Prohibition presidential/vice-presidential candidates

1872 - present 

There are minor discrepancies between these vote totals and those given in other sources. Neither Storms nor Dodge's The National Statesman reference their figures. Some sources for minor party vote totals include write-in votes from states where the party was not on the ballot, and some sources do not. Some sources use official, certified vote toals, whereas other sources use preliminary reports.

Differences in reported votes of one hundred or less probably result from these differences in counting and should be disregarded. Differences of more than one hundred may indicate typographical errors or mistakes in transcribing data and should be investigated; please point them out to the editor.

Data 1872 - 1972 from Roger Storms (1972) "Partisan Prophets;" data 1972 - present from reports in "The National Statesman" It is important to keep in mind that vote totals are reported vote totals; many third-party votes, especially write-in votes, are disregarded by election officials.

Buttons shown which are not dated and which illustrate candidates which ran in more than one election may not be shown in the correct year.

       Storms does not give the number of ballot-qualified states for some years.

       Church affiliation is given when known.

 

1872 President:   James Black (PA), lawyer, civic activist
  Vice-President:   John Russell (MI) minister, newspaperman (Methodist)
  5607 reported votes, 6 states
   
1876 President:   Green Clay Smith (KY) lawyer, military officer, Democratic congressman (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   Gideon T. Stewart (OH) newspaperman, civic activist
  9737 reported votes, 10 states
   
1880 President:   Neal Dow (ME) businessman, military officer, civic activist (Quaker)
  Vice-President:   Henry A. Thompson (OH) mathematician, pres. Otterbein Univ.
(United Brethren)
  10,304 reported votes
 

Rare China Dinner Plate Picturing 1880 Prohibition Party Candidate Neal Dow.

From a huge service custom made for presentation to Dow in the 1880's. Most pieces remain in his Maine Mansion, now a historical site,  but a few have been "liberated" over the years and are now owned by collectors.

1884 President:   John P. St. John (KS) adventurer, lawyer, military officer, Republican
governor
  Vice-President:   William Daniel (MD) legislator, civic activist
  153,128 reported votes
 

     D.I. Herdon, in his "Centennial History of Arkansas" (1922, p.331) says that there was an "American Prohibition Party" faction at the 1884 convention which nominated Samuel C. Pomeroy of Kansas and John A. Conant of Connecticutt.  Storms does not mention this, and the Pomery/Conant vote total is not known.

 

1888 President:   Clinton B. Fisk (NJ) banker, military officer, founder of Fisk University
  Vice-President:   John A. Brooks (MO) college president
 

249,945 reported votes from 37 states: Alabama 583 (0.33%), Arkansas 615 (0.39%), California 5,761 (2.3%), Colorado 2,192 (2.39%), Connecticut 4,236 (2.75%), Delaware 400 (1.34%), Florida 418 (0.63%), Georgia 1,808 (1.26%), Illinois 21,703 (2.90%), Indiana 9,881 (1.84%), Iowa 3,550 (0.88%), Kansas 6,779 (2.05%), Kentucky 5,225 (1.52%), Louisiana 160 (0.14%), Maine 2,691 (2.10%), Maryland 4,767 (2.26%), Massachusetts 8,701 (2.53%), Michigan 20,945 (4.41%), Minnesota 15,311 (5.82%), Mississippi 258 (0.22%), Missouri 4,539 (0.87%), Nebraska 9,429 (4.65%), Nevada 41 (0.32%), New Hampshire 1,593 (1.75%), New Jersey 7,933 (2.61%), New York 30,231 (2.29%), North Carolina 2,789 (0.98%), Ohio 24,356 (2.90%), Oregon 1,677 (2.71%), Pennsylvania 20,966 (2.10%), Rhode Island 1,251 (3.07%), Tennessee 5,975 (1.96%), Texas 4,749 (1.33%), Vermont 1,460 (2.30%), Virginia 1,682 (0.55%), West Virginia 1,085 (0.68%), Wisconsin 14,413 (4.06%)


Missouri State Headquarters in St. Louis, 1888
   
1892 President:   John Bidwell (CA) rancher, military officer
  Vice-President:   James B. Cranfill (TX) minister, newspaperman (Baptist)
  271,058 reported votes
** the record vote and percentage for the Prohibition Party (2.3%)
 

1896 President:   Joshua Levering (MD) businessman, WMCA official, trustees president Southern Baptist  Theological Seminary (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   Hale Johnson (IL) lawyer
 

130,617 reported votes (plus 13,969 for an alternative slate in some states)

Left: Charles E. Bentley was the Free-Silver Prohibitionists presidential candidate in 1896. Bentley's vice-presidential running mate was
James H. Southgate
.

