Steele had initially assumed that he would win in a walk, given Stassen's status as an unknown. But with the Japanese War breaking out days after the Republican convention, Steele was forced to campaign hard arguing against changing horses in mid-stream. While the North Japanese had been driving south relentlessly for months, U.S.forces were finally able to regroup and halt the North's advance at Utsunomiya just a few weeks prior to the actual election.
Stassen did somewhat better than expected. He carried Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire and Vermont. In private, Steele's aid Lazar Kagan was horrified by the loss of Maryland, suggesting Steele's machine had broken down there. Stassen was also able to pick up some of the states that contained resettled wreckers.
However, Steele carried the rest of the electoral vote, and won his fifth term.