1912 United States presidential election in Utah

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United States presidential election in Utah, 1912

← 1908 November 5, 1912 1916 →
  William Howard Taft, Bain bw photo portrait, 1908.jpg Woodrow Wilson-H&E.jpg
Nominee William H. Taft Woodrow Wilson
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Ohio New Jersey
Running mate Nicholas M. Butler
(replacing James S. Sherman)
Thomas R. Marshall
Electoral vote 4 0
Popular vote 42,013 36,579
Percentage 37.42% 32.58%

  T Roosevelt.jpg EugeneVictorDebs.png
Nominee Theodore Roosevelt Eugene V. Debs
Party Progressive Socialist
Home state New York Indiana
Running mate Hiram Johnson Emil Seidel
Electoral vote 0 0
Popular vote 24,174 8,999
Percentage 21.53% 8.02%

President before election

William Howard Taft
Republican

Elected President

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic

The 1912 United States presidential election in Utah was held on November 5, 1912. Utah voters chose four representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background[edit]

After being overwhelmingly carried by William Jennings Bryan in its first presidential election from its statehood year of 1896, Utah was to vote Republican by increasing margins in the following three elections, with only Washington County in the Dixie region voting Democratic in 1904 and 1908. By 1909, there were just two Democrats in the state legislature – a number fewer than any other state except Michigan during the middle 1900s and 1920s.

However, during William Howard Taft's presidency, his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt became bitterly opposed to his policies on antitrust and the opening of public lands to private concerns.[1] and thus decided to run in Republican primaries. Roosevelt's personal popularity and a powerful speaking tour was sufficient for him to "steamroll" through primaries, but Taft was able to prevail as the Republican nominee through traditional machine and party tactics.[2] Reformers bolted the Republicans and formed the "Progressive" or "Bull Moose" Party with Roosevelt as standard-bearer. Taft – already unpopular with the public and not enjoying being President[3] – decided to run, not in expectation of being re-elected but rather to preserve the GOP apparatus for future conservative action.[4]

Because Taft made no efforts to campaign, he lost easily in most states; however, in Utah, a powerful political machine under long-serving senator and Mormon Apostle Reed Smoot had been developed to counter the anti-Mormon "American Party", which had become the effective opposition to the Republicans in local elections and had elected mayors in Salt Lake City.[1] Combined with a very prosperous rural economy in both the farming and mining sectors, this produced strong loyalty among local Mormon communities to Taft,[5] who was also supported by the local Mormon and non-Mormon press. Those supporting Roosevelt were viewed as "insincere" and as "office-seekers", although latterly such press criticism was toned down.[1]

Taft was thus able to hold the state, with the maintenance of tariffs being critical for the 52 percent of Utahns who were farmers in 1912. Wilson and Roosevelt were most successful in the remote, less Mormon areas east of the Wasatch Mountains, and in some urban areas with more progressive tendencies. Socialist Eugene Debs, in the most successful of his five presidential campaigns, obtained eight percent of the vote but did much better than this in some mining areas.

Utah became one of the only two states to vote for Taft in 1912, the other being Vermont, and with 37.46% of the popular vote made the state his strongest victory in the election.[6]

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Utah, 1912[7][a]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican William Howard Taft 42,013 37.42% 4
Democratic Woodrow Wilson 36,579 32.58% 0
Progressive Theodore Roosevelt 24,174 21.53% 0
Socialist Eugene V. Debs 8,999 8.02% 0
Socialist Labor Arthur E. Reimer 510 0.45% 0
Totals 112,275 100.00% 4

Results by county[edit]

