100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Democratic National Convention Struggles For Nomination

The Democratic National Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland is in the midst of the presidential nomination with the two contenders being Speaker of the House James “Champ” Clark of Missouri and governor of New Jersey Woodrow Wilson.

Two days ago, on the first ballot Clark received 440½ votes, New Wilson 324, Judson Harmon 148, Oscar Underwood 117½ and Thomas R. Marshall 31. 13 more ballots were taken without any candidate receiving the 2/3rds majority of delegates. Much politicking and backroom deals are taking place with former Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan emerging as a powerful figure.

Yesterday Clark moved closer to the Democratic nomination for President when a shift of New York’s votes gave him 556 of the 1,094 delegates more than all of the other candidates combined, but still short of the two-thirds (730) needed to win. Bryan, a progressive, detested New York’s Tammany Hall political machine which he had fought against along with Wall Street when he was championing “free silver” over the “gold standard”. In reaction to the backing of such a corrupt group of delegates, Bryan finally decides and urges all his supporters to back Wilson.

On June 30, 1912 after the 30th ballot Wilson edged ahead of Clark for the first time with 460 votes to 455 as the Iowa delegation swung its support to Wilson. On the next ballot Wilson’s lead was 475 1/2 to 446.

1912 Democratic National convention – Baltimore, Maryland
June 1912

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