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Distribution of votes in the 1920 US presidential election

Published by Statista Research Department,
The 1920 US presidential election was the the first contested election following the First World War, and the first where women had the right to vote in all US states. The race was fought between Warren G. Harding of the Republican Party and James M. Cox of the Democratic Party. Incumbent President Wilson had hoped to be nominated for a third term, but the Democratic Party were worried that he was too unpopular and not fit enough to lead again (due to his stroke in 1919), while the Republican Party had hoped to re-nominate Theodore Roosevelt, however he passed away in 1919. For these reasons, both parties nominated relatively unknown candidates, both from the swing state of Ohio. Both of the candidates' running mates would also go on to become president themselves, they were Calvin Coolidge and Franklin D. Roosevelt.


The campaign was fought mostly on economic issues as a post-war recession kicked in, as well as foreign policy relating to decisions made by Wilson during the war. Harding won the election in a landslide, taking 76 percent of the electoral votes and carrying 37 out of 48 states (including Tennessee, which was the first time a Republican President took an ex-Confederate state since Reconstruction ended). Harding's winning margin in the popular vote (26.2 percent) is also the largest winning margin in any election since 1820.

Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 34th US presidential election in 1920

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Release date



United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Actual number of electoral votes:
Warren G. Harding - 404
James M. Cox - 127
Eugene V. Debs - 0

**Actual number of popular votes:
Warren G. Harding - 16,153,115
James M. Cox - 9,133,092
Eugene V. Debs - 913,693

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