1948 United States presidential election in Arkansas

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United States presidential election in Arkansas, 1948

← 1944 November 2, 1948[1] 1952 →

All 9 Arkansas votes to the Electoral College
  Harry S. Truman.jpg ThomasDewey.png StromThurmond.png
Nominee Harry S. Truman Thomas Dewey Strom Thurmond
Party Democratic Republican Dixiecrat
Home state Missouri New York South Carolina
Running mate Alben W. Barkley Earl Warren Fielding L. Wright
Electoral vote 9 0 0
Popular vote 149,659 50,959 40,068
Percentage 61.7% 21.0% 16.5%

Arkansas Presidential Election Results 1948.svg
County Results

President before election

Harry S. Truman
Democratic

Elected President

Harry S. Truman
Democratic

The 1948 United States presidential election in Arkansas took place on November 2, 1948, as part of the 1948 United States presidential election. Arkansas voters chose nine[2] representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president. This would be the last presidential election where Arkansas had nine electoral votes: the Great Migration would see the state lose three congressional districts in the next decade-and-a-half.

Background[edit]

Except for the Unionist Ozark counties of Newton and Searcy where Republicans controlled local government, Arkansas since the end of Reconstruction had been a classic one-party Democratic "Solid South" state.[3] Disfranchisement of effectively all Negroes and most poor whites had meant that outside those two aberrant counties, the Republican Party was completely moribund and Democratic primaries the only competitive elections.

However, ever since seeing the potential effect on the United States' image abroad (and ability to win the Cold War against the radically egalitarian rhetoric of Communism)[4] of the beating and blinding of Isaac Woodard three hours after being discharged from the army, President Truman was attempting to launch a Civil Rights bill, involving desegregation of the military. This produced severe opposition from Southern Democrats, who aimed to have South Carolina Governor James Strom Thurmond listed as Democratic Presidential nominee and Mississippi Governor Fielding Wright as Vice-Presidential nominee.

Unlike Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina or Virginia, Arkansas did not have a major threat from the Republican Party to block local Democratic support for Thurmond,[5] but it had only half the proportion of blacks found in Mississippi or South Carolina.[6] At the time when it became clear that a Southern bolt from the national Democratic Party was on the agenda, Arkansas was deeply divided between a Dixiecrat faction headed by outgoing Governor Ben T. Laney and a loyalist faction led by Sidney S. McMath.[7]

McMath was to win the Democratic gubernatorial primary that was in this one-party state tantamount to election, and despite the efforts of Laney and state party chairman Arthur Adams, it was clear from the beginning of the campaign that they held little sway over the Democratic rank and file who were loyal to Truman.[8]

In May 1948 Governor Laney became chairman of the "States' Rights Democrats";[9] however on July 12 the possibility of Laney himself becoming the nominee ended when he refused to support anyone.[10] However, as late as the September 22 Democratic Convention the Dixiecrats had hopes of pledging Arkansas' Democratic presidential electors to Thurmond and Wright; however McMath and Congressman Charles Fuller were able to persuade the electors to remain loyal to President Truman.[11]

Vote[edit]

With the state's Democratic electors pledged to Truman, the incumbent President and running mate Kentucky Senator Alben W. Barkley easily carried Arkansas with 61.72 percent of the popular vote, against New York Governor Thomas Dewey and California Governor Earl Warren's 21.02 percent of the popular vote.[12][13] Vis-à-vis the 1944 election, Truman picked up Benton County and Searcy County, the latter of which had previously only voted Democratic once since the Civil War.[a]

Thurmond, running as a third-party candidate, was able to capture 16.52 percent of Arkansas' vote. The Dixiecrats ran strongest in the Delta region of the state where Truman's Civil Rights and "Fair Deal" policies were most feared by the powerful Black Belt planters;[14] Thurmond carried three counties with entirely nonvoting black majorities and was second in twenty-eight others. However, in the hilly northwestern half of the state, Thurmond failed to crack 5 percent of the vote in eighteen counties. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Benton County and Sebastian County voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.[15]

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Arkansas, 1948
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Harry S. Truman (inc.) 149,659 61.72%
Republican Thomas Dewey 50,959 21.02%
Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond 40,068 16.52%
Socialist Norman Thomas 1,037 0.43%
Progressive Henry A. Wallace 751 0.31%
Prohibition Claude A. Watson 1 0.00%
Total votes 242,475 100%

