United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1956

United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1956
November 6, 1956

Eisenhower official.jpg
Nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower Adlai Stevenson
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Pennsylvania Illinois
Running mate Richard Nixon Estes Kefauver
Electoral vote 16 0
Popular vote 1,393,197 948,190
Percentage 59.3% 40.4%

County Results
  Stevenson – 50–60%
  Eisenhower – 50–60%
  Eisenhower – 60–70%
  Eisenhower – 70–80%
  Eisenhower – 80–90%

President before election

Dwight Eisenhower

Elected President

Dwight Eisenhower

The 1956 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 6, 1956 as part of the 1956 United States presidential election, which was held throughout all contemporary 48 states. Voters chose 16 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Massachusetts voted decisively for the Republican nominee, incumbent President Dwight D. Eisenhower of Pennsylvania, over the Democratic nominee, former Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois. Eisenhower ran with incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon of California, while Stevenson's running mate was Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee.

Eisenhower carried the state with 59.32% of the vote to Stevenson's 40.37%, a Republican victory margin of 18.95%.

As Eisenhower won a decisive re-election victory nationwide, Massachusetts weighed in for this election as about 4% more Republican than the national average. This remains the last presidential election in which Massachusetts was more Republican than the nation, as the state would trend dramatically toward the Democratic Party beginning in 1960.

Once a typical Yankee Republican bastion in the wake of the Civil War, Massachusetts had been a Democratic-leaning state since 1928, when a coalition of Irish Catholic and other ethnic immigrant voters primarily based in urban areas turned Massachusetts and neighboring Rhode Island into New England's only reliably Democratic states. Massachusetts voted for Al Smith in 1928, for Franklin Roosevelt four times in the 1930s and 1940s, and for Harry S. Truman in 1948. However General Dwight Eisenhower, a war hero and moderate Republican who pledged to support and continue popular New Deal Democratic policies, was finally able to appeal to a broad enough coalition both to win back the White House and to flip Massachusetts back into the Republican column.

In his initial 1952 campaign, Eisenhower had first won back Massachusetts by a closer 54–45 margin, but the popular incumbent, who had governed in a very moderate way that appealed to New England voters, was able to more than double his margin of victory in the state in the 1956 election.

Eisenhower carried 13 of the state's 14 counties, Stevenson's only victory coming from urban Suffolk County, home to the state's capital and largest city, Boston. Suffolk County has not been carried by a Republican presidential nominee since 1924, and remained an obstacle to Republican success in the state, however Eisenhower was able to sweep the rest of the state by large enough margins to overcome Boston's strong Democratic lean. In 11 out of 14 counties, Eisenhower won over 60% of the vote, and in 5 of those, he broke 70%.

No Republican would carry Massachusetts in a presidential election again until 1980, and no Republican would win an absolute majority of the vote in the state again until 1984, after which time no Republican ever carried it again. However both of those victories were by narrow margins, and thus no Republican since 1956 has surpassed Eisenhower's 59.32% of the vote nor his 18.95% margin of victory in the state.


United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 1956[1]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower 1,393,197 59.32% 16
Democratic Adlai Stevenson 948,190 40.37% 0
Socialist Labor Eric Hass 5,573 0.24% 0
Prohibition Enoch A. Holtwick 1,205 0.05% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 341 0.01% 0
Totals 2,348,506 100.00% 16


  1. "1956 Presidential General Election Results - Massachusetts". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-02-07.

See also

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