WKU Historian Reflects on Importance of 1912 Election

Sep 12, 2012

As the American people witness developments in this year's presidential campaign, the Dean of WKU's Potter College says its a good time to think about a hotly-contested campaign that took place one hundred years ago. Dr. David Lee says that election became a four-way race, with three of the candidates being individuals who had been-- or would become--President of the United States. Dr. Lee says 1912 may have marked the high water point for independent candidacies in the U.S.

Theodore Roosevelt's "Bull Moose Party" and Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs drew thousands of votes away from the Democratic and Republican candidates.

Dr. Lee says it took more than forty ballots for  Woodrow Wilson to win  the nomination of the Democratic Party. Wilson won the general election in 1912 with a relatively small percentage of the vote.