President and Mid-Term Elections

Archive Report

Truman and Mid-Term Election of 1950

President's Whistle-Stop Stumping in 1950

President Truman's “non-political” cross-country speaking trip in May and his projected campaign tour through 15 states in the fall, although not entirely without precedent, constitute unusual activity on the part of a White House occupant in a mid-term election year. Most Presidents have limited their participation in congressional elections to contests in their own states, occasional endorsements of particular candidates in other states, and one or two general speeches largely in the nature of get-out-and-vote appeals.

Wilson made a new departure in 1918 by issuing a letter to “My Fellow-Countrymen” urging election of a Democratic Congress. Roosevelt broke precedent in 1938 by intervening in the Democratic primaries in a number of states in an attempt to ...

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