1904 United States presidential election


The 1904 United States presidential election was the 30th quadrennial United States presidential election, presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 1904. Incumbent Republican Party (United States), Republican President of the United States, President Theodore Roosevelt defeated the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic nominee, Alton B. Parker. Roosevelt's victory made him the first president who ascended to the presidency upon the death of his predecessor to win a full term in his own right. Roosevelt First inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt, took office in September 1901 following the assassination of William McKinley, assassination of his predecessor, William McKinley. After the February 1904 death of McKinley's ally, Senator Mark Hanna, Roosevelt faced little opposition at the 1904 Republican National Convention. The conservative Bourbon Democrat allies of former President Grover Cleveland temporarily regained control of the Democratic Party from the followers of William Jennings Bryan, and the 1904 Democratic National Convention nominated Alton B. Parker, Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Parker triumphed on the second ballot of the convention, defeating newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. As there was little difference between the candidates' positions, the race was largely based on their personalities; the Democrats argued the Roosevelt presidency was "arbitrary" and "erratic." Republicans emphasized Roosevelt's success in foreign affairs and his record of firmness against monopoly, monopolies. Roosevelt easily defeated Parker, sweeping every US region except the Solid South, South, while Parker lost multiple states won by Bryan in 1900, including his home state of New York. Two third party (United States), third-party candidates, Eugene V. Debs of the Socialist Party of America, Socialist Party and Silas C. Swallow of the Prohibition Party, each took over 1% of the popular vote. Roosevelt's List of United States presidential elections by popular vote margin, popular vote margin of 18.8% was the largest since James Monroe's victory in the 1820 United States presidential election, 1820 presidential election. With Roosevelt's landslide victory, he became the first presidential candidate in American history to receive at least 300 electoral votes in a victorious campaign in which the votes have not been disallowed.


Republican Party nomination

Republican candidates: File:President Roosevelt - Pach Bros.jpg,
President of the United States, President
Theodore Roosevelt
File:Mark Hanna by WJ Root, 1896 cropped.jpg,
United States Senate, Senator
Mark Hanna
from Ohio
(died February 15, 1904)
As Republicans convened in Chicago on June 21–23, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt's nomination was assured. He had effectively maneuvered throughout 1902 and 1903 to gain control of the party to ensure it. A dump-Roosevelt movement had centered on the candidacy of conservative Senator Mark Hanna from Ohio, but Hanna's death in February 1904 had removed this obstacle. Roosevelt's nomination speech was delivered by former governor Frank S. Black of New York and seconded by Senator Albert J. Beveridge from Indiana. Roosevelt was nominated unanimously on the first ballot with 994 votes. Since conservatives in the Republican Party denounced Theodore Roosevelt as a radical, they were allowed to choose the vice-presidential candidate. Senator Charles W. Fairbanks from Indiana was the obvious choice, since conservatives thought highly of him, yet he managed not to offend the party's more progressive elements. Roosevelt was far from pleased with the idea of Fairbanks for vice-president. He would have preferred Representative Robert R. Hitt from Illinois, but he did not consider the vice-presidential nomination worth a fight. With solid support from New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, Fairbanks was easily placed on the 1904 Republican ticket in order to appease the Old Guard. The Republican platform insisted on maintenance of the protective tariff, called for increased foreign trade, pledged to uphold the gold standard, favored expansion of the merchant marine, promoted a strong navy, and praised in detail Roosevelt's foreign and domestic policy. Source
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Democratic Party nomination

Democratic candidates: File:AltonBParker.png,
New York Court of Appeals, Chief Judge
Alton B. Parker
from New York (state), New York
File:William Randolph Hearst cph 3a49373.jpg,
United States House of Representatives, Representative
William Randolph Hearst
from New York (state), New York
File:Francis Cockrell - Brady-Handy.jpg,
United States Senate, Senator
Francis Cockrell
from Missouri
File:Richard Olney, Bain bw photo portrait, 1913.jpg,
Richard Olney
Former U.S. Secretary of State from Massachusetts
File:William Jennings Bryan, 1860-1925.jpg,
William Jennings Bryan
from Nebraska
(declined on Jan 10)
File:Grover Cleveland - NARA - 518139.jpg,
President of the United States, Former President
Grover Cleveland
from New Jersey

