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Election of 1956: Eisenhower wins Re-election

The election of 1956 ended up a rematch between the presidential candidates of 1952. The 1956 Democratic Convention met in Chicago in mid-August. Adlai E. Stevenson was seeking renomination. Former president Truman, who had supported Stevenson in 1952, switched his position in 1956 and backed W. Averill Harriman, governor New York. However, no longer a sitting president, Truman did not have the influence necessary and the convention picked Stevenson on the first ballot.

The vice-presidential contest had future implications. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts actively sought the nomination, but it was instead given to Kefauver.

CBS news assigned two reporters to work the Democratic convention, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. The two of them were so well received that they were then given their own news program, the Huntley-Brinkley Report, which ran for many years.

The big question with respect to the Republican nomination was whether Eisenhower's health would permit him to run again. He had suffered a heart attack the previous September and had been obliged to slow his schedule and take time to recuperate. After receiving the opinion of his doctors that he was capable of continuing an active live, Eisenhower announced on February 28, 1956, that he would seek a second term.

The 1956 Republican convention offered little drama. It met in the following week at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and renominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice-president.

The campaign was uneventful. Eisenhower had ended the war in Korea and was presiding over a period of prosperity. Despite concerns over Eisenhower's health, the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket carried all but seven of the then-48 states. Alaska and Hawaii would both become states before the 1960 election.

In Congress, the Republican were not as fortunate. They continued to trail the Democrats in the Senate by two seats after the November 6, 1956 election day, and the margin in the House was actually two seats wider (234 to 201) after the election.

Election of 1956
Candidates
Party Electoral
Vote
Popular
Vote
Dwight D. Eisenhower (NY)
Richard M. Nixon (CA)
Republican 457 35,581,003
Adlai E. Stevenson (IL)
Estes Kefauver (TN)
Democratic 73 25,738,765
Walter B. Jones (AL) Democratic? 1 ...


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