1920 United States presidential election in Florida

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1920 United States presidential election in Florida

← 1916 November 2, 1920 1924 →
  James M. Cox 1920.jpg Warren G Harding-Harris & Ewing crop.jpg
Nominee James Cox Warren Harding
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Ohio Ohio
Running mate Franklin D. Roosevelt Calvin Coolidge
Electoral vote 6 0
Popular vote 90,515 44,853
Percentage 62.13% 30.79%

Florida Presidential Election Results 1920.svg
County Results

President before election

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic

Elected President

Warren Harding
Republican

The 1920 United States presidential election in Florida, was held on November 2, 1920. Voters chose six representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice-President.

Background[edit]

Ever since the disfranchisement of blacks at the beginning of the 1890s, Florida had been a one-party state ruled by the Democratic Party. The disfranchisement of blacks and poor whites by poll taxes in 1889[1] had left the Republican Party – between 1872 and 1888 dependent upon black votes – virtually extinct.

With the single exception of William Howard Taft's win in Calhoun County in 1908[2] the Democratic Party won every county in Florida in every Presidential election from 1892[a] until 1916. Only twice – and never for more than one term – did any Republican serve in either house of the state legislature between 1896 and 1928.

Despite this Democratic dominance and the restrictions on the franchise of the poorer classes due to the poll tax, significant socialist movements were to develop and persist in Tampa[3] and to a lesser extent over other parts of the state, especially against the powerful Ku Klux Klan.[4] In 1919, 4,800 miners led by the Mineral Workers Union would go on strike for 7 1/2 months in Polk County. The reason for the strike were that they wanted an 8 hour work day and a minimum wage of 37 cents. Governor Sidney J. Catts called on the Florida National Guard and the Polk County Home Guard to end the strike. At the end of the strike, 5 strikers would die.[5]

There was also a powerful Prohibitionist movements in older North Florida, which saw the Prohibition Party even win the governorship for one term under the notorious anti-Catholic minister Sidney J. Catts.

The 1920 election saw Harding make mild inroads into the absolute Democratic dominance of the state's politics, largely owing to considerable isolationist sentiment,[6] and major economic concerns following the decline of industries related to World War I.[7] He carried three counties in the south of the state, being only the second Republican to carry a Florida county since black disfranchisement, and begun tentative steps towards establishing a white GOP base in what was to become the "Sun Belt" after the development of air conditioning decades later. Eugene Debs, who had taken advantage of substantial radicalism in parts of South Florida to run second to Woodrow Wilson in the state in 1912, did not do nearly so well and was only marginally ahead of Prohibition candidate Watkins.

Results[edit]

1920 United States presidential election in Florida[8]
Party Candidate Running mate Popular vote Electoral vote
Count % Count %
Democratic James Cox of Ohio Franklin Delano Roosevelt of New York 90,515 62.13% 6 100.00%
Republican Warren Harding of Ohio Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts 44,853 30.79% 0 0.00%
Socialist Eugene Debs of Indiana Seymour Stedman of Illinois 5,189 3.56% 0 0.00%
Prohibition Aaron Watkins of Ohio David Colvin of New York 5,124 3.52% 0 0.00%
Total 145,684 100.00% 6 100.00%

Results by county[edit]