(declined) File:EdwardCWall.png,
Edward C. Wall
from Wisconsin
File:George Gray Senator.jpg,
George Gray (senator), George Gray
from Delaware
File:John Sharp Williams.jpg,
United States House of Representatives, Representative
John Sharp Williams
from Mississippi
File:Nelson A. Miles by Brands Studios, 1898.jpg,
Lieutenant general (United States), Lieutenant General
Nelson A. Miles
from Massachusetts
In 1904, both William Jennings Bryan and former President Grover Cleveland declined to run for president. Since the two Democratic nominees of the past 20 years did not seek the presidential nomination, Alton B. Parker, a Bourbon Democrat from New York, emerged as the frontrunner. Parker was the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals and was respected by both Democrats and Republicans in his state. On several occasions, the Republicans paid Parker the honor of running no one against him when he ran for various political positions. Parker refused to work actively for the nomination, but did nothing to restrain his conservative supporters, among them the sachems of Tammany Hall. Former President Grover Cleveland endorsed Parker. The Democratic Convention that met in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 6–9, 1904, has been called "one of the most exciting and sensational in the history of the Democratic Party." The struggle inside the Democratic Party over the nomination was to prove as contentious as the election itself. Though Parker, out of active politics for twenty years, had neither enemies nor errors to make him unavailable, a bitter battle was waged against Parker by the more liberal wing of the party in the months before the convention. Despite the fact that Parker had supported Bryan in 1896 United States presidential election, 1896 and 1900 United States presidential election, 1900, Bryan hated him for being a National Democratic Party (United States), Gold Democrat. Bryan wanted the weakest man nominated, one who could not take the control of the party away from him. He denounced Judge Parker as a tool of Wall Street before he was nominated and declared that no self-respecting Democrat could vote for him. Inheriting Bryan's support was publisher, now congressman, William Randolph Hearst of New York. Hearst owned eight newspapers, all of them friendly to labor, vigorous in their trust-busting activities, fighting the cause of "the people who worked for a living." Because of this liberalism, Hearst had the Illinois delegation pledged to him and the promise of several other states. Although Hearst's newspaper was the only major publication in the East to support William Jennings Bryan and Bimetallism in 1896, he found that his support for Bryan was not reciprocated. Instead, Bryan seconded the nomination of Francis Cockrell. The prospect of having Hearst for a candidate frightened conservative Democrats so much that they renewed their efforts to get Parker nominated on the first ballot. Parker received 658 votes on the first roll call, 9 short of the necessary two-thirds. Before the result could be announced, 21 more votes were transferred to Parker. As a result, Parker handily won the nomination on the first ballot with 679 votes to 181 for Hearst and the rest scattered. After Parker's nomination, Bryan charged that it had been dictated by the trusts and secured by "crooked and indefensible methods." Bryan also said that labor had been betrayed in the convention and could look for nothing from the Democratic Party. Indeed, Parker was one of the judges on the New York Court of Appeals who declared the eight-hour law unconstitutional. Before a vice-president could be nominated, Parker sprang into action when he learned that the Democratic platform pointedly omitted reference to the monetary issue. To make his position clear, Parker, after his nomination, informed the convention by letter that he supported the gold standard. The letter read, "I regard the gold standard as firmly and irrevocably established and shall act accordingly if the action of the convention today shall be ratified by the people. As the platform is silent on the subject, my view should be made known to the convention, and if it is proved to be unsatisfactory to the majority, I request you to decline the nomination for me at once, so that another may be nominated before adjournment." It was the first time a candidate had made such a move. It was an act of daring that might have lost him the nomination and made him an outcast from the party he had served and believed in all his life. Former Senator Henry G. Davis from West Virginia was nominated for vice-president; at 80, he was the oldest major-party candidate ever nominated for national office. Davis had received the nomination because it was believed he could deliver his state for the Democrats. Davis had an honorable career in politics and was also a millionaire mine owner, railroad magnate, and banker. Parker protested against "the rule of individual caprice," the presidential "usurpation of authority," and the "aggrandizement of personal power." But his more positive proposals were so backward-looking, such as his proposal to let state legislatures and the common law develop a remedy for the trust problem, that the ''New York World'' characterized the campaign as a struggle of "conservative and constitutional Democracy against radical and arbitrary Republicanism." The Democratic platform called for reduction in government expenditures and a congressional investigation of the executive departments "already known to teem with corruption"; condemned monopolies; pledged an end to government contracts with companies violating antitrust laws; opposed imperialism; insisted upon independence for the Philippines; and opposed the protective tariff. It favored strict enforcement of the eight-hour day, eight-hour work day; construction of a Panama Canal; the direct election of senators; statehood for the Western territories; the extermination of polygamy; reciprocal trade agreements; cuts in the army; and enforcement of the civil service laws. It condemned the Roosevelt administration in general as "spasmodic, erratic, sensational, spectacular, and arbitrary." Source
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Socialist Party nomination