The Free-Silver Prohibition Candidates, Bentley and Southgate, ran in some of the same states as did the official Johnson & Levering ticket using the name "National Party."

 
    Printed, celluloid-covered, "cello," lapel pins such as these became popular in the campaign of 1896.  Most earlier campaign portrait buttons were made by fastening actual photographs on metal or cardboard onto a pin or stud.  The stamped metal images, "medals,"  commonly used in pre-1896 campaigns were largely discontinued after the 1890s. 
     Halftone printing, developed around 1890, quickly replaced photographs on campaign items.
   
1900 President:   John G. Wooley (IL) lawyer, orator
  Vice-President:   Henry B. Metcalf (RI) banker, manufacturer, trustees pres. Tufts College (Universalist)
 

209,469 reported votes

The jugate Wooley & Metcalfe pin at upper left was issued by three other political parties in 1900, substituting only the photographs of their own candidates: (Republicans) McKinley and Roosevelt, (Democrats) Bryan and Stevenson, and (Socialists) Debs and Harriman.
     The only other election in which at least four parties used an identical design was that of 1912, when the Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, and Bull Moose all issued buttons of the same design. Thanks to Robert Fratkin and The Keynoter for this factoid!

   
1904 President:   Silas C. Swallow (PA) minister (Methodist)
  Vice-President:   George W. Carroll (TX) businessman, philanthropist
 

258,205 reported votes

   
1908 President:   Eugene W. Chafin (WI) writer, local official, lawyer
  Vice-President:   Aaron S. Watkins (OH) lawyer, president Asbury College (Methodist)
 

253,231 reported votes, 28 states

Sticker Date of issue unknown

 

   
1912 President:   Eugene W. Chafin (WI) writer, local official, lawyer
  Vice-President:  Aaron S. Watkins (OH) lawyer, president Asbury College
(Methodist)
 

207,828 reported votes

   
1916 President:   J. Frank Hanly (IN) newspaperman, teacher, lawyer, Republican governor
  Vice-President:   Ira Landrith (TN) YMCA official, president Bellmont College
(Presbyterian)
 

221,329 reported votes

   
1920 President:   Aaron S. Watkins (OH) lawyer, president Asbury College (Methodist)
  Vice-President:   D. Leigh Colvin (NY) historian, temperance society executive
  Alabama (757/ 0.31%), California (25,204 / 2.67%), Colorado (2807 / 0.96%), Connecticut (1771 / 0.48%), Delaware (986 / 1.04%), Florida (5124 / 3.52%), Illinois (11,216 / 0.54%), Indiana (13,462 / 1.07%), Iowa (4197 / 0.47%), Kentucky ( 3325 / 0.36%), Michigan (9646 / 0.92%), Minnesota (11,489 / 1.57%), Missouri (5142 / 0.39%), Nebraska (5947 / 1.55%), New Jersey (4895 / 0.54%), New York (19,653 / 0.68%), Ohio (294 / write-in), Oregon (3595 / 1.51%), Pennsylvania (42,612 / 2.30%, Rhode Island (510 / 0.30%), South Dakota (900 / 0.49%), Vermont (884 / 0.86%), Virginia (857 / 0.37%), Washington (3800 / 0.95%), West Virginia (1528 / 0.30%), Wisconsin (8647 / 1.23%), Wyoming (265 / 0.47%)
   
Increasingly repressive ballot access laws after 1920 made it difficult for third parties to campaign effectively. Storms says (p.39): "The two [dominant] parties wanted to make sure that there would never again be an outpouring of humanitarian reform comparable to that of the Progressive Era. From then on, they could be in the comfortable position of joining hands in a conspiracy of silence on the issues that really mattered. The technique was to create ballot laws which were so stringent that a dissenting group would have to expend all of its resources obtaining a place on the ballot and [would] have nothing left with which to campaign."
   
