The 1956 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 6, 1956. All contemporary 48 states were part of the 1956 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 16 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.
New Jersey was won overwhelmingly by the Republican nominees, incumbent President Dwight D. Eisenhower of Pennsylvania and his running mate incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon of California. Eisenhower and Nixon defeated the Democratic nominees, former Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois and his running mate Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee.
Eisenhower carried New Jersey in a landslide with 64.68 percent of the vote to Stevenson’s 34.23 percent, a margin of 30.46 percent.
Eisenhower’s decisive 1956 landslide represented a dramatic swing in the state in his favor. In his initial 1952 match against Stevenson, Eisenhower had also comfortably won New Jersey, but by a smaller margin, taking 56.81% of the vote to Stevenson’s 41.99%, a margin of 14.83%. Eisenhower’s 30.46% margin of victory in 1956 was thus more than double the margin by which he had won the state in 1952, marking a swing of over 15 points in Eisenhower's favor.
Eisenhower's landslide gains in the state were also evident on the county map. Whereas in 1952, Eisenhower had lost three counties to Stevenson, in 1956 Eisenhower decisively swept all 21 counties in the state of New Jersey, breaking sixty percent of the vote in all but three, breaking seventy percent in seven, and even breaking eighty percent in rural Sussex County. In urban, Democratic-leaning Hudson County, which Stevenson had narrowly won with a plurality in 1952, Eisenhower won decisively with over sixty percent of the vote in 1956. Eisenhower also picked up victories in Mercer County and Camden County, both of which had given majorities to Stevenson in 1952. He was only the second presidential nominee to sweep all New Jersey’s counties after Warren G. Harding in 1920.
Eisenhower had first won election to the White House in 1952 as a war hero, a political outsider, and a moderate Republican who pledged to protect and support popular New Deal Democratic policies, finally ending 20 years of Democratic control of the White House. Once in office, Eisenhower governed as a moderate progressive, approving infrastructure spending projects like the Interstate Highway System and supporting high tax rates on the rich, as well as taking a progressive stand on issues related to the Civil Rights Movement. Thus Eisenhower was able to win over many more normally Democratic-leaning liberal and moderate voters in the Northeast than he already had in 1952, and thus every Northeastern state swung in his favor in 1956, including New Jersey.
New Jersey in this era was usually a swing state with a slight Republican lean. However, Eisenhower’s overwhelming personal popularity in the Northeast in 1956 led him to perform unusually strongly in New Jersey. The state usually voted very similarly to the nation as a whole, with a slight Republican tilt, as in 1952 when its results had been just 4% more Republican than the national average. Nevertheless, in 1956 the state swung especially hard in Eisenhower’s favor. Even as Eisenhower won a slightly more convincing victory nationwide than he had in 1952, New Jersey swung much more than the nation, and its result in the 1956 election made the state more than 15% more Republican than the national average, making it the sixth most Republican state in the union.
|United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1956|
|Republican||Dwight D. Eisenhower||1,606,942||64.68%||16|
|Prohibition||Enoch A. Holtwick||9,147||0.37%||0|
|Socialist Labor||Eric Hass||6,736||0.27%||0|
|Conservative||T. Coleman Andrews||5,317||0.21%||0|
|Socialist Workers||Farrell Dobbs||4,004||0.16%||0|
|American Third Party||Henry B. Krajewski||1,829||0.07%||0|
- Although he was born in Texas and grew up in Kansas before his military career, at the time of the 1952 election Eisenhower was president of Columbia University and was, officially, a resident of New York. During his first term as president, he moved his private residence to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and officially changed his residency to Pennsylvania.
- "The Presidents". David Leip. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
Eisenhower's home state for the 1956 Election was Pennsylvania
- "1956 Presidential General Election Results - New Jersey". Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Thomas, G. Scott; The Pursuit of the White House: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics and History, pp. 439-440 ISBN 0313257957