THE CAMPAIGN OF 1904
Following the assassination of President William McKinley, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest man to occupy the White House. Initially, he promised to continue the policies of President McKinley but soon began to shift to a new, progressive reform agenda that included antitrust investigation and the breakup of powerful corporations. His slogan that business should give every man “a square deal” and his foreign policy to “speak softly but carry a big stick” made him popular with the public. Despite opposition by some old guard party conservatives, this popularity made him an easy choice for the Republican Party nomination. The Democratic Party was split between its conservative eastern wing and the more radical western and southern supporters of William Jennings Bryan. Tired of the silver issues, the conservatives thought their best chance for the election was to get business support against the "trust-busting" Roosevelt. Bryan did not wish to run against Roosevelt and the nomination went to a fiscally conservative New York chief justice, Alton B. Parker. Several other parties fielded candidates including the new Socialist Party (Eugene V. Debs), Prohibition Party (Silas Swallow), and the Peoples Party (Thomas Watson).
The election was a landslide victory for Roosevelt. The electoral vote margin was 332 to 140 (Parker won in thirteen southern states, while Roosevelt swept the other thirty-two states). Virginia cast its 12 electoral votes for Alton Parker.
Source: "Elections from 1876 to 1920." In Getting the Message Out: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia from the Collection of Allen A. Frey. The Virginia Historical Society. Accessed: May 23, 2016. http://www.vahistorical.org/collections-and-resources/virginia-history-explorer-old/getting-message-out-presidential-campaign-1
Udo J. Keppler. 1904. "Chicago, June 21, 1904 – “All in Favor of the Nomination Will Say Aye!”" Puck. Photomechanical Print. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540
Anonymous. 1904. "The Socialist Party." Eagle Lithographing Company. 1904. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540
Anonymous. 1904. "Democratic candidates. For president, Alton B. Parker. For vice-president, Henry C. Davis." Britton & Rey. Lithograph. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540
Frank A. Nankivell. 1904. "Campaign Number." Puck. Photomechanical Print. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540