Harry S. Truman


Whom did Truman defeat to win his first full term as president?

In 1948, Truman defeated Republican Thomas E. Dewey, Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond, and Progressive Henry Wallace to win the election. Dewey, the governor of New York, had been the Republican presidential candidate in 1944. Thurmond, a U.S. senator from South Carolina, led the Dixiecrats. This splinter group of Southern Democrats split with other members of the party because the Dixiecrats opposed the granting of more civil rights to blacks. Wallace, whom Truman had replaced as FDR’s vice president, led the Progressive Party. He was too liberal to garner much public support. Truman captured the election with 303 electoral votes to 189 for Dewey, 39 for Thurmond, and 0 for Wallace.


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