 16415.47%595.57%83678.87%00.00%10.09%1,060
Cook 1,19275.73%1237.81%25516.20%00.00%40.25%1,574
Coweta 2,21483.58%2198.27%2097.89%10.04%60.23%2,649
Crawford 38954.79%649.01%25736.20%00.00%00.00%710
Crisp 1,22562.09%22111.20%52426.56%10.05%20.10%1,973
Dade 1,48873.45%33816.68%1939.53%30.15%40.20%2,026
Dawson 66044.35%78652.82%422.82%00.00%00.00%1,488
DeKalb 10,82655.46%5,75829.50%2,84514.57%640.33%280.14%19,521
Decatur 1,20953.21%29613.03%75733.32%30.13%70.31%2,272
Dodge 1,72569.75%2108.49%53221.51%20.08%40.16%2,473
Dooly 57788.50%223.37%517.82%10.15%10.15%652
Dougherty 2,51764.19%61415.66%76819.59%180.46%40.10%3,921
Douglas 1,33639.93%1,01930.45%98729.50%20.06%20.06%3,346
Early 1,11082.04%946.95%14810.94%00.00%10.07%1,353
Echols 33253.29%325.14%25841.41%10.16%00.00%623
Effingham 34726.84%16012.37%77960.25%40.31%30.23%1,293
Elbert 1,61776.17%1527.16%35016.49%10.05%30.14%2,123
Emanuel 1,43659.88%24110.05%71729.90%30.13%10.04%2,398
Evans 95367.97%1188.42%32723.32%00.00%40.29%1,402
Fannin 1,99841.03%2,78957.27%821.68%00.00%10.02%4,870
Fayette 82572.12%544.72%26322.99%00.00%20.17%1,144
Floyd 5,24768.94%1,68922.19%6538.58%170.22%50.07%7,611
Forsyth 1,81368.11%57321.53%2529.47%30.11%210.79%2,662
Franklin 1,03677.95%13810.38%15411.59%10.08%00.00%1,329
Fulton 29,31857.43%14,97629.33%5,98011.71%5681.11%2120.42%51,054
Gilmer 1,27550.20%1,20347.36%592.32%10.04%20.08%2,540
Glascock 12324.40%132.58%36572.42%30.60%00.00%504
Glynn 2,44453.36%1,09023.80%99221.66%501.09%40.09%4,580
Gordon 1,52373.75%37718.26%1577.60%10.05%70.34%2,065
Grady 1,51669.54%24411.19%41619.08%10.05%30.14%2,180
Greene 1,21376.29%925.79%28217.74%10.06%20.13%1,590
Gwinnett 2,83275.99%41311.08%47112.64%40.11%70.19%3,727
Habersham 1,47771.32%36817.77%21210.24%100.48%40.19%2,071
Hall 3,09374.37%60614.57%44910.80%40.10%70.17%4,159
Hancock 44157.12%11114.38%21928.37%10.13%00.00%772
Haralson 2,26363.51%83123.32%45712.83%70.20%50.14%3,563
Harris 75966.75%13812.14%23820.93%10.09%10.09%1,137
Hart 1,36389.08%785.10%875.69%00.00%20.13%1,530
Heard 67083.75%779.63%536.63%00.00%00.00%800
Henry 1,40075.84%22912.41%21311.54%30.16%10.05%1,846
Houston 1,43769.35%2049.85%42420.46%40.19%30.14%2,072
Irwin 94669.82%14610.77%25618.89%60.44%10.07%1,355
Jackson 1,86683.98%1456.53%2119.50%00.00%00.00%2,222
Jasper 56264.97%8710.06%21524.86%10.12%00.00%865
Jeff Davis 61167.51%707.73%21123.31%90.99%40.44%905
Jefferson 54431.70%1377.98%1,03160.08%20.12%20.12%1,716
Jenkins 59561.40%9810.11%27528.38%10.10%00.00%969
Johnson 68554.54%675.33%50340.05%00.00%10.08%1,256
Jones 58852.78%1039.25%42337.97%00.00%00.00%1,114
Lamar 90971.63%16412.92%19115.05%00.00%50.39%1,269
Lanier 48671.47%9213.53%10014.71%10.15%10.15%680
Laurens 2,32561.12%2687.05%1,21131.83%00.00%00.00%3,804
Lee 21545.94%367.69%21646.15%10.21%00.00%468
Liberty 82067.66%1219.98%26922.19%20.17%00.00%1,212
Lincoln 9913.58%324.39%59681.76%10.14%10.14%729