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1932 United States presidential election in Massachusetts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1932 United States presidential election in Massachusetts

← 1928 November 8, 1932 1936 →
Turnout69.5%[1] Decrease 4.5 pp
FDR in 1933.jpg
President Hoover portrait.jpg
Nominee Franklin D. Roosevelt Herbert Hoover
Party Democratic Republican
Home state New York California
Running mate John N. Garner Charles Curtis
Electoral vote 17 0
Popular vote 800,148 736,959
Percentage 50.64% 46.64%

Massachusetts Presidential Election Results 1932.svg
County Results

President before election

Herbert Hoover

Elected President

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The 1932 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 8, 1932, as part of the 1932 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose 17 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Massachusetts voted for the Democratic nominee, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York, over the Republican nominee, incumbent President Herbert Hoover of California. Roosevelt ran with Speaker of the House John Nance Garner of Texas, and Hoover ran with incumbent Vice President Charles Curtis of Kansas.

Roosevelt carried the state with 50.64% of the vote to Hoover’s 46.64%, a Democratic victory margin of 4.00%. Socialist candidate Norman Thomas came in a distant third, with 2.17%.

Massachusetts had once been a typical Yankee Republican bastion in the wake of the Civil War, voting Republican in every election from 1856 until 1924, except in 1912, when former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt had run as a third party candidate against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft, splitting the Republican vote and allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win Massachusetts with a plurality of only 35.53% of the vote.

In 1920 and 1924, Republicans had carried Massachusetts by landslide margins, sweeping every county in the state, including a GOP victory in the city of Boston.

However, in 1928, a coalition of Irish Catholic and other ethnic immigrant voters primarily based in urban areas turned out massively for Catholic Democrat Al Smith,[2] making Massachusetts and neighboring Rhode Island the only states outside of the Solid South to vote Democratic that year, as Herbert Hoover won a third consecutive Republican landslide nationally. After 1912, 1928 was only the second time in history that Massachusetts had voted Democratic, and with 50.24% of the vote, Al Smith became the first Democratic presidential candidate ever to win a majority of the vote in Massachusetts.

Although Roosevelt was not a Catholic, the key to his victory in Massachusetts in 1932 was building on Smith’s winning coalition, and bringing ethnic Catholic voters into the broader Democratic coalition. With the embattled incumbent President Hoover failing to adequately address the Great Depression, economic issues would motivate 1928 Smith voters to remain loyal to the Democrats in 1932.

However the state was still closely divided between the newly emerging Democratic majority coalition, and its traditional New England Republican roots, and consequently Massachusetts was one of FDR’s weakest victories. New England as a whole was Hoover's most favorable region, as 4 of Hoover's six state victories came from New England. So although FDR performed much more strongly than Smith nationwide, he only slightly outperformed Smith in Massachusetts. Thus as Roosevelt was elected nationally in a landslide, Massachusetts weighed in as about 14% more Republican than the national average.

As Roosevelt won the state with the same coalition that had propelled Al Smith to victory four years earlier, the county map in 1932 remained exactly the same as it was in 1928, with only percentages, margins, and turnout shifting. Roosevelt won the state despite carrying only 4 of the state’s 14 counties. The most vital component to Roosevelt’s victory was the Democratic dominance in Suffolk County, home to the state's capital and largest city, Boston. Like Smith, Roosevelt took over 60% of the vote in Suffolk County. Another crucial victory for Roosevelt was in Hampden County, home to the city of Springfield. The remaining two counties that went to FDR were Bristol County, south of the Boston area, and rural Berkshire County in the far west of the state.


1932 United States presidential election in Massachusetts[3]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt 800,148 50.64% 17
Republican Herbert Hoover 736,959 46.64% 0
Socialist Norman Thomas 34,305 2.17% 0
Communist William Z. Foster 4,821 0.31% 0
Socialist Labor Verne L. Reynolds 2,668 0.17% 0
Prohibition William Upshaw 1,142 0.07% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 71 0.00% 0
Totals 1,580,114 100.00% 17

Results by county

County Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Herbert Clark Hoover
Various candidates
Other parties
Total votes cast[4]
# % # % # %
Barnstable 3,829 28.31% 9,476 70.05% 222 1.64% 13,527
Berkshire 23,252 48.22% 23,186 48.08% 1,782 3.70% 48,220
Bristol 62,474 53.55% 50,846 43.58% 3355 2.88% 116,675
Dukes 583 30.16% 1,330 68.80% 20 1.03% 1,933
Essex 91,787 47.55% 95,277 49.36% 5954 3.08% 193,018
Franklin 6,248 31.64% 13,040 66.04% 459 2.32% 19,747
Hampden 63,189 51.11% 55,032 44.52% 5402 4.37% 123,623
Hampshire 12,332 45.90% 13,241 49.28% 1296 4.82% 26,869
Middlesex 174,257 47.65% 184,486 50.45% 6957 1.90% 365,700
Nantucket 561 40.65% 812 58.84% 7 0.51% 1,380
Norfolk 49,121 38.63% 75,232 59.17% 2793 2.20% 127,146
Plymouth 26,137 39.76% 37,729 57.39% 1878 2.86% 65,744
Suffolk 198,792 67.15% 88,737 29.97% 8532 2.88% 296,061
Worcester 87,586 48.55% 88,535 49.08% 4279 2.37% 180,400
Totals 800,148 50.64% 736,959 46.64% 43,007 2.72% 1,580,114

See also


  1. ^ Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, part 2, p. 1072.
  2. ^ Gamm, Gerald H.; The Making of the New Deal Democrats: Voting Behavior and Realignment in Boston, 1920-1940, pp. 81-84 ISBN 0226280616
  3. ^ "1932 Presidential General Election Results - Massachusetts". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  4. ^ Robinson, Edgar Eugene; The Presidential Vote; 1896-1932 (second edition); pp. 226-227 Published 1947 by Stanford University Press
This page was last edited on 27 March 2021, at 00:10
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