File:EugeneVictorDebs.png, Trade union, Union leader Eugene V. Debs from Indiana The Election of 1904 was the first election in which the Socialist Party participated. The Socialist Party of America was a highly factionalized coalition of local parties based in industrial cities and usually was rooted in ethnic communities, especially German and Finnish. It also had some support in old Populist rural and mining areas in the West. Prominent socialist Eugene V. Debs was nominated for president and Benjamin Hanford was nominated for vice-president.

General election


The campaigning done by both parties was much less vigorous than it had been in 1896 United States presidential election, 1896 and 1900 United States presidential election, 1900. The campaign season was pervaded by goodwill, and it went a long way toward mending the damage done by the previous class-war elections. This was due to the fact that Parker and Roosevelt, with the exception of charisma, were so similar in political outlook. So close were the two candidates that few differences could be detected. Both men were for the gold standard; though the Democrats were more outspokenly against imperialism, both believed in fair treatment for the Filipinos and eventual liberation; and both believed that labor unions had the same rights as individuals before the courts. The radicals in the Democratic Party denounced Parker as a conservative; the conservatives in the Republican Party denounced Theodore Roosevelt as a radical. During the campaign, there were a couple of instances in which Roosevelt was seen as vulnerable. In the first place, Joseph Pulitzer's ''New York World'' carried a full page story about alleged corruption in the Bureau of Corporations. President Roosevelt admitted certain payments had been made, but denied any "blackmail." Secondly, in appointing George B. Cortelyou as his campaign manager, Roosevelt had purposely used his former Secretary of Commerce and Labor. This was of importance because Cortelyou, knowing the secrets of the corporations, could extract large contributions from them. The charge created quite a stir and in later years was proven to be sound. In 1907, it was disclosed that the insurance companies had contributed rather too heavily to the Roosevelt campaign. Only a week before the election, Roosevelt himself called E. H. Harriman, the railroad king, to Washington, D.C., for the purpose of raising funds to carry New York (state), New York. Insider money, however, was spent on both candidates. Parker received financial support from the J. P. Morgan, Morgan banking interests, just as Bourbon Democrat Grover Cleveland, Cleveland had before him. Thomas W. Lawson (businessman), Thomas W. Lawson, the Boston millionaire, charged that New York State Senate, New York state Senator Patrick H. McCarren, Patrick Henry McCarren, a prominent Parker backer, was on the payroll of Standard Oil at the rate of twenty thousand dollars a year. Lawson offered Senator McCarren $100,000 (equivalent to $ million today) if he would disprove the charge. According to one account, "No denial of the charge was ever made by the Senator." One paper even referred to McCarren as "the Standard Oil serpent of Brooklyn politics."


Image:McCutcheonMysteriousStrange.jpg, 200px, left, "The Mysterious Stranger" – A political cartoon showing Missouri having left the Solid South by voting Republican. Theodore Roosevelt won a landslide victory, taking every Northern and Western state. He was the first Republican to carry the state of Missouri since Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 United States presidential election, 1868. In voting Republican, Missouri repositioned itself from being associated with the Solid South to being seen as a Missouri bellwether, bellwether ''swing state'' throughout the 20th century. The vote in Maryland was extremely close. For the first time in that state's history, secret paper ballots, supplied at public expense, and without political symbols of any kind, were issued to each voter. Candidates for Electors were listed under the presidential and vice presidential candidates for each party; there were four parties recognized in the election: Democratic, Republican, Prohibition, and Socialist. Voters were free to mark their ballots for up to eight candidates of any party. While Roosevelt's victory nationally was quickly determined, the election in Maryland remained in doubt for several weeks. On November 30, Roosevelt was declared the statewide victor by just 51 votes. However, as voters had voted for individual Electoral College (United States), presidential electors, only one Republican elector, Charles Bonaparte (Attorney General), Charles Bonaparte, survived the tally. The other seven top vote recipients were Democrats. Roosevelt won the election by more than 2.5 million popular votes, making him the first president to win a primarily two-man race by more than a million votes (Abraham Lincoln, in 1860, received >1,000,000 more votes than the second place finisher in the popular vote, but this was only because the democrats were split into 3 factions). Roosevelt won 56.4% of the popular vote; that, along with his popular vote margin of 18.8%, was the largest recorded between James Monroe's 1820 United States presidential election, uncontested re-election in 1820 and the election of Warren G. Harding in 1920 United States presidential election, 1920. Of the 2,754 counties making returns, Roosevelt carried 1,611 (58.50%) and won a majority of votes in 1,538; he and Parker were tied in one county (0.04%). Thomas E. Watson, Thomas Watson, the Populist candidate, received 117,183 votes and won nine counties (0.33%) in his home state of Georgia. He had a majority in five of the counties, and his vote total was double the Populist's showing in 1900 but less than one eighth of the party's total in 1892 United States presidential election, 1892. Parker carried 1,133 counties (41.14%) and won a majority in 1,057. The distribution of the vote by counties reveals him to have been a weaker candidate than William Jennings Bryan, the party's nominee 1900 United States presidential election#Results, four years earlier, in every section of the nation, except for the deep South, where Democratic dominance remained strong, due in large part to pervasive Disfranchisement after the Reconstruction Era, disfranchisement of blacks.Presidential Elections, 1789–2008: County, State, and National Mapping of Election Data, Donald R. Deskins Jr., Hanes Walton Jr., and Sherman C. Puckett, p. 281. In 17 states, the Parker–Davis ticket failed to carry a single county, and outside the South carried only 84.The Presidential Vote, 1896-1932, Edgar E. Robinson, pp. 11–12. This was the last election in which the Republicans won Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada until 1920. Source (popular vote): Source (electoral vote):

