In the 1920 Presidential election, Republican Warren G. Harding defeated Democrat James M. Cox in a landslide. Both nominees were from Ohio. As I indicated previously, it seemed like Ohio and New York had a monopoly on Presidential Candidates prior to 1952.
Harding came from the Senate and Cox was the Governor. Harding won with 60% of the popular vote, 404 electoral votes, and 37 states. Cox had just under 40% of the popular vote, 127 electoral votes, and 11 states.
Back in 1920, voters from the South and Border South voted Democratic no matter who it was. The vote total for Governor Cox did not mean he had any appeal in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi , North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. It was a hangover from the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Many in the South still saw him as a tyrant. Actually Lincoln was advocating generous terms for bringing the Confederacy back into the Union. With Lincoln’s death, his dream for America died as well.
The State of the Union in 1920 was very bad. Bills from fighting World War I were coming due with interest. This was slowing down investments. Historians and teachers give inadequate attention to Post War Depression of 1919 because of the more serious depression of the thirties. Up to 1920 it was the most severe economic slowdown in our history. There were memories 0f Palmer’s raids named after the Wilson’s Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Democratic goons, police departments, and Coal and Iron Policeman harassed German and Irish Americans in organized labor, fraternal societies, and churches. Inference with mail made it dangerous to send correspondence especially to other countries.
An ailing President Wilson said the 1920 elections would be a referendum on American entrance into the League of Nations. This was unwise because Americans were tired of war and foreign alliances. Traditionally the voters turn out the party in the White House after a war. No doubt, Americans were war weary and did not want entrance into League of Nations. Nevertheless, it was not the all consuming issue, just one of many that hurt the Democrats. In the midterm elections of 1918, the Republicans took over both Houses.