County James Middleton Cox
Democratic
Warren Gamaliel Harding[b]
Republican
Eugene Victor Debs[9]
Socialist
Aaron Sherman Watkins[9]
Prohibition
Margin Total votes cast[10]
# % # % # % # % # %
Alachua 3,310 72.52% 1,119 24.52% 112 2.45% 23 0.50% 2,191 48.00% 4,564
Baker 346 68.11% 115 22.64% 19 3.74% 28 5.51% 231 45.47% 508
Bay 818 54.90% 551 36.98% 71 4.77% 50 3.36% 267 17.92% 1,490
Bradford 1,269 78.82% 248 15.40% 8 0.50% 85 5.28% 1,021 63.42% 1,610
Brevard 894 53.31% 659 39.30% 63 3.76% 61 3.64% 235 14.01% 1,677
Broward 415 41.54% 442 44.24% 107 10.71% 35 3.50% -27 -2.70% 999
Calhoun 861 78.42% 99 9.02% 20 1.82% 118 10.75% 743[c] 67.67% 1,098
Citrus 651 82.61% 94 11.93% 25 3.17% 18 2.28% 557 70.68% 788
Clay 558 49.69% 486 43.28% 38 3.38% 41 3.65% 72 6.41% 1,123
Columbia 1,248 80.88% 162 10.50% 68 4.41% 65 4.21% 1,086 70.38% 1,543
Dade 4,288 53.08% 3,077 38.09% 375 4.64% 338 4.18% 1,211 14.99% 8,078
De Soto 2,496 64.93% 1,077 28.02% 197 5.12% 74 1.93% 1,419 36.91% 3,844
Duval 13,650 64.21% 6,628 31.18% 450 2.12% 529 2.49% 7,022 33.03% 21,257
Escambia 3,485 65.20% 1,227 22.96% 205 3.84% 428 8.01% 2,258 42.24% 5,345
Flagler 206 55.08% 74 19.79% 73 19.52% 21 5.61% 132 35.29% 374
Franklin 587 62.05% 276 29.18% 24 2.54% 59 6.24% 311 32.87% 946
Gadsden 1,922 96.68% 38 1.91% 18 0.91% 10 0.50% 1,884 94.77% 1,988
Hamilton 706 74.39% 151 15.91% 15 1.58% 77 8.11% 555 58.48% 949
Hernando 622 76.04% 132 16.14% 29 3.55% 35 4.28% 490 59.90% 818
Hillsborough 6,976 56.49% 3,772 30.54% 968 7.84% 633 5.13% 3,204 25.95% 12,349
Holmes 869 54.31% 537 33.56% 42 2.63% 152 9.50% 332 20.75% 1,600
Jackson 2,443 78.70% 508 16.37% 67 2.16% 86 2.77% 1,935 62.33% 3,104
Jefferson 754 72.08% 239 22.85% 19 1.82% 34 3.25% 515 49.23% 1,046
Lafayette 618 86.55% 69 9.66% 10 1.40% 17 2.38% 549 76.89% 714
Lake 1,720 67.72% 734 28.90% 52 2.05% 34 1.34% 986 38.82% 2,540
Lee 938 55.37% 626 36.95% 54 3.19% 76 4.49% 312 18.42% 1,694
Leon 1,412 71.75% 452 22.97% 58 2.95% 46 2.34% 960 48.78% 1,968
Levy 882 69.01% 377 29.50% 12 0.94% 7 0.55% 505 39.51% 1,278
Liberty 416 91.63% 5 1.10% 18 3.96% 15 3.30% 416[d] 87.67% 454
Madison 920 93.31% 30 3.04% 14 1.42% 22 2.23% 890 90.27% 986
Manatee 1,790 62.43% 884 30.83% 70 2.44% 123 4.29% 906 31.60% 2,867
Marion 2,436 62.43% 1,232 31.57% 82 2.10% 152 3.90% 1,204 30.86% 3,902
Monroe 979 56.04% 510 29.19% 149 8.53% 109 6.24% 469 26.85% 1,747
Nassau 900 72.12% 281 22.52% 22 1.76% 45 3.61% 619 49.60% 1,248
Okaloosa 568 56.63% 411 40.98% 20 1.99% 4 0.40% 157 15.65% 1,003
Okeechobee 237 65.11% 58 15.93% 28 7.69% 41 11.26% 179 49.18% 364
Orange 2,035 55.48% 1,447 39.45% 123 3.35% 63 1.72% 588 16.03% 3,668
Osceola 728 38.91% 1,035 55.32% 41 2.19% 67 3.58% -307 -16.41% 1,871
Palm Beach 1,488 38.29% 1,892 48.69% 308 7.93% 198 5.10% -404 -10.40% 3,886
Pasco 1,166 61.89% 630 33.44% 53 2.81% 35 1.86% 536 28.45% 1,884
Pinellas 2,848 48.94% 2,529 43.46% 202 3.47% 240 4.12% 319 5.48% 5,819
Polk 3,918 65.86% 1,782 29.95% 159 2.67% 90 1.51% 2,136 35.91% 5,949
Putnam 1,557 53.41% 1,181 40.51% 89 3.05% 88 3.02% 376 12.90% 2,915
Santa Rosa 813 70.51% 333 28.88% 2 0.17% 5 0.43% 480 41.63% 1,153
Seminole 1,485 62.50% 767 32.28% 73 3.07% 51 2.15% 718 30.22% 2,376
St. Johns 1,810 56.30% 1,221 37.98% 94 2.92% 90 2.80% 589 18.32% 3,215
St. Lucie 1,167 58.44% 707 35.40% 64 3.20% 59 2.95% 460 23.04% 1,997
Sumter 921 79.74% 219 18.96% 8 0.69% 7 0.61% 702 60.78% 1,155
Suwannee 1,486 72.56% 382 18.65% 111 5.42% 69 3.37% 1,104 53.91% 2,048
Taylor 563 77.98% 128 17.73% 8 1.11% 23 3.19% 435 60.25% 722
Volusia 2,763 52.47% 2,175 41.30% 126 2.39% 202 3.84% 588 11.17% 5,266
Wakulla 530 79.34% 119 17.81% 3 0.45% 16 2.40% 411 61.53% 668
Walton 1,297 64.24% 619 30.66% 36 1.78% 67 3.32% 678 33.58% 2,019
Washington 750 61.98% 307 25.37% 87 7.19% 66 5.45% 443 36.61% 1,210
Totals 90,515 62.13% 44,853 30.79% 5,189 3.56% 5,127 3.52% 45,662 31.34% 145,684

