United States presidential election, 1916
United States
1912 ←
November 7, 1916
→ 1920

  Theodore Roosevelt.jpg Debs.jpg
Nominee Theodore Roosevelt Eugene V. Debs
Party Democratic Socialist
Home state New York Indiana
Running mate Walter McKenna Unknown

President before election

Theodore Roosevelt

Elected President

Theodore Roosevelt

The United States presidential election of 1916 was the 33rd quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 7, 1916. It took place in the midst of the Great War with the Confederate States of America and the British Empire. The election was a rematch between Democratic incumbent President Theodore Roosevelt, and the Socialist Party candidate Senator Eugene V. Debs of Indiana. Roosevelt and his Vice President Walter McKenna were re-elected, but due to wartime stresses Debs did somewhat better than he had in their first match in 1912.

The Fall Campaign[]

With the United States being in the middle of the greatest war yet in its history, millions of men were off at the front; the polling for the soldiers would take place in the rear-areas. As a result, Roosevelt's supporters went through the trenches and military zones and stumped for their man there. Debs' supporters, on the other hand, mobilized support from the working class in the big cities of the USA.


There was one main issue both parties stumped about: prosecution of the Great War. The Democrats declared that it was folly to "change horses in midstream," and that the war against the CSA and British Empire must be waged until victory was won, at whatever the cost. The Socialists campaigned for a fair peace, in which no lands or reparations would be given, and used the Democrats' "whatever the cost" slogan against them; in New York Flora Hamburger voiced disgust with Lt. General George A. Custer's second Nashville offensive while running for Congress, and how Custer's offensive took a lot of casualties while moving away from the capital of Tennessee. The Socialists also campaigned for a better deal for the workers of the USA, and pointed out how Roosevelt's "Fair Deal" was failing to live up to its promises.


Theodore Roosevelt defeated Eugene V. Debs' last bid for the presidency in November 1916. While many Socialists and leftists in the USA groaned at Roosevelt having four more years to carry out Democratic policies, many more Americans were glad that they had four more years to defeat the CSA, which was already straining from two years of total war as well as the ongoing Red Rebellion. Not long after Roosevelt's second (and secret) inauguration on March 4, 1917, General Custer launched his Barrel Roll Offensive, leading to the collapse of the Confederacy on the Tennessee front and its subsequent request for an armistice in August.

OTL Election[]

In the 1916 presidential election, incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson (who served as the President of the CSA in Southern Victory) and Vice President Thomas Marshall narrowly defeated Republican Party candidate Charles Evans Hughes and his running mate, former VP Charles Fairbanks.

The Progressive Party renominated former president Theodore Roosevelt and nominated John Parker of Louisiana as his running-mate. However, Roosevelt refused to accept their nomination and threw his support behind Hughes. This led to the Progressives' dissolution and most of the party's supporters returned to the Republican Party.