Politics in Wartime

April 21, 1942

Report Outline
Opening of the 1942 Political Campaign
Political Truces Vs. Politics as Usual
Wartime Elections in the United States

Opening of the 1942 Political Campaign

Voter participation in the wartime congressional elections of 1942 got under way April 14, when Democrats and Republicans in Illinois went to the polls to pick nominees for the 26 House seats and one Senate seat to be filled by that state in November. Party primaries are to be held May 5 by Democrats and Republicans in Indiana and South Dakota, and by Democrats in Alabama and Florida. Between then and September 15 hardly a week will go by without primaries or conventions in one or another state, until candidates have been named for all of the 435 House seats and the 34 Senate seats to be filled at the general election.

The Republican National Committee met in Chicago early this week in order, according to its chairman, Rep. Martin of Massachusetts, “to feel the pulse of the country” and to discuss ways and means of best conducting the campaign under the unusual conditions of wartime. During the informal congressional recess just terminated, many members have been at home testing public sentiment. The results of their renewal of direct contact with their constituents will doubtless be reflected in future congressional debate and action, as members up for renomination and re-election seek to place themselves in a favorable light before the voters.

Isolationism in Illinois Primary; Action of Republicans

Both the Illinois primary and the Chicago meeting of the Republican National Committee revived the isolationist-interventionist controversy, which was a divisive influence in the country, and within the Republican party, before Pearl Harbor, Renomination by Illinois Republicans of Senator Brooks, who was a leading-isolationist prior to December 7, was interpreted in some quarters as indication that isolationists need not fear repudiation at the polls. Other observers contended that the result was of little significance from a national viewpoint. They attributed the large majority run up by Brooks mainly to his strong organization backing, to the weakness of his opponent, and to Illinois' traditional isolationism. Renomination on the Republican ticket of Representative-at-large Day, another isolationist, was ascribed to the splitting of the opposition vote, which in the aggregate exceeded that cast for Day, among three other candidates for the nomination.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
United States During World War II
Mar. 13, 1945  The Nation's Health
Aug. 14, 1943  Quality Labeling
Aug. 06, 1943  Voting in 1944
Jul. 27, 1943  Civilian Production in a War Economy
Mar. 08, 1943  Labor Turnover and Absenteeism
Nov. 06, 1942  War Contracts and Profit Limitation
Oct. 10, 1942  Control of Manpower
Aug. 14, 1942  Soldiers and Politics
Jul. 16, 1942  Reduction of Non-War Government Spending
Jul. 08, 1942  Education for War Needs
Jun. 20, 1942  Roll Calls in 1942 Campaign
Jun. 12, 1942  War Shipping and Shipbuilding
Apr. 30, 1942  Forced Evacuations
Apr. 21, 1942  Politics in Wartime
Apr. 14, 1942  Agricultural Import Shortages
Feb. 10, 1942  Disease in Wartime
Jan. 12, 1942  Wartime Rationing
Jun. 19, 1941  Sabotage
Dec. 13, 1940  Shipping and the War
Oct. 24, 1940  Price Control in Wartime
Jul. 20, 1940  Labor in Wartime
Oct. 05, 1937  Alien Political Agitation in the United States
Campaigns and Elections
U.S. at War: World War II
War and Conflict