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1956 United States presidential election in Mississippi

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The 1956 United States presidential election in Mississippi was held on November 6, 1956. Mississippi voters chose eight representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.


← 1952 November 6, 1956 1960 →

All eight Mississippi votes to the Electoral College
  AdlaiEStevenson1900-1965.jpg Dwight David Eisenhower, photo portrait by Bachrach, 1952.jpg
Nominee Adlai Stevenson Dwight D. Eisenhower Unpledged electors
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Home state Illinois Pennsylvania[a][1]
Running mate Estes Kefauver Richard Nixon
Electoral vote 8 0 0
Popular vote 144,453 60,685 42,966
Percentage 58.22% 24.46% 17.32%

President before election

Dwight Eisenhower
Republican

Elected President

Dwight Eisenhower
Republican

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Ever since the end of Reconstruction, Mississippi had been a one-party state dominated by the Democratic Party. The Republican Party was virtually nonexistent as a result of disenfranchisement among African Americans and poor whites, including voter intimidation against those who refused to vote Democrat.

From the time of Henry A. Wallace's appointment as Vice-President and the 1943 Detroit race riots,[2] however, the northern left wing of the Democratic Party became committed to restoring black political rights,[3] a policy vehemently opposed by all Southern Democrats as an infringement upon "states' rights". Consequently, the four states with the highest proportions of (disenfranchised) African-Americans in the populations listed South Carolina Governor James Strom Thurmond instead of national Democratic nominee Harry S. Truman as the "Democratic" nominee in the 1948 Presidential election. Although Thurmond easily carried South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, Truman won the election.

Nevertheless, demands for civil rights legislation continued to intensify during the following eight years, although the pressing issue of the Korean War meant that Southern Democrats did not run a third-party ticket in 1952;[4] however dissatisfaction with Democrat Adlai Stevenson on civil rights meant Dwight Eisenhower (listed as an "Independent" on the 1952 Mississippi ballot)[5] gained considerable support from the exclusively white electorate of black belt counties,[6] despite having a virtually identical position on civil rights.[4]

After the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954, however, Mississippi's rulers realized they could not rely on either major party to enforce segregation and white supremacy. The Citizens' Councils sought to map a regional caucus to deal with this issue, but it feared a split as had occurred in 1948.[7] Nevertheless, the Citizens' Councils did place a slate of unpledged electors on the ballot alongside Eisenhower and Stevenson electors.

VoteEdit

Ultimately Mississippi was to vote for Stevenson by a convincing margin of 33.76 percent, as the 1952 Eisenhower vote in the black belt was substantially turned over to the unpledged slate, whilst Stevenson held almost all of the vote he received in 1952. Mississippi was Stevenson's second-strongest state behind Georgia, and in terms of popular vote Eisenhower's weakest.

As of the 2016 presidential election, 1956 would nonetheless remain the last election where a Democrat has gained a majority of the vote in Mississippi. The party's increasing embrace of civil rights for blacks would turn the state over to another unpledged slate in 1960, then overwhelmingly to the anti-Civil Rights Act of 1964 candidate Goldwater in 1964. Despite the enfranchisement of the state's blacks via the Voting Rights Act, the majority white population would overwhelmingly move toward the Republican Party. Since 1965 only Jimmy Carter in 1976 has carried Mississippi for the Democratic Party – and even Southern Evangelical Carter's performance was his third-weakest in the extended South[b] behind his narrow losses in Virginia and Oklahoma.

No Democratic presidential nominee has carried the following counties since Stevenson did so in this election: Lamar, Lauderdale, Lincoln, Lowndes, Newton, Rankin, Scott and Simpson.[8] Stevenson is also the last Democrat to carry Clarke County outright, but Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan tied there with 3,303 votes apiece in 1980.[9] Oktibbeha County would not vote Democratic again until Barack Obama carried it in 2008.

