Page:The Republican Party (1920).djvu/31

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The First Campaign

"Hard Cider" campaign for Harrison in 1840. Mass meetings and marching clubs were everywhere, while the press and pulpit were as impassioned as the stump-speakers. The Republicans were at first confident of success. But the October elections disappointed them and in November they met with defeat. Too many of the old Whigs voted for Fillmore. True, they carried for him only the one state of Maryland. But in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California they kept enough votes away from Fremont to leave the latter in a minority and give Buchanan a plurality though not a majority. Had Fremont carried those four states he would have been elected. As it was he had only 114 electoral votes to Buchanan's 174. The popular vote stood: Buchanan, 1,838,169; Fremont, 1,341,264; Fillmore, 874,534. In eleven slave states no votes were cast for the Republican ticket. The party had no organization there, nor would it have been safe for it to attempt to make one.

The result was discouraging to some of the most sanguine members of the Republican party, but to the great majority it was an incentive to renewed and increased efforts for the next campaign. It also indicated the need of more expert leadership and a more comprehensive platform of principles. The party must not be so much a party of one idea. While it still recognized the two paramount issues, it must pay some attention to others and present a programme of constructive statesmanship. The battle-cry of 1856 had been "free soil, free speech, free press, free men, Fremont!" That aroused enthusiasm. But something more than mere enthusiasm was needed to win over the rest of the Whigs and to still further rend the Demo-