1934 California gubernatorial election

1934 California gubernatorial election

← 1930 November 6, 1934 1938 →
  FrankMerriam.jpg Upton Beall Sinclair Jr.jpg 3x4.svg
Nominee Frank Merriam Upton Sinclair Raymond L. Haight
Party Republican Democratic Progressive
Popular vote 1,138,629 879,537 302,519
Percentage 48.87% 37.75% 12.99%

California Governor Election Results by County, 1934.svg
Results by county

Governor before election

Frank Merriam
Republican

Elected Governor

Frank Merriam
Republican

The 1934 California gubernatorial election was held on November 6, 1934. Held in the midst of the Great Depression, the 1934 election was amongst the most controversial in the state's political history, pitting conservative Republican Frank Merriam against former Socialist Party member turned Democrat Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle. A strong third party challenge came from Progressive Raymond L. Haight, a Los Angeles lawyer campaigning for the political center. Much of the campaign's emphasis was directed at Sinclair's EPIC movement, proposing interventionist reforms to cure the state's ailing economy. Merriam, who had recently assumed the governorship following the death of James Rolph, characterized Sinclair's proposal as a step towards communism.

Democratic Primary[edit]

California Democratic Primary, 1934[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Upton Sinclair 436,220 51.68%
Democratic George Creel 288,106 34.13%
Democratic Justus S. Wardell 48,965 5.80%
Democratic Milton K. Young 41,609 4.93%
Democratic James E. Waddell 12,515 1.48%
Democratic Z. T. Malaby 4,476 0.53%
Democratic Forest Dowey 4,260 0.51%
Democratic W. J. McNichols 3,616 0.43%
Democratic William H. Evans 2,433 0.29%
Republican Frank F. Merriam (incumbent) (write-in) 1,035 0.12%
Republican Raymond L. Haight (write-in) 882 0.10%
Total votes 844,117 100%

Republican Primary[edit]

California Republican Primary, 1934[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank F. Merriam (incumbent) 346,329 41.94%
Republican Clement C. Young 231,431 28.03%
Republican John Quinn 153,412 18.58%
Republican Raymond L. Haight 84,977 10.29%
Democratic Upton Sinclair (write-in) 9,651 1.17%
Total votes 825,800 100%

General Election Results[edit]

1934 gubernatorial election, California
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Frank Merriam (incumbent) 1,138,629 48.87
Democratic Upton Sinclair 879,537 37.75
Progressive Raymond L. Haight 302,519 12.99
Communist Samuel Adams Darcy 5,826 0.25
Socialist Milen Dempster 2,947 0.13
Total votes 2,329,458 100.0
Republican hold Swing

Results by county[edit]