Results by county[edit]

Harry S. Truman[16]
Democratic
Thomas Edmund Dewey[16]
Republican
James Strom Thurmond[17]
States' Rights Democratic
Norman Mattoon Thomas[18]
Socialist
Henry Agard Wallace[18]
Progressive
Margin Total votes cast
County # % # % # % # % # % # % #
Arkansas 1,781 53.07% 737 21.96% 806 24.02% 23 0.69% 9 0.27% 975[b] 29.05% 3,356
Ashley 1,844 76.58% 197 8.18% 342 14.20% 24 1.00% 1 0.04% 1,502[b] 62.38% 2,408
Baxter 1,098 62.39% 553 31.42% 54 3.07% 45 2.56% 10 0.57% 545 30.97% 1,760
Benton 3,281 50.38% 2,911 44.70% 274 4.21% 13 0.20% 34 0.52% 370 5.68% 6,513
Boone 3,190 63.86% 1,499 30.01% 274 5.49% 11 0.22% 21 0.42% 1,691 33.85% 4,995
Bradley 1,426 65.20% 213 9.74% 532 24.33% 7 0.32% 9 0.41% 894[b] 40.88% 2,187
Calhoun 768 83.66% 45 4.90% 104 11.33% 0 0.00% 1 0.11% 664[b] 72.33% 918
Carroll 2,032 55.10% 1,525 41.35% 98 2.66% 15 0.41% 18 0.49% 507 13.75% 3,688
Chicot 952 54.03% 203 11.52% 598 33.94% 4 0.23% 5 0.28% 354[b] 20.09% 1,762
Clark 1,750 69.75% 383 15.27% 363 14.47% 9 0.36% 4 0.16% 1,367 54.48% 2,509
Clay 2,069 66.94% 878 28.41% 128 4.14% 14 0.45% 2 0.06% 1,191 38.53% 3,091
Cleburne 1,061 73.32% 312 21.56% 64 4.42% 8 0.55% 2 0.14% 749 51.76% 1,447
Cleveland 679 67.50% 79 7.85% 245 24.35% 3 0.30% 0 0.00% 434[b] 43.14% 1,006
Columbia 1,788 59.98% 217 7.28% 962 32.27% 12 0.40% 2 0.07% 826[b] 27.71% 2,981
Conway 1,771 72.17% 425 17.32% 248 10.11% 5 0.20% 5 0.20% 1,346 54.85% 2,454
Craighead 3,238 63.37% 759 14.85% 1,054 20.63% 42 0.82% 17 0.33% 2,184[b] 42.74% 5,110
Crawford 1,730 58.60% 1,002 33.94% 190 6.44% 18 0.61% 12 0.41% 728 24.66% 2,952
Crittenden 594 24.83% 137 5.73% 1,657 69.27% 2 0.08% 2 0.08% -1,063[b] -44.44% 2,392
Cross 1,100 48.57% 213 9.40% 949 41.90% 2 0.09% 1 0.04% 151[b] 6.67% 2,265
Dallas 1,174 68.98% 152 8.93% 370 21.74% 4 0.24% 2 0.12% 804[b] 47.24% 1,702
Desha 2,122 69.96% 233 7.68% 670 22.09% 4 0.13% 4 0.13% 1,452[b] 47.87% 3,033
Drew 1,204 59.40% 182 8.98% 630 31.08% 5 0.25% 6 0.30% 574[b] 28.32% 2,027
Faulkner 2,653 73.76% 626 17.40% 304 8.45% 10 0.28% 4 0.11% 2,027 56.35% 3,597
Franklin 1,591 76.05% 391 18.69% 95 4.54% 6 0.29% 9 0.43% 1,200 57.36% 2,092
Fulton 850 69.27% 339 27.63% 32 2.61% 2 0.16% 4 0.33% 511 41.65% 1,227
Garland 3,764 52.61% 2,286 31.95% 994 13.89% 48 0.67% 62 0.87% 1,478 20.66% 7,154
Grant 883 71.50% 121 9.80% 207 16.76% 19 1.54% 5 0.40% 676[b] 54.74% 1,235
Greene 2,657 78.38% 502 14.81% 188 5.55% 25 0.74% 18 0.53% 2,155 63.57% 3,390
Hempstead 1,683 54.84% 386 12.58% 990 32.26% 6 0.20% 4 0.13% 693[b] 22.58% 3,069
Hot Spring 1,932 69.90% 555 20.08% 261 9.44% 12 0.43% 4 0.14% 1,377 49.82% 2,764
Howard 1,250 75.67% 199 12.05% 190 11.50% 13 0.79% 0 0.00% 1,051 63.62% 1,652
Independence 2,340 66.08% 855 24.15% 330 9.32% 4 0.11% 12 0.34% 1,485 41.94% 3,541
Izard 1,283 81.93% 240 15.33% 36 2.30% 4 0.26% 3 0.19% 1,043 66.60% 1,566
Jackson 2,696 82.45% 338 10.34% 226 6.91% 8 0.24% 2 0.06% 2,358 72.11% 3,270
Jefferson 5,086 61.92% 1,176 14.32% 1,879 22.88% 49 0.60% 24 0.29% 3,207[b] 39.04% 8,214
Johnson 1,565 69.59% 523 23.25% 138 6.14% 11 0.49% 12 0.53% 1,042 46.33% 2,249
