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.
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
(New York: The Free Press, 1991).