1944 Republican Party presidential primaries

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1944 Republican Party presidential primaries

← 1940 March 14 to May 19, 1944 1948 →
  Thomas E. Dewey.jpg Douglas MacArthur 58-61.jpg Earl Warren Portrait, half figure, seated, facing front, as Governor.jpg
Candidate Thomas E. Dewey Douglas MacArthur Earl Warren
Home state New York Wisconsin California
Contests won 3 2 1
Popular vote 278,272 662,127 594,439
Percentage 12.2% 28.9% 26.0%

  John William Bricker (Gov., Sen. OH).jpg Harold Stassen.jpg
Candidate John W. Bricker Harold Stassen
Home state Ohio Minnesota
Contests won 1 1
Popular vote 366,444 67,508
Percentage 16.0% 3.0%

1944RepublicanPrimariesStatesByWinner.svg
Results map by state.

Previous Republican nominee

Wendell Willkie

Republican nominee

Thomas E. Dewey

The 1944 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1944 U.S. presidential election. The nominee was selected through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1944 Republican National Convention held from June 26 to June 28, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois.[1]

At the 1944 Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, Dewey easily overcame Bricker and was nominated on the first ballot. In a bid to maintain party unity, Dewey, a moderate, chose the conservative Bricker as his running mate; Bricker was nominated by acclamation.

Candidates[edit]

As 1944 began the frontrunners for the Republican nomination appeared to be Wendell Willkie, the party's 1940 candidate, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, the leader of the party's conservatives, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the leader of the party's powerful, moderate eastern establishment, General Douglas MacArthur, then serving as an Allied commander in the Pacific theater of the war, and former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, then serving as a U.S. naval officer in the Pacific.

However, Taft surprised many by announcing that he was not a candidate; instead he voiced his support for a fellow conservative, Governor John W. Bricker of Ohio. With Taft out of the race some GOP conservatives favored General MacArthur. However, MacArthur's chances were limited by the fact that he was leading Allied forces against Japan, and thus could not campaign for the nomination.

Major candidates[edit]

These candidates participated in multiple state primaries or were included in multiple major national polls.

Competing in primaries[edit]

Candidate Most recent position Home state Campaign
Thomas E. Dewey Governor of New York
(1943–54)

New York
(Campaign)
Douglas MacArthur DouglasMacArthur1945.jpg Army Chief of Staff
(1930–35)
New York
New York
(Campaign)
Harold Stassen HaroldStassenOfficialOil.jpg Former Governor
of Minnesota

(1939–43)
Flag map of Minnesota.svg
Minnesota
(Campaign)
Wendell Willkie Businessman
and 1940 presidential nominee

New York
(Campaign)

Bypassing primaries[edit]

The following candidates did not actively campaign for any state's presidential primary (other than their own), but may have had their name placed on the ballot by supporters or may have sought to influence to selection of un-elected delegates or sought the support of uncommitted delegates.

Candidate Most recent position Home state Campaign
John W. Bricker Governor of Ohio
(1939–45)

Ohio
Earl Warren Governor of California
(1943–53)

California

Favorite sons[edit]

The following candidates ran only in their home state's primary or caucus for the purpose of controlling its delegate slate at the convention and did not appear to be considered national candidates by the media.

Declined to run[edit]

Polling[edit]

National polling[edit]

Source Publication
John W. Bricker
Thomas Dewey
Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Harold Stassen
Earl Warren
Wendell Willkie
Gallup[2] May 1943 8% 38% 17% 7% 1% 28%
Gallup[2] June 1943 10% 37% 15% 7% 1% 28%
Gallup[2] Sep. 1943 8% 32% 19% 6% 1% 28%
Gallup[2] Dec. 1943 10% 36% 15% 6% 1% 25%
Gallup[2] Jan. 1944 8% 42% 18% 6% 23%
Gallup[2] Apr. 1944 9% 55% 20% 7% 7%
Gallup[2] May 1944 9% 65% 5% 2%
Gallup[2] June 1944 12% 58% 6%

Statewide contest by winner[edit]

The Wisconsin primary proved to be the key contest, as Dewey won by a surprisingly wide margin; he took 14 delegates to four for Harold Stassen, while MacArthur won the three remaining delegates. Willkie was shut out in the Wisconsin primary; he did not win a single delegate. His unexpectedly poor showing in Wisconsin forced him to withdraw as a candidate for the nomination.

Date Primary Douglas MacArthur Earl Warren John W. Bricker Thomas Dewey W. Chapman Revercomb Harold Stassen Riley A. Bender Charles A. Christopherson Wendell Willkie Joseph H. Bottum Unpledged
March 14 New Hampshire 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
April 5 Wisconsin 73% 0% 0% 15% 0% 0% 0% 0% 5% 0% 0%
April 11 Illinois 92% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0% 6% 0% 0% 0% 0%
April 11 Nebraska 0% 0% 0% 23% 0% 66% 0% 0% 10% 0% 0%
April 23 Pennsylvania 5% 0% 2% 84% 0% 1% 0% 0% 2% 0% 0%
April 25 Massachusetts 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
May 1 Maryland 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 21% 0% 79%
May 2 South Dakota 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 60% 0% 40% 0%
May 2 Ohio 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
May 2 West Virginia 0% 0% 0% 0% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
May 16 California 0% 100% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
May 16 New Jersey 1% 0% 1% 86% 0% 1% 0% 0% 3% 0% 0%
May 19 Oregon 0% 0% 5% 78% 0% 9% 0% 0% 5% 0% 0%

The convention[edit]

Convention vote
Presidential ballot 1 Vice-presidential ballot 1
New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey 1,056 Ohio Governor John W. Bricker 1,057
General Douglas MacArthur 1 Abstaining 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Guide to U.S. Elections - Google Books". Books.google.com. 2016-02-19. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "US President - R Primaries". OurCampaigns.com. 15 Nov 2004. Retrieved 8 Apr 2020.