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the 1892 Presidential election, Republican Benjamin Harrison was not on the ballot and the party backed Populist James B. Weaver.
  2. ^ Early sources also list 10,118 votes for a "White Republican" ticket, but later analysts have shown that this ticket was a fusion ticket with Harding's ordinary Republican ticket.
  3. ^ In this county where Watkins ran second ahead of Harding, margin given is Cox vote minus Watkins vote and percentage margin Cox percentage minus Watkins percentage.
  4. ^ In this county where Debs ran second ahead of Harding, margin given is Cox vote minus Debs vote and percentage margin Cox percentage minus Debs percentage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Silbey, Joel H. and Bogue, Allan G.; The History of American Electoral Behavior, p. 210 ISBN 140087114X
  2. ^ Robinson, Edgar Eugene; The Presidential Vote; 1896-1932 (second edition); pp. 156-157 Published 1947 by Stanford University Press
  3. ^ Ford, Edward J.; 'Life on the Campaign Trail: a Political Anthropology of Local Politics' (thesis), published 2008 by University of South Florida, pp. 114-118
  4. ^ Gregory, Raymond F.; Norman Thomas: The Great Dissenter, pp. 150-151 ISBN 0875866239
  5. ^ Griffin, R. Steven; ‘Workers of the Sunshine State, Unite! The Florida Socialist Party during the Progressive Era, 1900-1920’ (thesis)
  6. ^ Phillips, Kevin; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 210-211, 261 ISBN 9780691163246
  7. ^ Gifford, Laura Jane; '"Dixie is No Longer in the Bag": South Carolina Republicans and the Election of 1960'; The Journal of Policy History, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2007. pp. 208-233
  8. ^ "1920 Presidential General Election Results – Florida". U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  9. ^ a b Géoelections; Popular Vote for Eugene Debs (.xlsx file for €15)
  10. ^ Robinson, Edgar Eugene; The Presidential Vote; 1896-1932 (second edition); pp. 156-161 Published 1947 by Stanford University Press