United States presidential election in California, 1924

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United States presidential election in California, 1924

← 1920 November 4, 1924 1928 →
  John Calvin Coolidge, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg Robert M La Follette, Sr.jpg John William Davis.jpg
Nominee Calvin Coolidge Robert M. La Follette Sr. John W. Davis
Party Republican Socialist[a] Democratic
Home state Massachusetts Wisconsin West Virginia
Running mate Charles G. Dawes Burton K. Wheeler Charles W. Bryan
Electoral vote 13 0 0
Popular vote 733,250 424,649 105,514
Percentage 57.20% 33.13% 8.23%

California presidential election results 1924.svg

President before election

Calvin Coolidge
Republican

Elected President

Calvin Coolidge
Republican

The 1924 United States presidential election in California refers to how California participated in the 1924 United States presidential election. California voters chose thirteen electors, or representatives to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background[edit]

Since the "Panic of 1893" and large-scale voter registration, California had become a one-party state dominated by the Republican Party.[1] The Democratic Party was largely moribund as a result of its association with the Populist revolt, the rural formerly slave South, and the polyglot metropolis – which held no appeal in an old-stock Western state with very few Southern and Eastern European immigrants.[2] Rigid registration laws and, before 1914, poll taxes, largely disfranchised what immigrants (who had leaned Democratic during the Third Party System) did enter the state.[3]

Nonetheless, the appeal of Progressivism and tendency towards nonpartisan politics[2] allowed Woodrow Wilson to nearly carry the state in 1912 and do so in 1916 despite substantial Socialist votes in both elections; however, James M. Cox lost most of this support as a result of a powerful reaction in the West against the social upheaval Wilson had caused.[4]

Following the Cox debacle, the Democratic Party disintegrated even further: in 1922 they elected only four seats in the state House of Representatives, and had failed to elect an open Senator in 1920, and defeated James D. Phelan's efforts to have William Gibbs McAdoo nominated as Democratic presidential candidate in 1924 further ruined the party's organization and furthered cleavages between the "dry" and "wet" sections of the party.[5]

California's large "Progressive" electorate had been divided by issues such as the League of Nations and Prohibition, and was weakened by the election of economy-minded Friend W. Richardson as Governor in 1922.[6] When Wisconsin Senator Robert La Follette announced he would run a third-party presidential campaign in 1924,[7] there remained division, but radical San Francisco Progressive Rudolph Spreckels supported him on the "Socialist" line[8] against indifference from Hiram Johnson (who had attempted to unseat Coolidge in the GOP primaries)[6] and State Senators Herbert Jones and Inman.

Vote[edit]

Democratic nominee John W. Davis of West Virginia and Coolidge both spent most of their campaign attacking La Follette as a political extremist,[9]

At the beginning of the campaign, Davis had substantial hope of recovering support lost in 1920.[10] However, Davis' opposition to women's suffrage, and belief in strictly limited government with no expansion in nonmilitary fields[11] had almost no appeal in California.[12] Although in September Davis underwent an extensive tour of the region and of the Great Plains,[13] and campaigned to eliminate the income tax burden of the poorer classes,[7] he received a mere 8.23 percent of the vote in California – the worst for any major party nominee in California's history and his fourth-worst state nationwide.

Reduced to a battle between Coolidge and La Follette, the incumbent President campaigned upon present prosperity in addition to his opponent's perceived extremism. Despite perception the state may be doubtful,[10] Coolidge won a plurality of over 24 percentage points, aided by a campaign based upon vilification.[14] La Follette did nonetheless match Coolidge outside conservative, heavily populated Southern California, and he carried most urban working class districts in Northern California, as well as most of the Sierra logging counties that were to become Democratic strongholds between FDR and Jimmy Carter. La Follette's vote was later to revive the moribund Democratic Party when it turned largely to Al Smith (whom his family was to endorse when he died) in the following election.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in California, 1924[15]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Calvin Coolidge 733,250 57.20% 13
Socialist Robert M. La Follette, Sr. 424,649 33.13% 0
Democratic John W. Davis 105,514 8.23% 0
Prohibition Herman P. Faris 18,365 1.43% 0
No party Write-ins 122 0.01% 0
Invalid or blank votes
Totals 1,281,900 100.00% 13
Voter turnout

Results by county[edit]

