Party Platforms and the 1936 Campaign

November 12, 1935

Report Outline
Advance Shaping of Campaign Issue for 1936
Background and Significance of the Platform
Roosevelt and the 1932 Platform
Party Platform Prospects for 1936

Advance Shaping of Campaign Issue for 1936

Pre-Election campaigns in the autumn of 1935 were note-worthy chiefly because they served to introduce issues for next year's presidential race. Despite the importance of local questions, campaigns in many parts of the country revolved about the New Deal. Particularly was this true in New York State, Discussing the bearing of the 1935 elections in New York on the impending presidential battle, Arthur Krock, veteran political observer wrote:

Primarily the link was forged by the Republicans, who, believing the New Deal on the wane in the East, urged voters to support the Assembly nominees of their party as a notice to Washington of their political disaffection. But the Democrats accepted the issue in part.

While the outcome of the elections is open to various interpretations, it is none the less true that the campaign brought national issues to the fore and gave indication of the lines along which the 1936 platforms are likely to be shaped.

If the 1935 election campaigns are a reliable criterion, the Democratic platform will be built around the claim of improved business conditions and the successful operation of the agricultural adjustment program. The Republicans, whose attack is already well under way, have indicated that their battle will be waged along two broad fronts. They will indict the New Deal first on the ground of extravagant expenditures, which they warn will result either in oppressive taxes or in a much-dreaded inflation; and, second, as a deliberate attempt to undermine the democratic foundations of American government.

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