by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
One hundred years and one day ago, North Carolinians went to the polls to choose the Ohioan that would become the next president of the United States. There was no incumbent that year, as President Woodrow Wilson had served two terms, and Democrats were not keen on nominating Wilson for a possible third term. The Republican candidate was Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding. The Democratic candidate was Ohio Governor James Cox.
As the Tuesday, November 2 News & Observer headline indicates, the League of Nations was the critical issue of the day. Indeed, Governor Cox’s campaigned on the necessity of American membership in the League of Nations, which had been established to ensure peace after World War I. Senator Harding focused on the failings of the Wilson presidency.
Cox swept the South, but Harding won every other state. The final electoral vote was 404 for Harding (and running mate Calvin Coolidge) and 127 for Cox (and running mate Franklin D. Roosevelt).