1920 Republican National Convention
|1920 Presidential Election|
Harding and Coolidge
|Date(s)||June 8 – June 12|
|Presidential Nominee||Sen. Warren G. Harding (OH)|
|Vice Presidential Nominee||Gov. Calvin Coolidge (MA)|
|‹ 1916 · 1924 ›|
The 1920 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States nominated Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding for President and Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge for Vice President. The convention was held in Chicago, Illinois, at the Chicago Coliseum from June 8 to June 12, 1920.
Many other Republicans sought the nomination, including US Army general Leonard Wood, Illinois Governor Frank Lowden and California Governor Hiram Johnson. Dark horse Harding was nominated at the convention, however. Many wanted to nominate Wisconsin Senator Irvine Lenroot for Vice President, but Coolidge was nominated instead, because he was known for the Boston police strike in 1919.
Others placed in nomination included Senators Warren G. Harding of Ohio, Hiram Johnson of California, and Miles Poindexter of Washington, Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, Herbert Hoover, and Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler. Senator Robert M. La Follette, Sr. of Wisconsin was not formally placed in nomination but received the votes of his state delegation, nonetheless. Harding was nominated for President on the tenth ballot, after some voting shifted in their allegiance. The ten ballots went like this:
|Presidential Balloting, RNC 1920|
|Ballot||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10 Before shifts||10 After shifts|
|Warren G. Harding||65.5 (6.67%)||59 (6.00%)||58.5 (5.95%)||61.5 (6.25%)||78 (7.93%)||89 (9.04%)||105 (10.67%)||133 (13.52%)||374.5 (38.06%)||644.7 (65.52%)||692.2 (70.35%)|
|Leonard Wood||287.5 (29.22%)||289.5 (29.42%)||303 (30.79%)||314.5 (31.96%)||299 (30.39%)||311.5 (31.66%)||312 (31.7%)||299 (30.39%)||249 (25.3%)||181.5 (18.45%)||156 (15.85%)|
|William C. Sproul||84||78.5||79.5||79.5||82.5||77||76||76||78||0||0|
|Nicholas Murray Butler||69.5||41||25||20||4||4||2||2||2||2||2|
|Robert M. La Follette||24||24||24||22||24||24||24||24||24||24||24|
|Jeter C. Pritchard||21||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Herbert C. Hoover||5.5||5.5||5.5||5||6||5||4||5||6||10.5||9.5|
Harding's nomination, said to have been secured in negotiations among party bosses in a "smoke-filled room," was engineered by Harry M. Daugherty, Harding's political manager who after Harding's election became United States Attorney General. Prior to the convention, Daugherty was quoted as saying, "I don't expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second, or third ballots, but I think we can afford to take chances that about 11 minutes after two, Friday morning of the convention, when 15 or 12 weary men are sitting around a table, someone will say: 'Who will we nominate?' At that decisive time, the friends of Harding will suggest him and we can well afford to abide by the result." Daugherty's prediction described essentially what occurred, but historians Richard C. Bain and Judith H. Parris argue that Daugherty's prediction has been given too much weight in narratives of the convention.
Once the presidential nomination was finally settled, the party bosses and Sen. Harding recommended Wisconsin Sen. Irvine Lenroot to the delegates for the second spot, but the delegates revolted and nominated Coolidge, who was very popular over his handling of the Boston Police Strike of the year before. The Tally:
|Vice Presidential Balloting, RNC 1920|
|Irvine L. Lenroot||146.5|
|Henry J. Allen||68.5|
|Henry W. Anderson||28|
|Asle J. Gronna||24|
|Jeter C. Pritchard||11|
Source for convention coverage: Richard C. Bain and Judith H. Parris, Convention Decisions and Voting Records (Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 1973), pp. 200–208.
- Official Report of the Proceedings of the Seventeenth Republican National Convention, Held in Chicago, Illinois, June 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, 1920
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