"Win With Ike, Lose with Taft" Button

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by JohnHamilton, Feb 27, 2023.

  1. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2022
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    I went to a political items show in South Florida this weekend. One of the most interesting I found was this piece, which recalled two presidential races.

    Win With Ike Lose Taft.jpg

    In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt tried to take the Republican presidential nomination from William Howard Taft, who was the sitting president. Roosevelt won a strong majority of the primaries, but in those days presidential primaries were mostly "beauty contests." Taft, with the power of incumbency behind him, won the nomination at the convention.

    Theodore Roosevelt won the Progressive Party nomination, declaring that "His hat was in the ring," and that "He was as strong as a bull moose." The name stuck, and "Bull Moose" became the unofficial name for the party.

    Hat in Ring TR.jpt.jpg

    In the general election, Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote which threw the election to Woodrow Wilson.

    In 1952 William Howard Taft's son, Robert A. Taft, was a leading contender for the Republican nomination before Dwight Eisenhower got into the race. Ike became the immediate favorite because he had been the foremost military hero of World War II.

    Robert Taft was known as "Mr. Republican," and was a great favorite among conservatives. He had been a contender for the Republican nomination since 1940, but had lost to the more liberal candidates, Willkie and Dewey. The conservatives thought it was their turn, but it was not to be. Eisenhower won the nomination and the election in a landslide.

    1952 Ike - Nixon Jugate.jpg

    Would the Republicans have lost if Taft had gotten the nomination? It would have certainly been a horserace. Taft was no where near as popular with the general electorate than Eisenhower.

    What do you think?

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