Lafayette 700 49.16% 113 7.94% 578 40.59% 31 2.18% 2 0.14% 122[b] 8.57% 1,424
Lawrence 2,001 74.89% 497 18.60% 151 5.65% 11 0.41% 12 0.45% 1,504 56.29% 2,672
Lee 528 35.41% 95 6.37% 866 58.08% 1 0.07% 1 0.07% -338[b] -22.67% 1,491
Lincoln 1,108 65.91% 378 22.49% 188 11.18% 5 0.30% 2 0.12% 730 43.43% 1,681
Little River 900 59.06% 169 11.09% 447 29.33% 4 0.26% 4 0.26% 453[b] 29.72% 1,524
Logan 2,130 66.73% 902 28.26% 143 4.48% 9 0.28% 8 0.25% 1,228 38.47% 3,192
Lonoke 2,065 69.04% 383 12.81% 535 17.89% 3 0.10% 5 0.17% 1,530[b] 51.15% 2,991
Madison 2,041 47.50% 2,201 51.22% 39 0.91% 10 0.23% 6 0.14% -160 -3.72% 4,297
Marion 1,133 72.58% 381 24.41% 31 1.99% 8 0.51% 8 0.51% 752 48.17% 1,561
Miller 2,850 62.24% 488 10.66% 1,223 26.71% 9 0.20% 9 0.20% 1,627[b] 35.53% 4,579
Mississippi 3,763 59.40% 771 12.17% 1,769 27.92% 27 0.43% 5 0.08% 1,994[b] 31.48% 6,335
Monroe 1,431 60.89% 299 12.72% 614 26.13% 1 0.04% 5 0.21% 817[b] 34.77% 2,350
Montgomery 935 75.22% 236 18.99% 60 4.83% 5 0.40% 7 0.56% 699 56.23% 1,243
Nevada 1,140 64.33% 202 11.40% 418 23.59% 10 0.56% 2 0.11% 722[b] 40.74% 1,772
Newton 848 48.51% 879 50.29% 13 0.74% 4 0.23% 4 0.23% -31 -1.77% 1,748
Ouachita 3,315 68.80% 476 9.88% 1,023 21.23% 0 0.00% 4 0.08% 2,292[b] 47.57% 4,818
Perry 731 67.00% 201 18.42% 156 14.30% 0 0.00% 3 0.27% 530 48.58% 1,091
Phillips 1,018 32.85% 351 11.33% 1,722 55.57% 4 0.13% 4 0.13% -704[b] -22.72% 3,099
Pike 997 73.80% 256 18.95% 89 6.59% 8 0.59% 1 0.07% 741 54.85% 1,351
Poinsett 2,415 65.24% 435 11.75% 830 22.42% 13 0.35% 9 0.24% 1,585[b] 42.81% 3,702
Polk 1,417 66.21% 554 25.89% 127 5.93% 28 1.31% 14 0.65% 863 40.33% 2,140
Pope 2,525 67.95% 764 20.56% 417 11.22% 5 0.13% 5 0.13% 1,761 47.39% 3,716
Prairie 1,020 60.79% 260 15.49% 379 22.59% 18 1.07% 1 0.06% 641[b] 38.20% 1,678
Pulaski 13,120 53.25% 5,910 23.99% 5,443 22.09% 51 0.21% 115 0.47% 7,210 29.26% 24,639
Randolph 2,139 81.24% 377 14.32% 109 4.14% 4 0.15% 4 0.15% 1,762 66.92% 2,633
St. Francis 1,011 46.91% 178 8.26% 957 44.41% 4 0.19% 5 0.23% 54[b] 2.51% 2,155
Saline 2,070 72.18% 390 13.60% 341 11.89% 49 1.71% 18 0.63% 1,680 58.58% 2,868
Scott 1,093 77.63% 260 18.47% 37 2.63% 14 0.99% 4 0.28% 833 59.16% 1,408
Searcy 1,205 51.81% 1,064 45.74% 44 1.89% 9 0.39% 4 0.17% 141 6.06% 2,326
Sebastian 5,075 57.36% 2,928 33.09% 777 8.78% 41 0.46% 27 0.31% 2,147 24.27% 8,848
Sevier 1,314 71.53% 267 14.53% 231 12.57% 21 1.14% 4 0.22% 1,047 57.00% 1,837
Sharp 1,078 74.19% 295 20.30% 71 4.89% 4 0.28% 5 0.34% 783 53.89% 1,453
Stone 1,186 61.80% 644 33.56% 76 3.96% 4 0.21% 9 0.47% 542 28.24% 1,919
Union 5,588 67.01% 1,039 12.46% 1,691 20.28% 11 0.13% 10 0.12% 3,897[b] 46.73% 8,339
Van Buren 1,324 63.96% 617 29.81% 119 5.75% 4 0.19% 6 0.29% 707 34.15% 2,070
Washington 3,493 49.38% 2,859 40.42% 581 8.21% 85 1.20% 56 0.79% 634 8.96% 7,074
White 3,193 69.04% 833 18.01% 563 12.17% 20 0.43% 16 0.35% 2,360 51.03% 4,625
Woodruff 1,008 55.11% 207 11.32% 593 32.42% 16 0.87% 5 0.27% 415[b] 22.69% 1,829
Yell 1,866 77.08% 408 16.85% 135 5.58% 0 0.00% 12 0.50% 1,458 60.22% 2,421
Totals 149,659 61.72% 50,959 21.02% 40,068 16.52% 1,038 0.43% 751 0.31% 98,700 40.71% 242,475

