1908 United States presidential election in Florida

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United States Presidential election in Florida, 1908

← 1904 November 3, 1908 1912 →
  WilliamJBryan1902.png William Howard Taft, Bain bw photo portrait, 1908.jpg Eugene V. Debs, bw photo portrait, 1897.jpg
Nominee William Jennings Bryan William Taft Eugene Debs
Party Democratic Republican Socialist
Home state Nebraska Ohio Indiana
Running mate John W. Kern James S. Sherman Benjamin Hanford
Electoral vote 5 0 0
Popular vote 31,104 10,654 3,747
Percentage 63.01% 21.58% 7.59%

President before election

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican

Elected President

William Howard Taft
Republican

The 1908 United States presidential election in Florida was held on November 3, 1908. Voters chose five representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice-President.

Background[edit]

With the disenfranchisement of African-Americans by a poll tax in 1889,[1] Florida become a one-party Democratic state, which it was to remain until the 1950s, apart from the anti-Catholic vote against Al Smith in 1928. Unlike southern states extending into the Appalachian Mountains or Ozarks, or Texas with its German settlements in the Edwards Plateau, Florida completely lacked upland or German refugee whites opposed to secession. Thus Florida's Republican Party between 1872 and 1888 was entirely dependent upon black votes, a fact graphically seen when one considers that – although very few blacks in Florida had ever voted within the previous fifty-five years – at the time of the landmark court case of Smith v. Allwright, half of Florida's registered Republicans were still black.[2] Thus disfranchisement of blacks and poor whites left Florida as devoid of Republican adherents as Louisiana, Mississippi or South Carolina.[3]

Nevertheless, Florida's one-party Democratic rule was to be marginally interrupted in the 1900s by considerable Socialist and Populist growth, centred in Tampa and Jacksonville, and southern Lee County with its "Koreshan Unity" sect[4] Immigrants and farmers fearing loss of tenure were able to give Eugene Debs, in the second of his five Presidential runs, over ten percent of the vote in several counties of South Florida, and Populist Thomas E. Watson substantial votes in many pineywoods counties.

1908 saw several major strikes in the state, notably of railcars in Pensacola,[4] and Debs was able to improve upon his 1904 vote to the extent of running second in five counties. However, Bryan still carried the state by a three-to-one margin over his nearest rival.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Florida, 1908[5]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democrat William Jennings Bryan 31,104 63.01% 5
Republican William Howard Taft 10,654 21.58% 0
Socialist Eugene Debs 3,747 7.59% 0
People’s Thomas Watson 1,946 3.94% 0
Prohibition Eugene Chafin 1,356 2.75% 0
Independence Thomas Hisgen 553 1.12% 0
Totals 49,360 100.00% 5

Results by county[edit]

