could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

         A Comparison of Two Primaries: 1916 & 2016

A. Situation in 1916

President –Woodrow Wilson (Dem) ending 1st term [Obama (Dem) ending 2nd term]

War in Europe [War in the Middle East]

        WWI had begun [this war is unnamed yet]

Wilson [Obama] & most American voters did not want to get into the war

In both cases there had been financial issues but the economy was looking up

B. Method of Choosing Nominees:
1. A little background
    Method of selection not included in the Constitution
        Congress determined the candidates for first 2 terms
        No controversy, Washington the popular choice.

    Then Washington said he would not run for a 3rd term

    There were differences of opinion between political leaders which led to the party system

    National Party Convention delegates nominated a candidate for president
        [which was the case in 1916 & will be in 2016]

2. How were these delegates to the national convention chosen?

    At first by Political machines, by Party bosses, by Caucuses

    Caucus – comes from the Native Americans and means “to gather together and make a great noise.”
        A series of meetings of party members at every level of party organisation within a state by wards, precincts, districts and counties

        At each level, party members vote for delegates who will take their opinions on the choice of presidential candidate forward to the next level.

        Ultimately the state conventions choose the delegates to the national convention.

    Primaries - Early period (1901-1916) of primaries, 25 of the 48 states had passed Presidential primary laws by 1916 (including Nebraska)

        Closed primaries offer a greater degree of participation than caucuses
                Voting is not confined to active party members.
                Voters who have declared an affiliation to a party are allowed to vote in that party’s primary

        Open primaries allow even greater participation.
                Voters, regardless of party affiliation, can participate in either party’s primary but not both.
                They can enter the polling place on electionday & declare which party’s ballot they wish to vote on.

C. Methods for Addressing Voters

        1916 – Stumping, speeches, rallies, pamphlets
        2016 – All of those plus TV appearances & ads, social media

D. Leading Candidates (for Nomination in the Primaries):

    Democratic Party candidate:

        • Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States (New Jersey)

    Republican Party candidates: [the top 6 were…]
        • Charles E. Hughes, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and former Governor of New York
        • John W. Weeks, U.S. senator (Massachusetts)
        • Elihu Root, 71, former U.S. senator (New York), Sec. of War, Sec. of State
        • Charles W. Fairbanks, former Vice President of the United States (Indiana)
        • Theodore Roosevelt, Former President (New York)
        • William Howard Taft, Former President (Ohio)
        • Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Senator (Wisconsin)

E. National Conventions in 1916
    Democratic Convention – St. Louis June 14-16

        Woodrow Wilson nominated without a roll call; only one delegate objecting

    Republican Convention – Chicago June 7-10

        June 1, 1916 headline – 1916 Convention of the Republicans Most Uncertain in Party’s History
“will be one of the most interesting and exciting gatherings ever held by that party….uncertainty of the nominee….[On the] first ballot…there will be a dozen men voted for…”

        In 1912 the Progressive Party, led by Teddy Roosevelt, had split from the Republicans [because Teddy wanted to run again]. Would they do that again in 1916?

        Progressives were also holding their convention in Chicago at the same time as the Republicans.  Roosevelt went back to the Republican party and the Progressives had to find another candidate.

        At least 21 candidates under consideration

        Besides the 6 already names, some other names we might recognize were
            Henry Ford, former President William Howard Taft, future President Warren G. Harding, Leonard Wood

        Much back room, late night, smoke-filled room negotiating

        June 8 Hub - “Few of the delegates or spectators see the real work of nominating the candidates when there is any doubt. Most of this is done at night, high up in some hotel room, where the leaders get together and after deliberating over the day’s balloting attempt to arrive at some plan whereby the nomination can be hastened.”

        Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes nominated on 3rd ballot

F. In Kearney

        Municipal elections had been held earlier, the Primary was for county and state positions.

        Hub editorial comment - “Naturally the lime light shines on the candidates who are offering themselves this year, many of them faces new to voters, and at the present time they are having their family skeletons dug up by those in the opposition and having their past, present and future merits lauded by championing friends.”

Primary Election on April 18, 1916

(5 political parties had candidates for various offices - Dem, Rep, Progressive, Socialist, Prohibitionist)

Electors at large (choice between two in each party, none from Kearney)

Presidential Electors (Six districts, Kearney apparently in fifth district but candidates were from Hastings & Upland, one candidate from each party)

Delegate at Large
        Democrats had 7 candidates including W. D. Oldham of Kearney

        Republicans had 7 candidates, none from Kearney
        Progressives had 4 candidates including J. P. Gibbons of Kearney

[No other Kearney or Buffalo County candidates for State Convention]

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Revised: 02/04/2018