Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others

By Harold F. Gosnell | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER VI
ELECTING ROOSEVELT GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK

" ROOSEVELT ELECTED GOVERVOR -- Rural New York Met Van Wyck's 80,000 at the City Line and Buried it Almost Completely" read the headline in the election issue of the New York Herald for November 9th, 1898. This headline clearly indicates the problem which confronted Thomas C. Platt in marshalling the Republican voters of the state. Judge Van Wyck, the Democratic candidate for governor, secured a plurality of 80,000 votes over Roosevelt in New York City, but Roosevelt's plurality in the up-state was sufficient to give him a majority of 17,000 in the state as a whole. An analysis of this vote by the sixty-one counties of the state shows that on the average sixty per cent of the voters in forty of the rural counties cast their ballots for the Republican ticket.1 The percentage of native stock in the same forty counties ranged from fifty-three in Franklin County to eighty-six in Tioga County, the home county of Senator per. From this it may be generalized that the main strength of the Republican party in New York in the nineties lay in the rural districts where the voters were largely native Americans of native parentage. The were two or three rural counties which were exceptions to this rule, and it should also be pointed out that the Republican party polled a considerable vote in the up-state cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and

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1
New York State Legislative Manual, 1899.

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