The 1920 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 2, 1920. All contemporary 48 states were part of the 1920 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 14 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
New Jersey was won in a landslide by the Republican nominees, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio and his running mate Governor Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts. Harding and Coolidge defeated the Democratic nominees, Governor James M. Cox of Ohio and his running mate Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York.
Harding carried New Jersey overwhelmingly with 67.65% of the vote to Cox's 28.42%, a victory margin of 39.23 percent. This is the highest popular vote percentage ever recorded by any candidate in New Jersey. On the county level map, reflecting the decisiveness of his victory, Harding became the first presidential nominee to sweep all 21 of New Jersey's counties, a feat later accomplished only by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. Harding broke 60 percent of the vote in seventeen counties and 70 percent in nine of those.
Debs finished in a distant but fairly solid, for a third-party candidate, third with 3.00%.
Like much of the Northeast, New Jersey in this era was a staunchly Republican state, having not given a majority of the vote to a Democratic presidential candidate since 1892. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson, then the sitting Governor of New Jersey, won the state's electoral votes, but with a plurality of only 41% in a three-way race against a split Republican field, with former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt running as a third party candidate against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft. Nevertheless, in 1916, Wilson lost the state to the GOP by a decisive 12-point margin in a head-to-head match-up.
With the deeply unpopular Democratic administration of Woodrow Wilson as the backdrop for the 1920 campaign, Warren G. Harding promised a "return to normalcy" that appealed to many voters, while Cox was tied to the policies of the Wilson administration. Harding won nationally in one of the most decisive landslides in American history, and New Jersey, already a fiercely Republican state, went even harder for Harding than the nation, making New Jersey a solid 13% more Republican than the national average.
The elections of 1920 and 1924 would prove to be the Republican Party's high mark in the state of New Jersey, the culmination of an era of Republican dominance in the state beginning in 1896. By 1928, the state would begin trending Democratic when the Democratic Party nominated Al Smith, a New York City native and Roman Catholic of Irish, Italian and German immigrant heritage who appealed greatly to urban New Jersey voters, and beginning in 1932, the state would vote Democratic in all four of Democrat Franklin Roosevelt's elections with the rise of the New Deal Coalition.
|United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1920|
|Republican||Warren G. Harding||611,541||67.65%||14|
|Democratic||James M. Cox||256,887||28.42%||0|
|Socialist||Eugene V. Debs||27,141||3.00%||0|
|Prohibition||Aaron S. Watkins||4,734||0.52%||0|
|Farmer-Labor||Parley P. Christensen||2,200||0.24%||0|
|Socialist Labor||William Wesley Cox||923||0.10%||0|
|Single Tax||Robert Macauley||517||0.06%||0|
- "1920 Presidential General Election Results - New Jersey". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Thomas, G. Scott; The Pursuit of the White House: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics and History, pp. 439-440 ISBN 0313257957