He Was Being Progressive

By | Jun 22, 2012

Theodore Roosevelt’s hand picked successor William Howard Taft turned out to be not the President that Roosevelt had expected. So Roosevelt had a change of opinion and decided that he wanted to have another term as President and ran as a candidate for the Republican Party in 1912.

On June 22, 1912 at the Republican National Convention held in Chicago, the party decided that the Presidential incumbent should run for reelection. Roosevelt and his supporters left the convention that evening and by August the Progressive Party was form with Roosevelt as their nominee. Many called the party the Bull Moose Party because of Roosevelt.

Roosevelt was not the only person to run for office under the Progressive banner. A number of US House of Representatives and Senate seat had Progressive candidates with a number of winners.

Woodrow Wilson was the candidate for the Democratic Party and he won the election. Roosevelt was second with President Taft coming in a distant third. There are varying opinions on whether the fracture of the Republican Party gave Wilson the election most say that the Democrats had nominated their own progressive candidate and Wilson would have won regardless.

The 1914 elections found a number of offices with Progressive candidates, but the party was already in a decline and few won. When Roosevelt refused to accept the party’s nomination for President in 1916, it was the end of the short lived Progressive Party.

Two other times there has been candidates for President for a Progressive Party. The first was in 1924 when Robert M. LaFollette, Sr. ran as a Progressive. This Progressive Party could be considered a by-product of Roosevelt’s Progressive Party while when Henry A. Wallace ran as a Progressive in 1948 there were no connections.


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