Geography of results

Image:1904 United States presidential election results map by county.svg, Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote

Cartographic gallery

Image:PresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Map of presidential election results by county Image:RepublicanPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Map of Republican presidential election results by county Image:DemocraticPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Map of Democratic presidential election results by county Image:OtherPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Map of "other" presidential election results by county Image:CartogramPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Cartogram of presidential election results by county Image:CartogramRepublicanPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Cartogram of Republican presidential election results by county Image:CartogramDemocraticPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Cartogram of Democratic presidential election results by county Image:CartogramOtherPresidentialCounty1904Colorbrewer.gif, Cartogram of "other" presidential election results by county

Results by state

Close states

Margin of victory less than 1% (8 electoral votes): #Maryland, 0.02% Margin of victory less than 5% (31 electoral votes): #Kentucky, 2.69% #Missouri, 3.90% Margin of victory between 5% and 10% (3 electoral votes): #Delaware, 9.94% Tipping point state: #New Jersey, 18.63%


Counties with Highest Percent of Vote (Republican) #Keweenaw County, Michigan 94.55% #Mercer County, North Dakota 93.68% #Logan County, North Dakota 93.61% #McIntosh County, North Dakota 92.70% #Zapata County, Texas 92.48% Counties with Highest Percent of Vote (Democratic) #Horry County, South Carolina 100.00% #Georgetown County, South Carolina 100.00% #Fairfield County, South Carolina 100.00% #Madison Parish, Louisiana 100.00% #Potter County, Texas 100.00% Counties with Highest Percent of Vote (Populist) #Glascock County, Georgia 69.38% #McDuffie County, Georgia 58.59% #McIntosh County, Georgia 56.55% #Jackson County, Georgia 55.29% #Johnson County, Georgia 53.05%

See also

* History of the United States (1865–1918) * Newspaper endorsements in the 1904 United States presidential election * 1904 United States House of Representatives elections * 1904 and 1905 United States Senate elections * Second inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt


Further reading

* * * * ''Biography of Roosevelt during the years 1901–1909.'' * Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, and Fred L. Israel, eds. ''History of American presidential elections, 1789-1968. Vol. 3.'' (1971), history of the campaign by William Harbaugh, with primary documents. * Shoemaker, Fred C. "Alton B. Parker: the images of a gilded age statesman in an era of progressive politics" (MA thesis, The Ohio State University, 1983

Primary sources

* ''Republican Campaign Text-book, 1904'' (1904), handbook for Republican speakers and editorialists; full of arguments, speeches and statistic
online free
* Chester, Edward W ''A guide to political platforms'' (1977
* Porter, Kirk H. and Donald Bruce Johnson, eds. ''National party platforms, 1840-1964'' (1965
online 1840-1956

External links


from the Library of Congress
nbsp;— Michael Sheppard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Newspaper Article about Judge Parker Nomination For PresidentNewspaper Article about President Roosevelt Nomination For President

Election of 1904 in Counting the Votes
{{1904 United States elections 1904 United States presidential election, Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt November 1904 events