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The Election Results
On November 8, 1904, Roosevelt won the presidential election in a landslide over Parker, 336-140 in the Electoral College and 56%-38% in the popular vote.  It was the largest popular margin of victory in American history until Republican Warren Harding defeated Democrat James Cox in 1920 (61%-34%).  Parker won only the 11 Southern states of the former Confederacy and two Border States, Kentucky and Maryland (by just 53 votes).  Roosevelt carried three Border States—Delaware, Missouri, and West Virginia (home of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Henry G. Davis)—and the nation’s 29 other states.  Had the votes of blacks not been suppressed in the South, the president might have carried a number of those states as well. 

Roosevelt also had coattails in 1904 that extended to the local level.  For the first time, the Republican Party elected a majority of over 100 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Roosevelt was very pleased that he had won a presidential term in his own right.  Shortly after the election, he announced that he would abide by the “wise custom which limits the president to two terms” and would “under no circumstances … be a candidate for or accept another nomination.”  He would later change his mind and unsuccessfully seek a third term in 1912.

Sources consulted:  Paul F. Boller Jr., Presidential Campaigns (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1984); Robert J. Dinkin, Campaigning in America:  A History of Election Practices (Westport, CT:  Greenwood Press, 1989); Lewis L. Gould, The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt  (Lawrence, Kansas:  University Press of Kansas, 1991); William H. Harbaugh, “Election of 1904,” in History of American Presidential Elections, ed. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., New York:  Chelsea House Publishers, 1985; Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New York:  Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc., 1979); and, Gil Troy, See How They Ran:  The Changing Role of the Presidential Candidate (New York:  The Free Press, 1991).

 

 
 
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