John Calvin Coolidge
Republican
John William Davis
Democratic
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Socialist
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin[b]
County % # % # % # % # % #
Alpine 88.14% 52 8.47% 5 1.69% 1 1.69% 1 79.66%[c] 47
Orange 67.35% 19,913 8.68% 2,565 21.92% 6,480 2.06% 608 45.43% 13,433
Ventura 65.16% 5,705 10.41% 911 23.18% 2,029 1.26% 110 41.99% 3,676
Santa Barbara 64.69% 8,615 9.33% 1,242 24.72% 3,292 1.27% 169 39.97% 5,323
Los Angeles 65.51% 299,675 7.33% 33,554 25.63% 117,249 1.53% 6,979 39.88% 182,426
Riverside 61.99% 9,619 8.49% 1,318 27.09% 4,204 2.42% 375 34.90% 5,415
Monterey 61.07% 4,744 11.41% 886 26.20% 2,035 1.33% 103 34.87% 2,709
Santa Cruz 60.84% 5,402 9.02% 801 28.80% 2,557 1.34% 119 32.04% 2,845
Alameda 61.48% 81,454 6.05% 8,020 31.27% 41,434 1.19% 1,582 30.21% 40,020
Mendocino 56.46% 3,465 12.04% 739 30.15% 1,850 1.35% 83 26.32% 1,615
Stanislaus 56.86% 7,569 9.57% 1,274 30.99% 4,125 2.58% 344 25.87% 3,444
San Bernardino 56.93% 15,974 9.39% 2,634 31.08% 8,720 2.61% 733 25.85% 7,254
Santa Clara 58.02% 20,056 7.41% 2,560 33.19% 11,474 1.38% 478 24.83% 8,582
Sonoma 56.00% 9,535 10.38% 1,767 32.12% 5,469 1.51% 257 23.88% 4,066
Humboldt 56.82% 6,767 7.09% 845 34.83% 4,148 1.26% 150 21.99% 2,619
Mono 53.55% 166 14.52% 45 31.61% 98 0.32% 1 21.94% 68
San Benito 53.54% 1,443 13.40% 361 31.80% 857 1.26% 34 21.74% 586
Kings 50.00% 2,812 19.72% 1,109 28.65% 1,611 1.64% 92 21.35% 1,201
Tulare 50.79% 9,484 18.34% 3,425 29.47% 5,504 1.40% 261 21.31% 3,980
Napa 54.82% 3,605 10.19% 670 34.02% 2,237 0.97% 64 20.80% 1,368
Del Norte 52.63% 530 12.12% 122 31.98% 322 3.28% 33 20.66% 208
Merced 52.94% 3,573 10.52% 710 34.09% 2,301 2.44% 165 18.85% 1,272
Contra Costa 54.67% 9,061 6.72% 1,114 37.60% 6,231 1.01% 167 17.08% 2,830
San Mateo 55.27% 8,126 5.24% 771 38.73% 5,694 0.75% 111 16.54% 2,432
Marin 53.52% 5,780 6.07% 656 39.17% 4,230 1.24% 134 14.35% 1,550
Imperial 50.28% 3,455 11.04% 759 37.09% 2,549 1.59% 109 13.18% 906
Sutter 49.92% 1,617 11.33% 367 37.64% 1,219 1.11% 36 12.29% 398
Modoc 43.72% 731 22.37% 374 32.72% 547 1.20% 20 11.00% 184
Kern 46.08% 8,646 16.84% 3,159 36.00% 6,754 1.09% 204 10.08% 1,892
San Joaquin 48.91% 11,056 10.60% 2,397 39.30% 8,885 1.19% 269 9.60% 2,171
San Luis Obispo 49.01% 3,804 9.42% 731 39.44% 3,061 2.13% 165 9.57% 743
Colusa 43.84% 1,127 19.25% 495 34.58% 889 2.33% 60 9.26% 238
Inyo 47.52% 950 12.81% 256 38.97% 779 0.70% 14 8.55% 171
Lake 44.94% 795 14.75% 261 37.20% 658 3.11% 55 7.74% 137
Yuba 45.88% 1,735 11.26% 426 38.45% 1,454 4.42% 167 7.43% 281
Yolo 45.35% 2,470 14.63% 797 38.50% 2,097 1.52% 83 6.85% 373
Solano 48.00% 4,782 9.61% 957 41.39% 4,123 1.00% 100 6.62% 659
Tehama 45.97% 1,943 11.50% 486 39.44% 1,667 3.10% 131 6.53% 276
San Diego 48.99% 22,726 6.35% 2,944 43.54% 20,200 1.12% 521 5.45% 2,526
Glenn 44.84% 1,444 11.40% 367 41.30% 1,330 2.45% 79 3.54% 114
San Francisco 47.75% 73,494 6.37% 9,811 44.74% 68,864 1.14% 1,751 3.01% 4,630
Fresno 44.01% 15,635 12.98% 4,610 41.76% 14,836 1.26% 446 2.25% 799
Mariposa 40.23% 344 19.65% 168 38.83% 332 1.29% 11 1.40% 12
Madera 42.66% 1,518 12.65% 450 42.55% 1,514 2.14% 76 0.11% 4
Tuolumne 43.03% 1,287 11.94% 357 44.37% 1,327 0.67% 20 -1.34% -40
Butte 42.25% 4,382 12.52% 1,299 44.18% 4,582 1.05% 109 -1.93% -200
Shasta 41.95% 1,951 12.86% 598 44.06% 2,049 1.14% 53 -2.11% -98
Lassen 40.78% 1,072 13.54% 356 44.28% 1,164 1.41% 37 -3.50% -92
Amador 38.93% 719 17.11% 316 42.61% 787 1.35% 25 -3.68% -68
Calaveras 39.44% 872 15.06% 333 44.10% 975 1.40% 31 -4.66% -103
Nevada 42.23% 1,513 8.57% 307 46.94% 1,682 2.26% 81 -4.72% -169
Siskiyou 40.58% 2,437 9.73% 584 47.36% 2,844 2.33% 140 -6.78% -407
Trinity 36.48% 336 16.72% 154 44.95% 414 1.85% 17 -8.47% -78
Sacramento 41.08% 13,400 7.01% 2,285 50.80% 16,570 1.11% 362 -9.72% -3,170
Sierra 38.93% 276 10.30% 73 49.37% 350 1.41% 10 -10.44% -74
Placer 36.63% 2,192 6.52% 390 54.98% 3,290 1.87% 112 -18.35% -1,098
Plumas 32.92% 564 10.62% 182 55.81% 956 0.64% 11 -22.88% -392
El Dorado 28.49% 852 12.07% 361 58.48% 1,749 0.97% 29 -29.99% -897