1924 President:   Herman P. Faris (MO) banker, businessman
  Vice-President: Marie C. Brehm (CA) suffragette, first legally qualified female
vice-presidential candidate
 

Alabama (569 / 0.34), California (18,365 / 1.43%), Colorado (966 / 0.28%), Florida (5498/ 5.04%), Georgia (231 / 0.14%), Illinois (2367 / 0.10%), Indiana (4418 / 0.35%), Michigan (6085 / 0.52%), Missouri (1418 / 0.11%), Nebraska (1594 / 0.34%), New Jersey (1660 / 0.15%), rest to come

   
1928 President:   William F. Varney (NY) business administrator
  Vice-President:   James A. Edgerton (VA) newspaperman, writer, philosopher
  rest to come, Vermont (338 / 0.25%), West Virginia (1703 / 0.26%, Wisconsin (2245 / 0.20%)
   
1932 President:   William D. Upshaw (GA) lecturer, Democratic congressman
  Vice-President:   Frank S. Regan (IL) lecturer, state legislator
  California (20,637 / 0.91%), Colorado (1928 / 0.42%), Florida (7 / write-in), Georgia (1125 / 0.44%), Illinois (6388 / 0.19%), Indiana (10,399 / 0.66%), Iowa (2111 / 0.20%), Rhode Island (183 / 0.07%), South Dakota (463 / 0.15%), Tennessee (1995 / 0.51%), Virginia (1843 / 0.62%), Washington (1540 / 0.25%), West Virginia (2342 / 0.31%), Wisconsin (2672 / 0.24%)
   
1936 President:   D. Leigh Colvin (NY) historian, temperance society executive
  Vice-President:   Claude A. Watson (CA) lawyer, business administrator
(Free Methodist)
  37,847 reported votes, 25 states: Kentucky (929 / 0.10%), Maine (334 / 0.11%), Massachusetts (1,032 / 0.06%), Michigan (579 / 0.03%), Missouri (908 / 0.05%), Montana (224 / 0.09%), New Jersey (926 / 0.05%), New Mexico (62 / 0.04%), North Dakota (197 / 0.07), Oklahoma (1,328 / 0.18%),
   
1940 President:   Roger W. Babson (MA) economist, businessman (Congregational Christian)
  Vice-President:   Edgar V. Moorman (IL) businessman
  59,492 reported votes, states (28): Alabama (700 / 0.24%), Arizona (742 / 0.49%), Arkansas (793 / 0.39%), California (9400 / 0.29%), Colorado (1597 / 0.29%), Delaware (220 / 0.16%), Florida (96 write-ins), Georgia (1003 / 0.32%), Illinois (9190 / 0.22%), Indiana (6437 / 0.36%), Iowa (2284 / 0.19%), Kanmsas (4056 / 0.47%), Kentucky (1443 / 0.15%), Louisiana (81 write-ins), Massachusetts (1370 / 0.,07%), Missouri (1809 / 0.10%) Michigan (1795 / 0.09%),Montana (664 / 0.27%), NewJersey (873 / 0.04%), New Mexico (100 / 0.05%), New York (3250 / 0.05%), North Dakota (325 / 0.12%), Ohio (58 write-ins), Oklahoma (3027 / 0.37%), Oregon (154 write-ins), Pennsylvania (495 write-ins),  Rhode Island (74 / 0.02%), South Carolina (2 write-ins), Tennessee (1606 / 0.31%), Texas (928 / 0.09%), Virginia (882 / 0.25%), Washington (1686 / 0.21%),Wisconsin (2148 / 0.15%), Wyoming (172 / 0.15%).
   
Storms credits (p. 48) Babson and Moorman with changing the philosophical emphasis of the Prohibition Party from progressive to conservative, but the change was neither abrupt nor clear-cut. The party platform continued to include progressive planks, and still does, but the party leadership has chosen more and more to emphasize conservative planks.
   
