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What happened in the 1912 presidential election?

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Quick Answer

Woodrow Wilson was elected president in the 1912 Presidential election, largely because Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft split the Republican vote. Wilson won 42 percent of the popular vote. Roosevelt won 27 percent, and Taft won 23 percent.

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Full Answer

Eugene Debs also ran for President on the Socialist Party ticket. He won no electoral votes but won an impressive 6 percent of the popular vote.

The election of 1912 was, as of 2015, the only election that featured a former president, a sitting president and a future president running against each other. It was also the first election to see the participation of 48 contiguous states. It was held on November 5, 1912.

The Republican vote was split because Roosevelt, the former president, had failed to get the Republican nomination, which instead went to Taft. Roosevelt was determined to run anyway, and so he formed the

Progressive party, also known as the Bull Moose Party. Wilson was nominated by the Democratic Party with the help of the popular William Jennings Bryant, who had also run for president as a Democrat.

Wilson's running mate was Thomas R. Marshall, while Roosevelt's running mate was Hiram Johnson. Taft's running mate was Nicholas Butler, while Debs' running mate was Emil Seidel.

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