The Election of 1956

The election of 1956, 48 states were in the union at that time and
Dwight Eisenhower was president. Even though Eisenhower had
not made and major changes during his first term he was still the
publics for choice for the next election. In a poll taken in 1954,
65% of Americans had approved of the job he was doing. Some
critics reflected his as lazy. Saying he rather be golfing, one of his
own speech writers once described his as an “oaf”. But never the
less he was unanimously nominated for the Republican ticket in
1956 along with Richard Nixon for vice president, who won with

457 electoral votes and 57.6% of the popular vote. For the

Democrats Adlai E. Stevensons was anomously nominated and

excepted the nomination. This campaign was won of the calmest

in American history, for the same candidates ran in the election of

1952. Not many people thought the democrats even had a

chance against Eisenhower. at a picnic at Eisenhowers’ farm in

Gettysburg, where he officially began his campaign, He addressed

the leaders attending on the top two issues: his health and

Richard Nixons place on the ticket. He assured them he felt fine.

And Richard Nixon assured them he would be able to fulfill the

duties of president.Dwight Eisenhower was one of the most

popular American leaders. British General Bernard C.

Montgomery, who had fought in the war with Eisenhower is

quoted saying “He merely had to smile at you and you trusted in

him at once”. As a great World War II General people saw him as

a sign of hope for peace in the post war era. He was elected in to

office in 1952 by and overwhelming margin and an even greater

one in 1956. In the 1956 election people were sure he would be

re-elected, but they were not sure if he would accept the

Republican parties nomination. Eisenhower suffers some medical

difficulties, but always came back to tell the people he would

seek re-election. Eisenhower did seek re-election and had won by

a landslide getting 457 electoral votes compared to the democrats

73 elector votes. This was the last election to use the

Whistle-stop campaign technique. Both parties had campaigned

steadily, but it was rare

to see a change in polls. During the campaign the top problems

facing the nation were threat of war and foreign policy. Civil

rights along with the high cost of living and agricultural problems

didn’t fall far behind. People of America for the most part

supported Eisenhower as a man and Stevenson as the democratic

party. The republican party did not even control the house after

the election. Which shows how much people trusted in

Eisenhower as a person more then for being Republican.

Eisenhowers’ platform was “peace and prosperity”. His a

few of his concerns were foreign policy and national defense,

space exploration, civil rights and NATO. The democratic

platforms were pretty much the same except the we for

disarmament. They were for stopping testing of the H-bomb.

In October of 1957 two major crises occurred which

certainly helped increase the American peoples confidence in

Eisenhower. First the Leader of Egypt nationalized the Suez

Canal, which caused great Britain, France, and Israel to attack

Egypt. Eisenhower helps form a cease-fire. And the citizens of

Hungary tried to over throw the communist government there. In

turn the Soviet Union sent troops to support the dictator there.

Eisenhower resisted challenging the Soviets.

There wasn’t much Stevenson could to win vote the

American people were pretty solid on re-electing President

Eisenhower for a second term. He had a strong running in

African-American districts which was odd for a republican at that

time. It was the first time in history that a to way presidential race

that the presidential party did not win the house majority also.

Eisenhowers’ campaign was full of items, they had

everything from pantyhose to umbrellas, bearing the “I Like Ike”

and other slogans. The American people apparenty believed in

Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Students Atlas Of American Presidential Elections (1789-1996)
Congressional Quarterly Incc., Washington DC 1997

Dwight D. Eisenhower,

Eisenhower Presidential Library