Last modified on July 11, 2022, at 18:49

United States presidential election, 1936

When the election of 1936 came about, some of President Frankin Roosevelt's programs remained popular. Although the depression dragged on unemployment had been lowered and banks were far more secure. Father Coughlin, who had extolled Roosevelt in the first term as a great leader, now denounced him as a liar.

The Republicans adopted a platform which did not differ much from the Democratic platform of 1932. When accused of stealing the Democratic platform of 1932, the Republicans replied "Why not? The Democrats have no more use for it. Moreover it is in perfectly good condition,­ it was never used." Their chief reliance was upon the charge that the President had usurped the powers of Congress, attacked the integrity of the courts, invaded the constitutional prerogatives of the states, attempted to substitute economic planning for free enterprise, forced through Congress unconstitutional laws, filled a vast array of bureaus with swarms of bureaucrats to harass the people and breed fear in commerce and industry, discourage new enterprises and thus prolong the depression, had used relief to corrupt and intimidate the voters and made appeals to class warfare to inflame the people and create dangerous divisions. One contemporary observer recorded, "the President was supported loyally by many men who, far from melting under his charm, hated him."[1] The problem was that the GOP had no solutions to offer on how to solve the economic crisis.

Democrats said Roosevelt had restored prosperity to agriculture and business, and provided hope and relief for people business refused to hire.

General election

Roosevelt scored a tremendous landslide, carrying all but two small states and pulling the entre Democratic ticket to victory in most states.

candidates popular vote electoral vote
Franklin D. Roosevelt 27,752,869 523
Alfred M. Landon 16,674,665 8
William Lemke 882,479 0
Norman Thomas 187,720 0
Earl Browder 80,159 0
D. Leigh Colvin 37,847 0


See also

Further reading

  • Allswang, John M. New Deal and American Politics (1978), statistical analysis of votes
  • Casey Ralph D. Republican Propaganda in the 1936 Campaign The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Apr., 1937), pp. 27–44 in JSTOR
  • Jensen, Richard. "The Last Party System: Decay of Consensus, 1932-1980," in The Evolution of American Electoral Systems (Paul Kleppner et al. eds.) (1981) pp 219–225,
  • Ladd Jr., Everett Carll with Charles D. Hadley. Transformations of the American Party System: Political Coalitions from the New Deal to the 1970s (2nd ed. 1978).
  • Leuchtenburg, William E. "When the People Spoke, What Did They Say?: The Election of 1936 and the Ackerman Thesis," Yale Law Journal, Vol. 108, No. 8, pp. 2077–2114 in JSTOR
  • McCoy, Donald. Landon of Kansas (1966)
  • Pietrusza, David. Roosevelt Sweeps Nation: FDR’s 1936 Landslide and the Triumph of the Liberal Ideal (2022)
  • Sundquist, James L. Dynamics of the Party System: Alignment and Realignment of Political Parties in the United States, (1983)
  • Weed, Clyde P. "What Happened to the Republicans in the 1930s: Minority Party Dynamics during Political Realignment," Polity, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 5–23 in JSTOR


  1. John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth, (1948), Book 1, Ch. 8.
  2. A Pictoral History of the U.S. Presidents, by Clare Gibson, Gramercy Books, 2001, p. 124.