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although La Follette ran under his own Progressive Party nationally, he ran in California under the endorsement of the Socialist Party of America and the "Committee for Progressive Political Action".
  2. ^ Because La Follette finished ahead of Davis in California as a whole, all margins given are Coolidge minus La Follette unless stated in the total for the county in question.
  3. ^ In this county where Davis did run second ahead of La Follette, the margin given is Coolidge vote minus Davis vote.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burnham, Walter Dean; 'The System of 1896: An Analysis'; in The Evolution of American Electoral Systems, pp. 178-179 ISBN 0313213798
  2. ^ a b Burnham Walter Dean; 'The "System of 1896" and the American Electorate', in Critical elections and the Mainsprings of American Politics (1970), pp. 74-79
  3. ^ Bentele, Keith G. and O'Brien, Erin E.; 'Jim Crow 2.0? Why States Consider and Adopt Restrictive Voter Access Policies', p. 1092; in Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 2013), pp. 1088-1116
  4. ^ Faykosh, Joseph D., Bowling Green State University; The Front Porch of the American People: James Cox and the Presidential Election of 1920 (thesis), p. 68
  5. ^ Hennings, Robert E.; 'California Democratic Politics in the Period of Republican Ascendancy'; Pacific Historical Review, vol. 31, no. 3 (August 1962), pp. 267-280
  6. ^ a b Shover, John L.; 'The California Progressives and the 1924 Campaign', in California Historical Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 1 (Spring, 1972), pp. 59-74
  7. ^ a b Richardson, Danny G.; Others: "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive Movement: Third-Party Politics in the 1920s, p. 180 ISBN 0595481264
  8. ^ Johnston, Scott D.; 'Robert La Follette and the Socialists: Aspects of the 1924 Presidential Campaign Reexamined'; Social Science, Vol. 50, No. 2 (Spring 1975), pp. 69-77
  9. ^ Parrish, Michael E.; Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941, pp. 70-71 ISBN 0393311341
  10. ^ a b Melcher, Daniel P.; 'The Challenge to Normalcy: The 1924 Election in California'; Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 2 (Summer 1978), pp. 155-182
  11. ^ Newman, Roger K.; The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, p. 153 ISBN 0300113005
  12. ^ Stark, Rodney and Christiano, Kevin J.; 'Support for the American Left, 1920-1924: The Opiate Thesis Reconsidered'; Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 31, No. 1 (March, 1992), pp. 62-75
  13. ^ Tucker, Garland; High Tide of American Conservatism: Davis, Coolidge, and the 1924 Election, p. 191 ISBN 193711029X
  14. ^ Melcher, Daniel; "The Politics of Discontent: California Politics, 1920-1932,' (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego, 1975), pp. 152-156, 164-173.
  15. ^ "1924 Presidential General Election Results - California". Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 2008-08-25.