Badge, William Howard Taft, 1912

Badge, William Howard Taft, 1912

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The 1912 re-election campaign of President William Howard Taft and Vice President James Sherman promoted prosperity as proof that no change was needed in the White House. Voters clearly disagreed as Taft and Sherman finished third in a four-way race that was won by the Democratic ticket of Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall. Their victory kept an interesting situation from becoming serious. James Sherman died on October 30, less than a week before the election on November 5. His name stayed on the ballot and a replacement was to be named by the Republican National Committee a few days later. However, because Taft and Sherman won only eight electoral votes, the RNC decided no choice was necessary.
The Republicans not only lost to the Democrats in 1912 but also to the newly formed Progressive Party which nominated former president Theodore Roosevelt and his running mate Hiram Johnson. Taft did finish ahead of the Socialist ticket of Eugene V. Debs and Emil Seidel. In spite of coming in fourth in his fourth attempt to win the White House, Debs received the largest segment of the electorate of any of his five races, just under six percent of the popular vote.
Object Name
date made
associated date
associated person
Taft, William H.
associated institution
Republican National Party
ID Number
catalog number
See more items in
Political and Military History: Political History, Campaign Collection
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
American Democracy
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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