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Election  of  1936


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.

1936/fdr-cello-1 FDR Cello
From the collection of Ernie Wentrcek
Landon litho Landon Litho
From the collection of Ernie Wentrcek

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.

1936/fdr19363d-1 FDR - 3D Metal Display Item
From the collection of Ernie Wentrcek

Appearances Matter
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.

  • Both parties sought endorsements from black community leaders.
  • They purchased advertising space in black newspapers.
  • The Democrats and Republicans held mass meetings in black communities.

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.




1936 Campaign Items From the collection of Ernie Wentrcek - Click on the images to see a larger photo and description.
Franklin D. Roosevelt and John N. Garner - Democratic Party
1936/FDR 1.25 inch cello
1936/FDR 3.5 inch sepia cello
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1936/fdr-cello
1936/fdr-cello
1936/fdr-cello
1936/fdr-cello
1936/fdr-cello
1936/fdr-mirror-1
1936/fdr-litho-1

Alfred M. Landon and Frank Knox - Republican Party
Landon and Knox Pamphlet Jugate
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Alf Landon ~ Campaign Booklet distributed by the Republican National Committee
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Landon - Knox Club Membership card
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Alf Landon ~ Campaign Booklet distributed by the Republican National Committee
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Alf Landon campaign card
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Landon and Knox Pamphlet

William Lemke and Thomas C. O'Brien - Union Party
1936/Lemke - O'Brien ~ 7/8 inch cello button

Earl Browder and James W. Ford - Communist Party
1936/Browder ~ Ford Communist Party Campaign Pamphlet
1936/Browder ~ Ford Communist Party Campaign Postcard

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.


TEXAS POLITICAL ITEMS From the collection of Ernie Wentrcek - Click on the images to see a larger photo and description.
James V. Allred - Democratic Party

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."

1936/James V. Allred ~ Time Magazine
1936/James V. Allred ~ 1935 Inaugural Ball Ticket
1936/James V. Allred ~ 1937 Inaugural Ball Booklet
1936/James V. Allred ~ 1937 Inaugural Ball Ticket
1936/James V. Allred for Governor ~ Campaign Decal
1936/James V. Allred ~ 1937 Inaugural Invitation
1936/James V. Allred ~ Family Christmas Card
1936/James V. Allred for Attorney General ~ Campaign Card