Blue text on center white stripe bordered by white text on red background on top and blue background on bottom
BASTIAN BROS. CO. ROCHESTER N. Y.
This button was for the 1940 U.S. presidential campaign of Wendell Willkie, the Republican challenger to incumbent president Franklin D. Roosevelt. A businessman from New York, Willkie characterized Roosevelt's New Deal programs as wasteful and ineffective in ending the Great Depression and promoted better economic times if he were elected. Yet Willkie was hurt by being a symbol of big business, which many felt helped cause the economic crisis in the first place. Roosevelt won with 54.7% of the vote to Willkie's 44.8%, 449 electoral votes to 82.
Willkie had changed his party registration to Republican in 1939. He did not run in the 1940 primaries, but was seen as an alternative to isolationist Thomas Dewey. After the 1940 election, Willkie served as President Roosevelt's informal envoy to Great Britain and supported the Lend-Lease program, which supplied fool, oil, and war materiel such as planes, ships, and weapons to Allied nations during World War II. Willkie died in 1944.