7/11/1916 America goes to the polls

In the United States of America voters are choosing a president for the next four years, as well as electing a host of other offices. The Democrat incumbent Woodrow Wilson is seeking re-election but is facing a strong challenge from the Republican candidate, Charles E. Hughes. There are also some other candidates from minor parties.

Wilson is campaigning under the slogan “He kept us out of the war”. Americans look across the Atlantic with dismay at the conflagration sweeping Europe. Many Americans are sympathetic to the Allies, thanks to well-publicised German atrocities in Belgium and U-boat attacks on civilian ships, but most people want nothing to with the war. Wilson’s campaign therefore strikes a chord with many voters. Hughes meanwhile is not advocating an American entry into the war, but he has talked of the need for the country to be more militarily prepared.

Hughes tries to hurt Wilson by highlighting US intervention in the ongoing Mexican civil war. He also criticises pro-labour laws supported by Wilson, but this backfires as many industrial workers are strong supporters of these laws.

As polls close across the country it is clear that the race is still tight. Because of America’s eccentric electoral system, victory will go to whoever manages to carry California. This state however is closely split between the two main candidates, so it will be some time before the definite result is known.

image sources:

Wilson campaigning in New Jersey (Wisconsin Historical Society)

Campaign train for Hughes

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