June 12, 1920: Republicans Nominate Harding


As the Republican National Convention opened in Chicago on June 8, 1920 the race for the Presidential nomination was wide open.  In order to clinch the nomination 471 ballots were needed.  The first ballot showed General Leonard Wood in the lead with 287.5 votes, followed by Governor Frank Lowden of Illinois with 211.5 votes, Governor Hiram Johnson of California with 133 votes, Governor William C. Sproul of Pennsylvania with 84 votes, Nicholas Murray Butler with 69. 5 votes, and, in sixth place, Senator Warren G. Harding with 65.5 votes, and the remaining votes divided among minor candidates with Calvin Coolidge, Governor of Massachusetts leading the small fry with 34 votes.  The next seven ballots were a dogfight between Wood and Lowden, with neither man being able to get much beyond 300 delegates, far below the count needed for the nomination.

The balloting stretch over two days.  Party leaders worked behind the scenes to find a candidate acceptable to both the conservative and progressive wings of the party.  This was a role perfect for the affable Warren G. Harding.  On the ninth ballot he shot up to 374.5 votes, thanks to the defection of more than half of Frank Lowden’s vote.  On the tenth ballot on June 12 he won the nomination with 692.2 votes, with Wood a distant second with 156 votes.

Published in: on June 12, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on June 12, 1920: Republicans Nominate Harding