1948 Presidential Election

The United States presidential election of 1948 is considered by most historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction (with or without public opinion polls) indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. Truman won, overcoming a three-way split in his own party. Truman's surprise victory was the fifth consecutive win for the Democratic Party in a presidential election. As a result of the 1948 congressional election, the Democrats would regain control of both houses of Congress. Thus, Truman's election confirmed the Democratic Party's status as the nation's majority party, a status they would retain until 1952.

Source: Wikipedia

1948 Election Results

Candidate Party Electoral Votes Popular Votes
Harry S. Truman (I) Democratic 303 24,105,695
Thomas E. Dewey Republican 189 21,969,170
J. Strom Thurmond States' Rights Democratic 39 1,169,021
Henry Wallace Progressive 0 1,157,328

1948 Election Facts

  • 22nd Amendment ratified in this cycle: Limits Presidents to two elected terms
  • Thurmond nominated by splinter group of Southern Democrats upset over Civil Rights in Democratic platform
  • Progressive candidate Henry A. Wallace received 1,157,172 votes, but no Electoral Votes
  • Truman won Tennessee; however one elector cast a vote for Thurmond
  • Issues of the Day: Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift