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Elect Willkie and McNary

Elect Willkie and McNary  Political Button Museum
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Elect Willkie and McNary button back Political Button Museum
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Red, white and blue striped background with white and blue text

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B.B. CO.
union bug

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Wendell Willkie was the Republican Presidential candidate in 1940 running against Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had already served two Presidential terms. Willkie was a lawyer, industrialist, and a registered democrat until 1939. He did not run in the Presidential primary, but had young supporters campaign for him and appealed to a deadlocked convention. He beat Dewey for the Republican nomination because the increased German aggression in early 1940 made Dewey's isolationism less appealing to many Americans. He supported aid to Britain and increased military preparations, but not entry into WWII. He also opposed New Deal programs during the election. Willkie got 44.8% of the popular vote, more than any defeated candidate had before him, but lost the electoral vote by a landslide. After losing the election Willkie gave his support to Roosevelt, and the New Deal and even served as an unofficial emissary in Britain, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East, but he never held a political office. 

Willkie's running mate, Charles McNary, had much more political experience. McNary was a lawyer and a long serving Republican Senator from Oregon who, as the Senate minority leader, had supported early New Deal Programs.

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