United States presidential election, 1940
The United States presidential election of 1940 was the 39th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 5, 1940. The election was fought in the shadow of World War II in Europe, as the United States was emerging from the Great Depression. Incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic candidate, broke with tradition and ran for a third term, which became a major issue. The surprise Republican candidate was maverick businessman Wendell Willkie, a dark horse who crusaded against Roosevelt's perceived failure to end the Depression and his supposed eagerness for war. Roosevelt, acutely aware of strong isolationist and non-interventionism sentiment, promised there would be no involvement in foreign wars if he were re-elected. Willkie conducted an energetic campaign and managed to revive Republican strength in areas of the Midwest and Northeast. However, Roosevelt won a comfortable victory by building strong support from labor unions, urban political machines, ethnic voters, and the traditionally Democratic Solid South, going on to become the first United States president in American history to be elected to a full third term.Roosevelt won reelection in 1940 thanks to the cities. In the North the cities over 100,000 gave Roosevelt 60% of their votes, while the rest of the North favored Willkie 52%-48%. It was just enough to provide the critical electoral college margin.