William Jennings Bryan
Democratic
William Howard Taft
Republican
Eugene Victor Debs[6]
Socialist
Thomas Edward Watson[6]
Populist
Eugene Wilder Chafin[6]
Prohibition
Thomas Hisgen[6]
Independence
Margin Total votes cast[7]
County # % # % # % # % # % # % # % #
Alachua 1,239 61.03% 686 33.79% 25 1.23% 26 1.28% 38 1.87% 16 0.79% 553 27.24% 2,030
Baker 152 45.24% 104 30.95% 51 15.18% 11 3.27% 7 2.08% 11 3.27% 48 14.29% 336
Bradford 729 74.31% 180 18.35% 19 1.94% 13 1.33% 38 3.87% 2 0.20% 549 55.96% 981
Brevard 294 50.78% 225 38.86% 50 8.64% 7 1.21% 1 0.17% 2 0.35% 69 11.92% 579
Calhoun 241 35.23% 339 49.56% 12 1.75% 84 12.28% 2 0.29% 6 0.88% -98 -14.33% 684
Citrus 371 83.56% 33 7.43% 26 5.86% 8 1.80% 6 1.35% 0 0.00% 338 76.13% 444
Clay 355 63.62% 122 21.86% 22 3.94% 18 3.23% 38 6.81% 3 0.54% 233 41.76% 558
Columbia 465 52.13% 279 31.28% 61 6.84% 54 6.05% 23 2.58% 10 1.12% 186 20.85% 892
Dade 961 60.59% 275 17.34% 160 10.09% 108 6.81% 53 3.34% 29 1.83% 686 43.25% 1,586
De Soto 992 69.03% 244 16.98% 112 7.79% 32 2.23% 44 3.06% 13 0.90% 748 52.05% 1,437
Duval 2,381 66.84% 641 18.00% 233 6.54% 155 4.35% 100 2.81% 52 1.46% 1,740 48.84% 3,562
Escambia 1,887 56.23% 718 21.39% 351 10.46% 245 7.30% 101 3.01% 54 1.61% 1,169 34.84% 3,356
Franklin 283 56.94% 112 22.54% 56 11.27% 30 6.04% 9 1.81% 7 1.41% 171 34.40% 497
Gadsden 563 76.29% 89 12.06% 34 4.61% 34 4.61% 12 1.63% 6 0.81% 474 64.23% 738
Hamilton 452 63.84% 116 16.38% 84 11.86% 33 4.66% 17 2.40% 6 0.85% 336 47.46% 708
Hernando 260 76.70% 57 16.81% 14 4.13% 5 1.47% 3 0.88% 0 0.00% 203 59.89% 339
Hillsborough 2,703 73.17% 367 9.94% 366 9.91% 69 1.87% 146 3.95% 43 1.16% 2,336 63.23% 3,694
Holmes 438 50.69% 337 39.00% 40 4.63% 32 3.70% 8 0.93% 9 1.04% 101 11.69% 864
Jackson 1,122 66.43% 353 20.90% 134 7.93% 55 3.26% 10 0.59% 15 0.89% 769 45.53% 1,689
Jefferson 565 71.34% 149 18.81% 23 2.90% 30 3.79% 21 2.65% 4 0.51% 416 52.53% 792
Lafayette 487 75.50% 90 13.95% 15 2.33% 8 1.24% 44 6.82% 1 0.16% 397 61.55% 645
Lake 487 58.46% 200 24.01% 62 7.44% 33 3.96% 45 5.40% 6 0.72% 287 34.45% 833
Lee 266 49.91% 72 13.51% 109 20.45% 10 1.88% 74 13.88% 2 0.38% 157[a] 29.46% 533
Leon 698 72.86% 143 14.93% 44 4.59% 39 4.07% 25 2.61% 9 0.94% 555 57.93% 958
Levy 411 59.14% 189 27.19% 64 9.21% 14 2.01% 11 1.58% 6 0.86% 222 31.95% 695
Liberty 176 64.47% 69 25.27% 11 4.03% 11 4.03% 4 1.47% 2 0.73% 107 39.20% 273
Madison 511 85.88% 32 5.38% 23 3.87% 19 3.19% 7 1.18% 3 0.50% 479 80.50% 595
Manatee 644 70.85% 93 10.23% 104 11.44% 36 3.96% 28 3.08% 4 0.44% 540[a] 59.41% 909
Marion 1,352 61.85% 482 22.05% 120 5.49% 97 4.44% 116 5.31% 19 0.87% 870 39.80% 2,186
Monroe 630 54.03% 227 19.47% 239 20.50% 26 2.23% 31 2.66% 13 1.11% 391[a] 33.53% 1,166
Nassau 466 75.04% 92 14.81% 20 3.22% 15 2.42% 16 2.58% 12 1.93% 374 60.23% 621
Orange 952 59.17% 485 30.14% 63 3.92% 63 3.92% 26 1.62% 20 1.24% 467 29.03% 1,609
Osceola 193 57.44% 81 24.11% 12 3.57% 47 13.99% 1 0.30% 2 0.60% 112 33.33% 336
Pasco 436 76.49% 81 14.21% 21 3.68% 17 2.98% 15 2.63% 0 0.00% 355 62.28% 570
Polk 1,251 69.62% 290 16.14% 154 8.57% 54 3.01% 41 2.28% 7 0.39% 961 53.48% 1,797
Putnam 797 54.22% 454 30.88% 105 7.14% 57 3.88% 32 2.18% 25 1.70% 343 23.34% 1,470
St. Johns 758 56.07% 344 25.44% 35 3.02% 6 0.52% 10 0.86% 5 0.43% 414 30.63% 1,158
St. Lucie 280 64.52% 63 14.52% 146 24.62% 49 8.26% 32 5.40% 23 3.88% 134[a] 39.90% 593
Santa Rosa 535 66.63% 212 26.40% 38 4.53% 14 1.67% 7 0.84% 32 3.82% 323 40.23% 838
Sumter 343 69.72% 62 12.60% 28 5.69% 35 7.11% 22 4.47% 2 0.41% 281 57.12% 492
Suwannee 597 56.70% 150 14.25% 220 20.89% 55 5.22% 19 1.80% 12 1.14% 377[a] 35.81% 1,053
Taylor 250 48.64% 160 31.13% 41 7.98% 48 9.34% 12 2.33% 3 0.58% 90 17.51% 514
Volusia 736 58.18% 444 35.10% 41 3.24% 12 0.95% 28 2.21% 4 0.32% 292 23.08% 1,265
Wakulla 239 69.48% 56 16.28% 31 9.01% 11 3.20% 6 1.74% 1 0.29% 183 53.20% 344
Walton 504 51.85% 369 37.96% 46 4.73% 34 3.50% 13 1.34% 6 0.62% 135 13.89% 972
Washington 652 55.77% 288 24.64% 82 7.01% 87 7.44% 14 1.20% 46 3.93% 364 31.13% 1,169
Totals 31,104 63.01% 10,654 21.58% 3,747 7.59% 1,946 3.94% 1,356 2.75% 553 1.12% 20,450 41.43% 49,360

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e In this county where Debs ran second ahead of Taft, margin given is Bryan vote total minus Debs vote total and percentage margin Bryan 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. ^ See Price, Hugh Douglas; 'The Negro and Florida Politics, 1944-1954'; The Journal of Politics, Vol. 17, No. 2 (May, 1955), pp. 198-220
  3. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 208, 210 ISBN 9780691163246
  4. ^ a b Griffin, R. Steven; ‘Workers of the Sunshine State, Unite! The Florida Socialist Party during the Progressive Era, 1900-1920’ (thesis)
  5. ^ "1908 Presidential General Election Results – Florida". Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  6. ^ a b c d Géoelections; Popular Vote at the Presidential Election for 1908 (.xlsx file for €30 including full minor party figures)
  7. ^ Robinson, Edgar Eugene; The Presidential Vote 1896-1932, pp. 156-161 ISBN 9780804716963