1920 United States presidential election in Massachusetts

1920 United States presidential election in Massachusetts

← 1916 November 2, 1920 1924 →
Turnout53.3%[1] Decrease 9.5 pp
  Warren G Harding portrait as senator June 1920.jpg James M. Cox 1920.jpg
Nominee Warren G. Harding James M. Cox
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Ohio Ohio
Running mate Calvin Coolidge Franklin D. Roosevelt
Electoral vote 18 0
Popular vote 681,153 276,691
Percentage 68.6% 27.8%

Massachusetts Election Results by County, 1920.svg
County Results

Harding

  50–60%
  60–70%
  70–80%
  80–90%

President before election

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic

Elected President

Warren G. Harding
Republican

The 1920 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 2, 1920, as part of the 1920 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose 18 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Massachusetts was won in a landslide by Republican Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio, who was running against Democratic Governor James M. Cox of Ohio. Harding's running mate was Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts, while Cox ran with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York. Also running that year was Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs of Indiana and his running mate Seymour Stedman of Illinois.

Harding carried Massachusetts overwhelmingly with 68.55 percent of the vote to Cox's 27.84 percent, a Republican victory margin of 40.71 percent. Debs finished third, with 3.25 percent.

Massachusetts had long been a typical Yankee Republican bastion in the wake of the Civil War, having voted Republican in every election since 1856, except in 1912, when former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had run as a third party candidate against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft, splitting the Republican vote and allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win Massachusetts with a plurality of only 35.53 percent of the vote. In 1916, the state had returned to the Republican column, although only by a fairly narrow 4-point margin.

With the deeply unpopular Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson as the backdrop for the 1920 campaign, Warren G. Harding promised a "return to normalcy" that appealed to many voters, while Cox was tied to the policies of the Wilson administration, whose unpopularity was especially severe among Irish-Americans who saw Wilson as pro-Britain and against their independence.[2] Harding won nationally in one of the most decisive landslides in American history, and Massachusetts, already a fiercely Republican state, went even harder for Harding than the nation, voting a solid fifteen percent more Republican than the national average.

Harding was also helped in the state by his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, a traditional Yankee Republican born in neighboring Vermont and being the popular sitting Governor of Massachusetts.

Harding swept every county in the state of Massachusetts, including even Suffolk County, home to the state's capital and largest city, Boston. Boston had been a Democratic-leaning city prior to this, and while Calvin Coolidge would win the city once more for the GOP in 1924, Boston would defect to the Democrats for Catholic Al Smith in 1928 and become reliably Democratic in every election that followed. As Coolidge won Suffolk County with a plurality in 1924, 1920 thus remains the last election in which a Republican has won an absolute majority of the vote in Suffolk County.

In thirteen of the state's fourteen counties (all but Suffolk), Harding broke sixty percent of the vote, and in nine, Harding broke seventy percent. He even reached eighty percent in the island county of Dukes and peninsular Barnstable.

Results[edit]

1920 United States presidential election in Massachusetts[3]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Warren G. Harding 681,153 68.55% 18
Democratic James M. Cox 276,691 27.84% 0
Socialist Eugene V. Debs 32,267 3.25% 0
Socialist Labor William Wesley Cox 3,583 0.36% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 24 0.00% 0
Totals 993,718 100.00% 18

Results by county[edit]

Warren G. Harding
Republican
James M. Cox
Democratic
Eugene V. Debs[4]
Socialist
Various candidates[4]
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast[5]
County # % # % # % # % # % #
Barnstable 6,383 84.41% 1,125 14.88% 29 0.38% 25 0.33% 5,258 69.53% 7,562
Berkshire 20,138 63.11% 10,956 34.33% 703 2.20% 113 0.35% 9,182 28.77% 31,910
Bristol 56,734 73.65% 17,719 23.00% 2,179 2.83% 400 0.52% 39,015 50.65% 77,032
Dukes 1,013 86.73% 150 12.84% 3 0.26% 2 0.17% 863 73.89% 1,168
Essex 95,057 71.87% 30,560 23.11% 6,076 4.59% 571 0.43% 64,497 48.76% 132,264
Franklin 9,931 77.85% 2,542 19.93% 242 1.90% 42 0.33% 7,389 57.92% 12,757
Hampden 46,741 68.92% 19,156 28.25% 1,719 2.53% 204 0.30% 27,585 40.67% 67,820
Hampshire 13,174 70.10% 5,305 28.23% 286 1.52% 28 0.15% 7,869 41.87% 18,793
Middlesex 156,636 69.90% 61,661 27.52% 5,135 2.29% 646 0.29% 94,975 42.38% 224,078
Nantucket 608 74.51% 205 25.12% 3 0.37% 0 0.00% 403 49.39% 816
Norfolk 51,826 74.69% 15,720 22.66% 1,690 2.44% 149 0.21% 36,106 52.04% 69,385
Plymouth 33,582 73.54% 9,373 20.53% 2,561 5.61% 147 0.32% 24,209 53.02% 45,663
Suffolk 108,089 58.08% 67,552 36.30% 9,542 5.13% 915 0.49% 40,537 21.78% 186,098
Worcester 81,241 68.63% 34,667 29.29% 2,097 1.77% 367 0.31% 46,574 39.35% 118,372
Totals 681,153 68.55% 276,691 27.84% 32,265 3.25% 3,609 0.36% 404,462 40.70% 993,718

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, part 2, p. 1072.
  2. ^ Lubell, Samuel; The Future of American Politics, p. 135. Published 1952 by Harper and Brothers, New York
  3. ^ "1920 Presidential General Election Results - Massachusetts". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  4. ^ a b Géoelections; Popular Vote for Eugene Debs (1920) (.xlsx file for €15)
  5. ^ Scammon, Richard M. (compiler); America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics 1920-1964; p. 213 ISBN 0405077114