County Merriam Votes Sinclair Votes Haight Votes Others Votes
Kings 41.18% 3,633 26.37% 2,326 32.28% 2,848 0.17% 17
Alpine 87.29% 158 7.18% 13 5.52% 10 0.00% 0
Mono 63.11% 520 28.40% 234 7.77% 64 0.00% 0
Orange 53.72% 27,099 27.94% 14,092 18.13% 9,142 0.21% 105
Inyo 57.39% 1,514 33.24% 877 8.79% 232 0.57% 15
Lake 56.54% 2,317 32.65% 1,338 10.57% 433 0.24% 10
Del Norte 49.39% 1,221 44.74% 1,106 5.22% 129 0.65% 16
San Benito 65.25% 2,931 27.85% 1,251 6.59% 296 0.31% 14
Sonoma 57.41% 15,329 30.58% 8,164 11.50% 3,070 0.51% 136
San Diego 50.76% 44,422 36.65% 32,073 18.13% 9,142 0.29% 254
Santa Cruz 63.17% 10,905 29.86% 5,155 6.48% 1,119 0.50% 85
Marin 54.50% 9,756 36.28% 6,494 8.69% 1,555 0.54% 97
Santa Clara 60.06% 37,156 31.17% 19,281 8.43% 5,215 0.33% 209
Humboldt 50.95% 9,179 35.79% 6,448 12.61% 2,271 0.65% 117
Riverside 62.33% 19,892 31.01% 9,896 6.49% 2,072 0.18% 55
San Mateo 52.29% 18,448 36.91% 13,022 10.40% 3,669 0.39% 138
Santa Barbara 60.29% 14,429 32.32% 7,735 11.80% 1,702 0.28% 66
Mariposa 46.80% 1,089 37.17% 865 15.21% 354 0.55% 19
Napa 58.96% 5,750 28.77% 2,806 12.05% 1,175 0.22% 22
Mendocino 62.87% 6,178 28.12% 2,763 8.08% 794 0.93% 92
Monterey 61.53% 11,083 31.01% 5,585 7.13% 1,285 0.33% 60
Tehama 44.34% 2,865 28.10% 1,816 27.28% 1,763 0.28% 28
Butte 47.82% 8,041 35.28% 5,932 16.62% 2,795 0.28% 47
San Bernardino 56.76% 30,285 35.90% 19,157 7.07% 3,774 0.27% 143
San Luis Obispo 47.11% 6,422 37.36% 5,093 15.13% 2,063 0.39% 53
Imperial 52.01% 7,253 40.42% 5,637 7.18% 1,001 0.39% 55
Sutter 47.01% 2,872 32.41% 1,980 20.36% 1,244 0.21% 13
Colusa 55.70% 2,584 42.24% 1,709 18.56% 861 0.32% 15
Glenn 46.00% 2,342 28.60% 1,456 25.26% 1,286 0.14% 7
Los Angeles 47.45% 457,755 42.02% 405,331 10.20% 98,348 0.33% 3,202
Nevada 45.33% 3,163 31.03% 2,165 22.96% 1,602 0.67% 47
San Joaquin 46.64% 17,612 36.33% 13,720 16.56% 6,255 0.47% 174
San Francisco 50.91% 115,047 38.88% 87,850 9.51% 21,499 0.69% 1,581
El Dorado 33.37% 1,744 32.17% 1,681 33.79% 1,766 0.67% 35
Modoc 49.39% 1,452 28.44% 836 21.67% 637 0.51% 15
Tulare 37.46% 9,850 26.12% 6,867 36.18% 9,512 0.24% 65
Calaveras 45.83% 1,524 37.05% 1,232 16.63% 553 0.48% 16
Ventura 54.07% 11,015 32.20% 6,560 13.45% 2,740 0.27% 55
Siskiyou 39.19% 4,202 32.77% 3,514 27.54% 2,953 0.50% 53
Kern 48.59% 14,798 37.26% 11,348 13.78% 4,197 0.37% 111
Contra Costa 45.52% 15,540 45.67% 15,591 8.48% 2,894 0.33% 115
Stanislaus 34.46% 7,853 27.47% 6,260 37.70% 8,592 0.36% 83
Alameda 52.69% 102,328 37.70% 73,233 9.14% 17,758 0.47% 913
Yolo 46.44% 4,087 18.70% 1,646 34.56% 3,041 0.30% 26
Sacramento 35.75% 19,360 33.81% 18,310 30.09% 16,291 0.35% 187
Yuba 49.81% 2,603 30.64% 1,601 19.19% 1,003 0.37% 19
Trinity 40.21% 889 44.91% 993 13.93% 308 0.95% 21
Sierra 45.19% 676 31.48% 471 22.66% 339 0.67% 10
Fresno 30.46% 15,338 30.80% 15,509 38.33% 19,296 0.40% 204
Solano 44.57% 6,728 33.87% 5,112 21.24% 3,206 0.32% 48
Merced 35.21% 4,123 31.83% 3,727 31.83% 3,727 1.13% 132
Tuolumne 36.63% 1,580 44.96% 1,940 18.19% 785 0.23% 10
Placer 34.23% 3,337 31.93% 3,113 33.55% 3,271 0.29% 29
Madera 32.11% 2,204 35.56% 2,441 29.76% 2,043 2.57% 176
Amador 52.00% 1,946 26.22% 981 21.43% 802 0.35% 13
Lassen 33.09% 1,697 39.44% 2,023 26.94% 1,382 0.53% 27
Shasta 42.75% 3,283 36.71% 2,819 20.09% 1,543 0.45% 35
Plumas 36.63% 1,213 37.03% 1,226 25.91% 858 0.42% 14


References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Antognini, Richard. "The Role of A.P. Giannini in the 1934 California Gubernatorial Election." Southern California Quarterly 57.1 (1975): 53-86. online
  • Barger, Bob. "Raymond L. Haight and the Commonwealth Progressive Campaign of 1934" California Historical Society Quarterly 43 (September, 1964), pp 219-30. online
  • Hill, Patricia Lucy. "Upton Sinclair and the 1934 California gubernatorial election." (MS thesis, Portland State University, 1978) online.
  • Larsen, Charles E. "The Epic Campaign of 1934." Pacific Historical Review 27.2 (1958): 127-147. online
  • Mitchell, Greg. The campaign of the century: Upton Sinclair's race for governor of California and the birth of media politics (Random House, 1992).
  • Rising, George G. "An EPIC Endeavor: Upton Sinclair's 1934 California Gubernatorial Campaign." Southern California Quarterly 79.1 (1997): 101-124. online
  • Singer, Donald L. "Upton Sinclair and the California Gubernatorial Campaign of 1934." Southern California Quarterly 56.4 (1974): 375-406. online