ResultsEdit

United States presidential election in Mississippi, 1956[10]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democrat Adlai Stevenson II 144,498 58.23% 8
Mississippi Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower 60,685 24.46% 0
Independent Unpledged electors 42,966 17.31% 0
Totals 248,149 100.00% 8

Results by countyEdit

County Stevenson# Stevenson% Eisenhower# Eisenhower% Unpledged# Unpledged% Total votes cast[11]
Adams 1,279 31.24% 1,664 40.64% 1,151 28.11% 4,094
Alcorn 3,143 77.19% 827 20.31% 102 2.50% 4,072
Amite 802 46.74% 255 14.86% 659 38.40% 1,716
Attala 1,793 67.46% 445 16.74% 420 15.80% 2,658
Benton 786 83.26% 108 11.44% 50 5.30% 944
Bolivar 1,176 33.49% 754 21.48% 1,581 45.03% 3,511
Calhoun 1,763 79.52% 301 13.58% 153 6.90% 2,217
Carroll 1,080 69.63% 234 15.09% 237 15.28% 1,551
Chickasaw 1,650 80.25% 231 11.24% 175 8.51% 2,056
Choctaw 1,117 79.56% 221 15.74% 66 4.70% 1,404
Claiborne 339 41.24% 191 23.24% 292 35.52% 822
Clarke 1,763 73.24% 500 20.77% 144 5.98% 2,407
Clay 1,225 54.52% 410 18.25% 612 27.24% 2,247
Coahoma 1,677 50.83% 1,082 32.80% 540 16.37% 3,299
Copiah 1,270 55.12% 387 16.80% 647 28.08% 2,304
Covington 1,382 67.38% 386 18.82% 283 13.80% 2,051
DeSoto 1,236 66.96% 398 21.56% 212 11.48% 1,846
Forrest 1,928 32.06% 2,256 37.52% 1,829 30.42% 6,013
Franklin 862 55.83% 177 11.46% 505 32.71% 1,544
George 1,150 69.24% 403 24.26% 108 6.50% 1,661
Greene 734 59.72% 351 28.56% 144 11.72% 1,229
Grenada 949 43.37% 407 18.60% 832 38.03% 2,188
Hancock 1,179 44.09% 1,421 53.14% 74 2.77% 2,674
Harrison 6,549 50.37% 5,742 44.17% 710 5.46% 13,001
Hinds 7,104 35.03% 7,015 34.59% 6,159 30.37% 20,278
Holmes 872 40.77% 215 10.05% 1,052 49.18% 2,139
Humphreys 576 44.51% 127 9.81% 591 45.67% 1,294
Issaquena 172 59.52% 42 14.53% 75 25.95% 289
Itawamba 2,310 86.68% 298 11.18% 57 2.14% 2,665
Jackson 3,882 56.21% 2,692 38.98% 332 4.81% 6,906
Jasper 1,958 80.08% 287 11.74% 200 8.18% 2,445
Jefferson 440 45.74% 189 19.65% 333 34.62% 962
Jefferson Davis 1,049 73.41% 156 10.92% 224 15.68% 1,429
Jones 5,137 62.17% 2,463 29.81% 663 8.02% 8,263
Kemper 1,586 87.00% 173 9.49% 64 3.51% 1,823
Lafayette 1,968 72.86% 575 21.29% 158 5.85% 2,701
Lamar 805 46.86% 429 24.97% 484 28.17% 1,718
Lauderdale 5,414 59.32% 2,817 30.86% 896 9.82% 9,127
Lawrence 1,025 67.48% 276 18.17% 218 14.35% 1,519
Leake 2,475 82.53% 220 7.34% 304 10.14% 2,999
Lee 3,883 75.30% 929 18.01% 345 6.69% 5,157
Leflore 1,769 49.30% 887 24.72% 932 25.98% 3,588
Lincoln 1,942 51.47% 848 22.48% 983 26.05% 3,773
Lowndes 2,308 55.94% 1,205 29.21% 613 14.86% 4,126
Madison 996 41.59% 377 15.74% 1,022 42.67% 2,395
Marion 1,751 57.75% 611 20.15% 670 22.10% 3,032
Marshall 1,192 70.37% 287 16.94% 215 12.69% 1,694
Monroe 3,630 78.50% 705 15.25% 289 6.25% 4,624
Montgomery 1,134 63.74% 278 15.63% 367 20.63% 1,779
Neshoba 2,827 77.90% 502 13.83% 300 8.27% 3,629
Newton 2,359 75.46% 360 11.52% 407 13.02% 3,126
Noxubee 690 52.27% 257 19.47% 373 28.26% 1,320
Oktibbeha 1,552 58.79% 702 26.59% 386 14.62% 2,640
Panola 1,741 66.17% 519 19.73% 371 14.10% 2,631
Pearl River 1,274 44.73% 1,129 39.64% 445 15.63% 2,848
Perry 581 52.82% 347 31.55% 172 15.64% 1,100
Pike 1,714 41.74% 1,210 29.47% 1,182 28.79% 4,106
Pontotoc 2,320 82.50% 335 11.91% 157 5.58% 2,812
Prentiss 1,942 80.95% 383 15.96% 74 3.08% 2,399
Quitman 954 63.64% 276 18.41% 269 17.95% 1,499
Rankin 1,537 49.76% 556 18.00% 996 32.24% 3,089
Scott 2,077 65.50% 503 15.86% 591 18.64% 3,171
Sharkey 308 37.02% 211 25.36% 313 37.62% 832
Simpson 2,140 67.11% 467 14.64% 582 18.25% 3,189
Smith 2,055 80.81% 277 10.89% 211 8.30% 2,543
Stone 761 65.15% 293 25.09% 114 9.76% 1,168
Sunflower 1,585 50.80% 520 16.67% 1,015 32.53% 3,120
Tallahatchie 1,969 73.28% 341 12.69% 377 14.03% 2,687
Tate 1,414 80.85% 171 9.78% 164 9.38% 1,749
Tippah 2,569 86.94% 287 9.71% 99 3.35% 2,955
Tishomingo 1,577 72.67% 516 23.78% 77 3.55% 2,170
Tunica 470 56.22% 200 23.92% 166 19.86% 836
Union 2,882 82.48% 427 12.22% 185 5.29% 3,494
Walthall 1,143 66.26% 306 17.74% 276 16.00% 1,725
Warren 1,857 34.85% 2,419 45.40% 1,052 19.74% 5,328
Washington 2,722 49.58% 1,973 35.94% 795 14.48% 5,490
Wayne 1,493 70.13% 373 17.52% 263 12.35% 2,129
Webster 1,412 80.92% 188 10.77% 145 8.31% 1,745
Wilkinson 260 30.55% 240 28.20% 351 41.25% 851
Winston 2,132 78.82% 361 13.35% 212 7.84% 2,705
Yalobusha 1,015 59.85% 414 24.41% 267 15.74% 1,696
Yazoo 911 29.50% 370 11.98% 1,807 58.52% 3,088
Totals 144,453 58.22% 60,685 24.46% 42,966 17.32% 248,104

