1948 United States presidential election in South Carolina

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United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1948

← 1944 November 2, 1948 (1948-11-02) 1952 →
  Governor Strom Thurmond b&w crop.jpg Harry S. Truman.jpg
Nominee Strom Thurmond Harry S. Truman
Party Dixiecrat Democratic
Home state South Carolina Missouri
Running mate Fielding L. Wright Alben Barkley
Electoral vote 8 0
Popular vote 102,607 34,423
Percentage 71.97% 24.14%

South Carolina Presidential Election Results 1948.svg
County Results

President before election

Harry Truman
Democratic

Elected President

Harry Truman
Democratic

The 1948 United States presidential election in South Carolina took place on November 2, 1948, as part of the 1948 United States presidential election. State voters chose eight electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

South Carolina was won by States' Rights Democratic candidate Strom Thurmond, defeating the Democratic candidate, incumbent President Harry S. Truman, and New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.

Thurmond won his native state by a margin of 47.77 percent, making him the first third-party candidate to carry the state since Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge in 1860.

Background[edit]

For six decades South Carolina had been a one-party state dominated by the Democratic Party. The Republican Party had been moribund due to the disfranchisement of blacks and the complete absence of other support bases as the Palmetto State completely lacked upland or German refugee whites opposed to secession.[1] Between 1900 and 1944, no Republican presidential candidate ever obtained more than seven percent of the total presidential vote[2] – a vote which in 1924 reached as low as 6.6 percent of the total voting-age population[3] (or approximately 15 percent of the voting-age white population).

This absolute loyalty to the Democratic Party – so strong that even Catholic Al Smith in 1928 received over ninety percent of South Carolina's limited vote total at the same time as five former Confederate states bolted to Herbert Hoover[4] – began to break down with Henry A. Wallace's appointment as Vice-President and the 1943 Detroit race riots.[5] The northern left wing of the Democratic Party became as a result of this riot committed to restoring black political rights,[6] a policy vehemently opposed by all Southern Democrats as an infringement upon "states' rights". Tension widened much further when new President Harry Truman, himself a Southerner from Missouri, had described to him a number of horrifying lynchings and racial violence against black veterans, most crucially the beating and blinding of Isaac Woodard three hours after being discharged from the army.[7] Truman, previously viewed as no friend of civil rights, came to believe that racial violence against blacks in the South was a threat to the United States' image abroad and its ability to win the Cold War against the radically egalitarian rhetoric of Communism.[8]

The result was a major Civil Rights plan titled To Secure These Rights a year later, and a civil rights plank in the 1948 Democratic platform. Southern Democrats were enraged by these proposals and thus sought to form a "States' Rights" Democratic ticket, which would replace Truman as the official Democratic nominee.[9] In South Carolina, Dixiecrats completely controlled the situation and achieved this,[10] so that Thurmond and Mississippi Governor Fielding Wright were listed as the official "Democratic" nominees.

Vote[edit]

Significant opposition to Thurmond came from the poor whites of the industrial upcountry, who rejected the Dixiecrats' opposition to public works and labor regulation.[11] However, sufficiently few of these poorer whites voted that Thurmond was able to easily carry South Carolina, winning 44 of the state's 46 counties and over seventy-one percent of the total presidential vote. Thurmond exceeded 72 percent in all but twelve counties, and passed ninety percent in ten.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1948[12]
Party Candidate Running mate Popular vote Electoral vote
Count % Count %
Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond of South Carolina Fielding Lewis Wright of Mississippi 102,607 71.97% 8 100.00%
Democratic Harry S. Truman of Missouri Alben William Barkley of Kentucky 34,423 24.14% 0 0.00%
Republican Thomas Edmund Dewey of New York Earl Warren of California 5,386 3.78% 0 0.00%
Progressive Henry Agard Wallace of Iowa Glen Hearst Taylor of Idaho 154 0.11% 0 0.00%
Write-in Norman Thomas of New York Tucker Powell Smith of Michigan 1 0.00% 0 0.00%
Total 142,571 100.00% 8 100.00%

Results by county[edit]

