1896 United States presidential election in Idaho

The 1896 United States presidential election in Idaho took place on November 3, 1896. All contemporary 45 states were part of the 1896 United States presidential election. Idaho voters chose three electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

United States presidential election in Idaho, 1896

← 1892 November 3, 1896 1900 →
  WilliamJBryan1902.png William McKinley by Courtney Art Studio, 1896.jpg
Nominee William J. Bryan William McKinley
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Nebraska Ohio
Running mate Arthur Sewall Garret Hobart
Electoral vote 3 0
Popular vote 23,135 6,314
Percentage 78.10% 21.32%

President before election

Grover Cleveland
Democratic

Elected President

William McKinley
Republican

BackgroundEdit

Idaho, upon its organization as a territory overwhelmingly Democratic,[1] had been increasingly dominated by the Republican Party in the years leading up to statehood, as ex-Southern and Mormon mining settlers were increasingly outweighed by those from the Midwest.[2] The state Democratic Party would regroup and its pro-silver, anti-Mormon faction under Marshal Fred T. Dubois would bring the state into the Union in the late 1880s.[1]

Upon statehood, Idaho was shaken by a wave of strikes in the silver-mining regions[3] and even deeper conflict whereby an idled ore concentrator was destroyed in Gem.[4] This, alongside opposition to Republican Governor Norman Bushnell Willey’s declaration of martial law upon the miners, and against the absentee ownership of Idaho's land and water,[5] would turn the state's electorate strongly towards the Populist leader James B. Weaver, who carried the state in 1892 in an election where Gold Democrat and former President Grover Cleveland was not even on the ballot.

As the 1896 election approached, it was clear that silver politics would be the determining factor in Idaho's vote,[6] and that the state would not vote for any candidate opposing free silver. Senator Fred T. Dubois, who had been a critical player in giving Idaho statehood,[1] confirmed this in June. When William Jennings Bryan gained the Democratic nomination on a platform favouring the coinage of silver at 16:1 relative to gold, the Populist Party supported him throughout the country.[7] To absolutely squash any doubts as to where Idaho's electoral votes would go, Dubois, realizing the vital importance, of silver, crossed lines to make Bryan the “Republican”[a] candidate,[8] although the Republican State Convention was to endorse and place on the ballot national nominees William McKinley and Garrett Hobart.[9]

VoteEdit

Idaho was won by the Democratic/Populist nominees, William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska and his running mate Arthur Sewall of Maine. Bryan won every county, and only in three of twenty-one did McKinley crack a quarter of the vote. Despite half a century of overwhelming Republican dominance, no presidential nominee had equalled Bryan's performance in the state.

ResultsEdit

United States presidential election in Idaho, 1896[10]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic William Jennings Bryan 23,135 78.10% 3
Republican William McKinley 6,314 21.32% 0
Prohibition Joshua Levering 172 0.58% 0
Totals 29,621 100.00% 3
Voter turnout

Results by countyEdit

William Jennings Bryan
Democratic
William McKinley
Republican
Joshua Levering
Prohibition
Margin Total votes cast[11]
County # % # % # % # % #
Ada 1,531 63.55% 851 35.33% 27 1.12% 680 28.23% 2,409
Bannock 1,363 85.29% 228 14.27% 7 0.44% 1,135 71.03% 1,598
Bear Lake 851 77.29% 249 22.62% 1 0.09% 602 54.68% 1,101
Bingham 1,232 85.56% 194 13.47% 14 0.97% 1,038 72.08% 1,440
Blaine 1,228 95.19% 59 4.57% 3 0.23% 1,169 90.62% 1,290
Boise 862 78.87% 226 20.68% 5 0.46% 636 58.19% 1,093
Canyon 1,178 78.38% 303 20.16% 22 1.46% 875 58.22% 1,503
Cassia 579 81.43% 129 18.14% 3 0.42% 450 63.29% 711
Custer 599 95.08% 29 4.60% 2 0.32% 570 90.48% 630
Elmore 535 81.06% 124 18.79% 1 0.15% 411 62.27% 660
Fremont 1,526 92.21% 121 7.31% 8 0.48% 1,405 84.89% 1,655
Idaho 1,127 74.59% 377 24.95% 7 0.46% 750 49.64% 1,511
Kootenai 1,432 80.49% 334 18.77% 13 0.73% 1,098 61.72% 1,779
Latah 1,870 64.00% 1,036 35.46% 16 0.55% 834 28.54% 2,922
Lemhi 1,065 83.92% 202 15.92% 2 0.16% 863 68.01% 1,269
Lincoln 305 80.26% 74 19.47% 1 0.26% 231 60.79% 380
Nez Perce 1,089 60.97% 675 37.79% 22 1.23% 414 23.18% 1,786
Oneida 1,092 77.23% 315 22.28% 7 0.50% 777 54.95% 1,414
Owyhee 1,140 92.16% 97 7.84% 0 0.00% 1,043 84.32% 1,237
Shoshone 1,760 77.84% 497 21.98% 4 0.18% 1,263 55.86% 2,261
Washington 828 79.62% 204 19.62% 8 0.77% 624 60.00% 1,040
Totals 23,192 78.12% 6,324 21.30% 173 0.58% 16,868 56.82% 29,689

NotesEdit

  1. ^ More formally the “Silver Republican” nominee, as Idaho’s state convention did endorse McKinley.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Owens, Kenneth N.; ‘Pattern and Structure in Western Territorial Politics’; Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 4 (October 1970), pp. 373-392
  2. ^ Weatherby, James B. and Stapilus, Randy; Governing Idaho: Politics, People and Power, pp. 35-36 ISBN 0870045210
  3. ^ Kennedy, David M. and Cohen, Lizabeth; American Pageant, Volume 2, p. 506 ISBN 1305537416
  4. ^ Schwantes, Carlos A.; The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History, p. 343
  5. ^ Larson, Robert W.; ‘Populism in the Mountain West: A Mainstream Movement’; Western Historical Quarterly, vol. 13, no. 2 (April 1982), pp. 143-164
  6. ^ Johnson, Claudius O.; ‘The Story of Silver Politics in Idaho, 1892-1902’; The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 3 (July 1942), pp. 283-296
  7. ^ Case, Matthew H. and Sprague, Alan F. (1982); Northwest Frontier, p. 257
  8. ^ The Society (1974); State Historic Preservation Plan, Idaho, Volume 1, p. 72
  9. ^ Beal, Merrill D. and Wells; Merle W. (1959); History of Idaho - Volume 2, p. 438
  10. ^ Dave Leip's U.S. Election Atlas; 1896 Presidential General Election Results – Idaho
  11. ^ Robinson, Edgar Eugene; The Presidential Vote 1896-1932, pp. 174-177 ISBN 9780804716963