The Election of 1936 holds importance in American history because the outcome verified Franklin Roosevelt's 1932 victory and demonstrated the people's support for the New Deal. However, today's American citizen, if stopped on the street, most likely could not tell you who the Republican nominee was in that crucial campaign.
New Campaign Methods
At their convention, the Democrats aired their activities over the radio and nominated Roosevelt without much stir. FDR was a master in the use of radio and had used it effectively during his first term. By 1936, the Republicans finally realized the impact of radio in American politics. They, too, created a radio division of their own, but their nominee, Governor Alfred Landon of Kansas, was never able to use it effectively during his campaign.
Another new instrument for campaigning was introduced, and somewhat effectively, used in 1936 - "public opinion polling." Neither party felt totally comfortable with the new concept, but the Democrats, once again, incorporated it into their campaign strategy much better than the Republicans.
The Democrats were becoming very popular with of a wide range of voters - American labor, women, and blacks. While the Republicans felt that Social Security was a fraud, shortly before the election, Roosevelt endorsed the program wholeheartedly, and voters felt he was deeply concerned about their welfare.
Something in Common for Democrats and Republicans
In 1936 the Democrats and Republicans openly sought the support of the black voters across the nation.
However, the Democrats were just much more successful in their efforts than the Republicans.
Election Results - Clean Sweep for Roosevelt
On election day Landon knew he had lost the election before the votes were even counted. Roosevelt won 60.8 percent of the popular vote, and 523 electoral votes to Landon's 36.5 percent, and only 8 electoral votes. It was the greatest landslide victory in American political history.
|Presidential Candidate||Vice Presidential Candidate||Party||Popular Vote||Electoral Vote|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt||John N. Garner||Democratic; American Labor||27,751,597||523|
|Alfred M. Landon||Frank Knox||Republican||16,679,583||8|
|William Lemke||Thomas C. O'Brian||Union||882,479||0|
|Norman Thomas||George A. Nelson||Socialist||187,720||0|
|Earl Browder||James W. Ford||Communist||80,159||0|
|D. Leigh Colvin||Claude Watson||Prohibition; Commonwealth||37,847||0|
|John W. Aiken||Emil Teichert||Socialist-Labor; Industrial Labor||12,777||0|
Source: Historical Statistics of the United States, 1789-1945, By United States. Bureau Of The Census, p. 288.
In 1926 he ran for Texas Attorney General but was defeated. He made another run for that office in 1930 and became the youngest man to hold that office at age 31. He won re-election in 1932. He then won two terms as the Governor of Texas in 1934 and 1936. He was a staunch New Dealer who FDR appointed to the Federal Courts in 1939. In 1942 he resigned his judgeship to run for the U.S. Senate; losing to the incumbent - W. Lee O'Daniel."