The Political Parties of To-Day: A Study in Republican and Democratic Politics

By Arthur N. Holcombe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
THE SUPREMACY OF THE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS

THE bright hopes of Republican supremacy in national politics, founded upon the political coming of age of the Far West, like those of the preceding generation of Republicans built upon the prospects of negro suffrage at the South, were destined to be rudely destroyed. At the presidential election of 1892 the Republican party was badly defeated. Not only did President Harrison, who was a candidate for re-election, fail to secure a majority of the votes in the electoral college, but the popular vote also was very disappointing. The Republican ticket received only 43 per cent of the total, the smallest proportion received at any presidential election since 1860. Nearly all the doubtful states at the North and some which had not been considered doubtful were lost.

The election of 1892 has usually been regarded as a great triumph for the Democratic party. It was certainly a great triumph for the Democratic candidate. Grover Cleveland had already served one term in the Presidency, and had then been defeated for re-election, and his success in 1892 seemed a splendid personal vindication. But the Democratic ticket received only 46 per cent of the popular vote in 1892, whereas it had received around 49 per cent at the two previous Cleveland campaigns. This was about the same proportion of the popular vote as Buchanan had received in 1856, and to those Democratic politicians who looked beyond the face

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