Congress in the Archives will feature monthly staff posts on our blog. Today’s post comes from Jessie Kratz.
The Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that after a presidential election the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate meet to count the electoral votes. On February 12, 1913 the House and the Senate met in a joint session to count the votes from the 1912 presidential election. The major candidates in the election were the unpopular incumbent President William Howard Taft (Republican Party), former President Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive “Bull Moose Party”) and New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson (Democratic Party). Wilson handily defeated Taft and Roosevelt, winning 435 of the 531 available electoral votes. Wilson also won 42% of the popular vote, while his nearest challenger, Roosevelt, won just 27%. Eugene Debs, who had run on the Socialist ticket, won an impressive 6% of the popular vote but failed to receive a single electoral vote.
1912 Electoral Tally, 2/12/1913, SEN 62A-L1, Records of the U.S. Senate