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The only other Democrats to claim Searcy County since the Civil War have been Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 and Jimmy Carter in 1976, although some figures for 1912 have Woodrow Wilson carrying the county because the totals for incumbent Taft in Searcy and Sebastian counties are contradictory.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae In this county where Dewey ran third behind both Truman and Thurmond, margin given is Truman vote minus Thurmond vote and percentage margin Truman percentage minus Thurmond percentage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Presidential election of 1948 - Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  2. ^ "1948 Election for the Forty-First Term (1949-53)". Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  3. ^ See Urwin, Cathy Kunzinger; Agenda for Reform: Winthrop Rockefeller as Governor of Arkansas, 1967-71, p. 32 ISBN 1557282005
  4. ^ Geselbracht, Raymond H. (editor); The Civil Rights Legacy of Harry S. Truman, p. 53 ISBN 1931112673
  5. ^ Key, Valdimer Orlando; Southern Politics in State and Nation, p. 336 Alfred A. Knopf (1949)
  6. ^ Key; Southern Politics, p. 254
  7. ^ Williams, Nancy A. and Whayne, Jeannie M.; Arkansas Biography: A Collection of Notable Lives, p. 166 ISBN 1557285888
  8. ^ Frederickson, Kari; The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968, p. 117 ISBN 0807849103
  9. ^ Donovan, Timothy Paul; Gatewood, Willard B. and Whayne, Jeannie M.; The Governors of Arkansas: Essays in Political Biography, p. 208 ISBN 9781557280411
  10. ^ McMath, Sid; Promises Kept: a Memoir, pp. 198-199 ISBN 1610753291
  11. ^ McMath; Promises Kept, p. 203
  12. ^ "1948 Presidential General Election Results - Arkansas". Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "The American Presidency Project - Election of 1948". Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Key; Southern Politics, p. 343
  15. ^ Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  16. ^ a b Géoelections; 1948 Presidential Election Popular Vote (xlsx file for €15)
  17. ^ Géoelections; Popular Vote for Strom Thurmond (xlsx file for €15)
  18. ^ a b Géoelections; Popular Vote for Henry Wallace (xlsx file for €15)