United States elections, 1940

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Partisan control of Congress and the presidency
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President Democratic Democratic
House Democratic Democratic
Senate Democratic Democratic

The 1940 United States general election was held on November 5. The Democratic Party continued to dominate national politics, as it defended its Congressional majorities and retained the presidency. It was the last election prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entry into World War II.

In the presidential election, Democratic incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to serve an unprecedented third term as President of the United States, defeating Republican businessman Wendell Wilkie of New York. Although Wilkie fared better than the previous two Republican presidential candidates, Roosevelt crushed Wilkie in the electoral college and won the popular vote by ten points. At the 1940 Democratic National Convention, Roosevelt overcame opposition from Vice President John Nance Garner and Postmaster General James Farley to win on the first ballot. Wilkie won the Republican nomination on the sixth ballot, defeating Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft and Manhattan District Attorney Thomas Dewey.[1][2]

The Democrats gained five seats in the House of Representatives, furthering their majority over the Republicans. The Democrats also maintained a majority in the U.S. Senate; however, they lost three seats to the Republicans in that house.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1940 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 5, 1940" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 28 December 2011.