The 1956 Presidential Election

In the presidential election of 1956, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon defeated Democratic former Governor Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois and his Vice-Presidential running mate Estes Kefauver in a re-match of the 1952 election. Supporters of the president focused on his “personal qualities … his sincerity, his integrity and sense of duty, his virtue as a family man, his religious devotion, and his sheer likeableness,” rather than on his leadership record. With the end of the Korean War and a strong economy, few doubted that the charismatic Eisenhower would be reelected. Stevenson called for a significant increase in government spending on social programs and a decrease in military spending. Eisenhower won the popular vote by fifteen points (57.4% to 42%) and once again won every state outside the South, winning the electoral college 457-73, carrying 41 out of 48 states.