County Taft# Taft% Wilson# Wilson% Roosevelt# Roosevelt% Debs% Debs% Reimer# Reimer% Total votes cast
Beaver 672 39.79% 602 35.64% 307 18.18% 106 6.28% 2 0.12% 1,689
Box Elder 1,648 40.58% 1,402 34.52% 936 23.05% 75 1.85% 0 0.00% 4,061
Cache 2,821 37.91% 3,296 44.29% 1,173 15.76% 132 1.77% 20 0.27% 7,442
Carbon 783 35.67% 514 23.42% 541 24.65% 350 15.95% 7 0.32% 2,195
Davis 1,283 44.15% 1,142 39.30% 460 15.83% 20 0.69% 1 0.03% 2,906
Emery 762 37.10% 760 37.00% 336 16.36% 190 9.25% 6 0.29% 2,054
Garfield 673 62.60% 249 23.16% 128 11.91% 23 2.14% 2 0.19% 1,075
Grand 190 33.63% 212 37.52% 118 20.88% 45 7.96% 0 0.00% 565
Iron 690 49.57% 544 39.08% 63 4.53% 94 6.75% 1 0.07% 1,392
Juab 1,167 35.27% 985 29.77% 344 10.40% 803 24.27% 10 0.30% 3,309
Kane 429 75.40% 115 20.21% 20 3.51% 5 0.88% 0 0.00% 569
Millard 970 41.08% 865 36.64% 397 16.81% 124 5.25% 5 0.21% 2,361
Morgan 318 36.64% 233 26.84% 273 31.45% 44 5.07% 0 0.00% 868
Piute 206 37.52% 110 20.04% 146 26.59% 87 15.85% 0 0.00% 549
Rich 328 48.88% 238 35.47% 100 14.90% 5 0.75% 0 0.00% 671
Salt Lake 12,691 35.10% 10,468 28.95% 8,899 24.61% 3,792 10.49% 308 0.85% 36,158
San Juan 145 37.08% 146 37.34% 96 24.55% 4 1.02% 0 0.00% 391
Sanpete 2,489 42.00% 1,984 33.48% 1,272 21.46% 171 2.89% 10 0.17% 5,926
Sevier 1,451 41.90% 915 26.42% 807 23.30% 286 8.26% 4 0.12% 3,463
Summit 1,294 44.13% 983 33.53% 425 14.50% 226 7.71% 4 0.14% 2,932
Tooele 950 44.25% 646 30.09% 261 12.16% 282 13.13% 8 0.37% 2,147
Uintah 544 28.36% 566 29.51% 641 33.42% 165 8.60% 2 0.10% 1,918
Utah 4,175 35.38% 4,636 39.29% 2,295 19.45% 666 5.64% 27 0.23% 11,799
Wasatch 1,191 41.41% 957 33.28% 432 15.02% 288 10.01% 8 0.28% 2,876
Washington 712 43.60% 842 51.56% 72 4.41% 6 0.37% 1 0.06% 1,633
Wayne 283 52.12% 183 33.70% 24 4.42% 53 9.76% 0 0.00% 543
Weber 3,148 29.19% 2,986 27.69% 3,608 33.46% 957 8.88% 84 0.78% 10,783
Totals 42,013 37.42% 36,579 32.58% 24,174 21.53% 8,999 8.02% 510 0.45% 112,275

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wahlquist, C. Austin; ‘The 1912 Presidential Election in Utah’ (A Thesis Presented to the Department of History, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)
  2. ^ Kraig, Robert Alexander; 'The 1912 Election and the Rhetorical Foundations of the Liberal State', Rhetoric and Public Affairs, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Fall 2000), pp.. 365-366
  3. ^ Conlin, Joseph R.; The American Past: A Survey of American History, Volume II: Since 1865, Volume 2, p. 607 ISBN 113394664X
  4. ^ Craig; 'The 1912 Election and the Rhetorical Foundation of the Liberal State', p. 368
  5. ^ See Sarasohn, David; 'The Election of 1916: Realigning the Rockies', Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3 (July 1980), pp. 285-305
  6. ^ "1912 Presidential Election Statistics". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  7. ^ "Presidential Election of 1912 – Map by Counties (.xlsx file for €15)". Géoelections. Retrieved 2017-06-06.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There are some differences between these figures and those given in Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections for both the state as a whole and counties. Notably, Leip's figures have both Emery County and San Juan County as tied.