1912 Republican National Convention

1912 Republican National Convention

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1912 Republican National Convention

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The 1912 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held at the Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois, from June 18 to June 22, 1912. The party nominated William Howard Taft from Ohio for re-election as President of the United States and James S. Sherman of New York for re-election as Vice President.

Sherman died days before the election, and was replaced as Republican vice-presidential nominee by Nicholas M. Butler of New York.

Party power struggle

This convention marked the beginning of a split in the party, resulting from a power struggle between incumbent Taft and former president Theodore Roosevelt. This was the first year for Republican primaries. Roosevelt overwhelmingly won the primaries — winning 9 out of 12 states (8 by landslide margins). Taft won only the state of Massachusetts (by a small margin); he even lost his home state of Ohio to Roosevelt. Senator Robert M. La Follette, a reformer, won two states. Through the primaries, Senator LaFollette won a total of 36 delegates; President Taft won 48 delegates; and Roosevelt won 278 delegates. However 36 states did not hold primaries. Their delegates were chosen by state conventions, which were controlled by party politics, not by the voter. Many of the state delegates were contested.

Taft controlled the Republican National Committee, which had the power to make decisions on contested delegates. They awarded 235 of the contested delegates to Taft and 19 to Roosevelt. As a...
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