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Presidents". David Leip. Retrieved September 27, 2017. Eisenhower's home state for the 1956 Election was Pennsylvania
  2. ^ Scher, Richard K.; Politics in the New South: Republicanism, Race and Leadership in the Twentieth Century, p. 95 ISBN 1563248484
  3. ^ Frederickson, Karl A.; The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968, p. 39 ISBN 0807849103
  4. ^ a b McAdam, Doug and Kloos Karina; Deeply Divided: Racial Politics and Social Movements in Post-War America, pp. 76-77 ISBN 0199937869
  5. ^ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1952 Presidential General Election Results – Mississippi
  6. ^ Ward, Jason Morgan; Defending White Democracy: The Making of a Segregationist Movement and the Remaking of Racial Politics, 1936-1965, p. 156 ISBN 0807869228
  7. ^ McMillen, Neil R.; The Citizens' Council: Organized Resistance to the Second Reconstruction, 1954-64, p. 317 ISBN 0252064410
  8. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, pp. 236-238 ISBN 0786422173
  9. ^ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1980 Presidential General Election Data Graphs – Mississippi
  10. ^ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections; 1956 Presidential General Election Results – Mississippi
  11. ^ Scammon, Richard M. (compiler); America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics 1920-1964; pp. 251-252 ISBN 0405077114

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Although he was born in Texas and grew up in Kansas before his military career, at the time of his election Eisenhower was president of Columbia University and was, officially, a resident of New York. During his first term as president, he moved his private residence to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and officially changed his residency to Pennsylvania.
  2. ^ "Extended South" includes all the former Confederate States, the five border slave states, and Oklahoma, which gained statehood only in 1907 but which had practiced slavery before the Civil War.