County Thurmond#[13] Thurmond% Dewey#[14] Dewey% Truman#[14] Truman% Wallace# Wallace% Total votes cast
Abbeville 787 73.97% 23 2.16% 254 23.87% 0 0.00% 1,064
Aiken 4,607 86.94% 115 2.17% 572 10.79% 5 0.09% 5,299
Allendale 1,041 93.78% 14 1.26% 55 4.95% 0 0.00% 1,110
Anderson 1,342 33.32% 105 2.61% 2,581 64.08% 0 0.00% 4,028
Bamberg 1,714 91.51% 34 1.82% 124 6.62% 1 0.05% 1,873
Barnwell 1,920 93.02% 28 1.36% 115 5.57% 1 0.05% 2,064
Beaufort 850 67.62% 150 11.93% 253 20.13% 4 0.32% 1,257
Berkeley 1,534 79.94% 58 3.02% 323 16.83% 4 0.21% 1,919
Calhoun 840 95.35% 4 0.45% 36 4.09% 1 0.11% 881
Charleston 10,603 76.32% 562 4.05% 2,660 19.15% 68 0.49% 13,893
Cherokee 1,075 61.15% 77 4.38% 605 34.41% 1 0.06% 1,758
Chester 1,527 75.89% 48 2.39% 436 21.67% 1 0.05% 2,012
Chesterfield 1,554 62.21% 31 1.24% 912 36.51% 1 0.04% 2,498
Clarendon 1,467 92.26% 16 1.01% 107 6.73% 0 0.00% 1,590
Colleton 2,337 89.92% 39 1.50% 223 8.58% 0 0.00% 2,599
Darlington 1,930 69.93% 104 3.77% 726 26.30% 0 0.00% 2,760
Dillon 967 53.72% 24 1.33% 808 44.89% 1 0.06% 1,800
Dorchester 2,717 92.10% 85 2.88% 143 4.85% 5 0.17% 2,950
Edgefield 1,797 98.20% 6 0.33% 27 1.48% 0 0.00% 1,830
Fairfield 1,073 79.54% 63 4.67% 211 15.64% 2 0.15% 1,349
Florence 3,729 72.97% 192 3.76% 1,189 23.27% 0 0.00% 5,110
Georgetown 1,943 78.66% 92 3.72% 432 17.49% 3 0.12% 2,470
Greenville 5,922 62.51% 789 8.33% 2,745 28.97% 18 0.19% 9,474
Greenwood 2,508 83.21% 63 2.09% 440 14.60% 3 0.10% 3,014
Hampton 1,530 94.33% 10 0.62% 81 4.99% 1 0.06% 1,622
Horry 3,345 84.45% 113 2.85% 503 12.70% 0 0.00% 3,961
Jasper 715 80.61% 31 3.49% 141 15.90% 0 0.00% 887
Kershaw 1,615 82.15% 49 2.49% 302 15.36% 0 0.00% 1,966
Lancaster 1,649 65.07% 30 1.18% 855 33.74% 0 0.00% 2,534
Laurens 2,047 77.86% 69 2.62% 513 19.51% 0 0.00% 2,629
Lee 1,155 86.65% 36 2.70% 142 10.65% 0 0.00% 1,333
Lexington 2,237 78.19% 58 2.03% 566 19.78% 0 0.00% 2,861
McCormick 713 95.96% 0 0.00% 30 4.04% 0 0.00% 743
Marion 1,219 79.47% 14 0.91% 301 19.62% 0 0.00% 1,534
Marlboro 1,083 73.23% 41 2.77% 354 23.94% 1 0.07% 1,479
Newberry 2,758 87.25% 47 1.49% 349 11.04% 7 0.22% 3,161
Oconee 1,155 59.02% 135 6.90% 666 34.03% 1 0.05% 1,957
Orangeburg 3,160 83.98% 164 4.36% 435 11.56% 4 0.11% 3,763
Pickens 1,344 69.14% 165 8.49% 435 22.38% 0 0.00% 1,944
Richland 6,096 66.32% 670 7.29% 2,419 26.32% 7 0.08% 9,192
Saluda 1,712 89.45% 15 0.78% 187 9.77% 0 0.00% 1,914
Spartanburg 4,660 38.70% 627 5.21% 6,741 55.98% 13 0.11% 12,041
Sumter 2,718 78.17% 154 4.43% 605 17.40% 0 0.00% 3,477
Union 2,090 61.13% 46 1.35% 1,283 37.53% 0 0.00% 3,419
Williamsburg 1,839 92.46% 23 1.16% 126 6.33% 1 0.05% 1,989
York 1,983 55.67% 167 4.69% 1,412 39.64% 0 0.00% 3,562
Totals 102,607 71.97% 5,386 3.78% 34,423 24.14% 154 0.11% 142,570

References[edit]

  1. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 208, 210 ISBN 9780691163246
  2. ^ Mickey, Robert; Paths Out of Dixie: The Democratization of Authoritarian Enclaves in America's Deep South, 1944-1972, p. 440 ISBN 0691149631
  3. ^ Mickey; Paths Out of Dixie, p. 27
  4. ^ Key, V.O. junior; Southern Politics in State and Nation; p. 328 ISBN 087049435X
  5. ^ Scher, Richard K.; Politics in the New South: Republicanism, Race and Leadership in the Twentieth Century, p. 95 ISBN 1563248484
  6. ^ Frederickson, Karl A.; The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968, p. 39 ISBN 0807849103
  7. ^ Geselbracht, Raymond H. (editor); The Civil Rights Legacy of Harry S. Truman, p. 53 ISBN 1931112673
  8. ^ Fredericksen; The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, p. 52
  9. ^ Sabato, Larry J. and Ernst, Howard R.; Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections, p. 114 ISBN 9781438141817
  10. ^ Key; Southern Politics in State and Nation, p. 332
  11. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority; pp. 262-265
  12. ^ "1948 Presidential General Election Results – South Carolina". U.S. Election Atlas. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  13. ^ Géoelections; Popular Vote for Strom Thurmond (xlsx file for €15)
  14. ^ a b Scammon, Richard M. (compiler); America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics 1920-1964; p. 395 ISBN 0405077114