1950 Georgia gubernatorial election

The 1950 Georgia gubernatorial election was held on November 7, 1950. Incumbent governor Herman Talmadge won the Democratic primary over Melvin Thompson on June 28 with 49.33% of the vote and 295 out of 410 county unit votes. The primary was a rematch of the 1948 special election. This would be the last gubernatorial rematch in the state until 2022.

1950 Georgia Democratic gubernatorial primary

← 1948 (special) June 28, 1950 1954 →

410 county unit votes
206 unit votes needed to win
Nominee Herman Talmadge Melvin E. Thompson
Party Democratic Democratic
Electoral vote 295 115
Popular vote 287,637 279,137
Percentage 49.33% 47.88%

County results
Talmadge:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%
     80-90%      >90%
Tie:      40–50%
Thompson:      40-50%      50-60%      60-70%

Governor before election

Herman Talmadge

Elected Governor

Herman Talmadge

At this time, Georgia was a one-party state, and the Democratic nomination was tantamount to victory. Talmadge was re-elected in the November general election without an opponent.

Democratic primary edit

County unit system edit

From 1917 until 1962, the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Georgia used a voting system called the county unit system to determine victors in statewide primary elections.[1]

The system was ostensibly designed to function similarly to the Electoral College, but in practice the large ratio of unit votes for small, rural counties to unit votes for more populous urban areas provided outsized political influence to the smaller counties.[2][3]

Under the county unit system, the 159 counties in Georgia were divided by population into three categories. The largest eight counties were classified as "Urban", the next-largest 30 counties were classified as "Town", and the remaining 121 counties were classified as "Rural". Urban counties were given 6 unit votes, Town counties were given 4 unit votes, and Rural counties were given 2 unit votes, for a total of 410 available unit votes. Each county's unit votes were awarded on a winner-take-all basis.[2][3]

Candidates were required to obtain a majority of unit votes (not necessarily a majority of the popular vote), or 206 total unit votes, to win the election. If no candidate received a majority in the initial primary, a runoff election was held between the top two candidates to determine a winner.[4]

Candidates edit

Results edit

CandidatePopular voteCounty unit vote
Herman Talmadge287,63749.3329571.95
Melvin Thompson279,13747.8811528.05
C. O. Baker10,2501.76
Pat Avery3,0500.52
J. W. Jenkins2,9630.51
Source: [5]

General election edit

Results edit

1950 Georgia gubernatorial election[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Herman Talmadge (incumbent) 230,771 98.44%  0.87
Independent Morgan Blake 3,325 1.42% N/A
N/A Write-ins 334 0.14%  0.13
Majority 227,446 97.02
Turnout 234,430
Democratic hold Swing

References edit

  1. ^ "County Unit System". Georgia County Clerks Association. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Eugene Talmadge". The Jim Crow Encyclopedia. The African American Experience. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "County Unit System, eh?". Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. October 6, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  4. ^ Buchanan, Scott (June 13, 2017). "County Unit System". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  5. ^ "Our Campaigns - GA Governor -D Primary". www.ourcampaigns.com.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - GA Governor Race - Nov 07, 1950". www.ourcampaigns.com.