1944 President:   Claude A. Watson (CA) lawyer, business administrator (Free Methodist)
  Vice-President:   Andrew Johnson (KY) evangelist, lecturer (Methodist)
 

74,758 reported votes, states (26): Alabama (1095 /  0.45%), Arizona (421 / 0.31%), California (14,770 / 0.42%), Delaware (294 / 0.23%), Florida (27 write-ins), Georgia (36 write-ins), Idaho (503 / 0.24%), Illinois (7411 / 0.18%), Indiana (12,574 / 0.75%), Iowa (3752 / 0.36%), Kansas (2609 / 0.36%), Kentucky (2012 / 0.23%), Massachusetts (973 / 0.05%), Michigan (6503 / 0.29%), Missouri (1175 / 0.07%), Montana (340 / 0.16%), New Jersey (4255 / 0.22%), New Mexico (148 / 0.10%, North Dakota (549 / 0.25%), Oklahoma (1663 / 0.23%), Oregon (2362 / 0.49%), Pennsylvania (5750 / 0.15%), Rhode Island (433 / 0.14%), South Carolina (365 / 0.35%), Tennessee (885 / 0.17%), Texas (1017 / 0.09%), Virginia (459 / 0.12%), Washington (2396 / 0.28%)

   
1948 President:   Claude A. Watson (CA) lawyer, business administrator (Free Methodist)
  Vice-President:   Dale H. Learn (PA) realtor, insurance salesman, civic activist (Methodist)
  103,343 reported votes, 19 states
   
1952 President:   Stuart Hamblen (CA) musician
  Vice-President:   Enoch A. Holtwick (IL) historian, president of Los Angeles Pacific
Junior College
  78,181 reported votes, 20 states
   
1956 President:   Enoch A. Holtwick (IL) historian, president of Los Angeles Pacific Junior
College
  Vice-President:   Edwin M. Cooper (CA) lawyer, YMCA official
  41,937 reported votes, 10 states (Massachusetts (1205 / 0.05%), Michigan (6923 / 0.22%), New Jersey (9147 / 0.37%), New Mexico (607 / 0.24%), Tennessee (789 / 0.08%)
   
1960 President:   Rutherford L. Decker (MO) minister, co-founder of National Association
of Evangelicals (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   E. Harold Munn, Sr. (MI) television executive, educator
 

46,239 reported votes, 11 states

   
1964 President:   E. Harold Munn, Sr. (MI) television executive, educator
  Vice-President:   Mark R. Shaw (MA) minister, peace activist (Methodist)
  23,267 reported votes, 9 states
   
1968 President:   E. Harold Munn, Sr. (MI) television executive, educator
  Vice-President:   Rolland E. Fisher (KS) evangelist (Free Methodist)
  rest to come, North Dakota (38 / 0.02%), Ohio (19 / write-in), Virginia (601 / 0.04%)
   
1972 President:   E. Harold Munn, Sr. (MI) television executive, educator
  Vice-President:    Marshall E. Uncapher (KS) educator, salesman
  13,444 reported votes, 4 states
   
1976 President:   Ben Bubar (ME) state legislator, temperance lobbyist (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman
(Baptist)
  15,961 reported votes, 9 states (Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Tennessee)
   
1980 President:   Ben Bubar (ME) state legislator, temperance lobbyist (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman
(Baptist)
 

7237 reported votes, 8 states (Alabama (1743 / 0.13%), Arkansas (1350 / 0.16%), California (36 write-ins), Colorado (1180 / 0.10%), Delaware (6 write-ins), Iowa (150 / 0.01%), Kansas (821 / 0.08%), Maine (19 write-ins), Massachusetts (34 write-ins), Michigan (9 write-ins), New Mexico (1281 / 0.28%), North Dakota (54 / 0.02%), Ohio (27 write-ins), Tennessee (521 / 0.03%).

   
1984 President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman (Baptist)
  Vice-President:  Warren C. Martin (KS) member of Kansas state Board of Paroles
and Pardons (Free Methodist)
  4204 reported votes, 5 states
   
1988 President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   George Ormsby (PA) businessman, president National Council of the International  Organization of Good Templars (Presbyterian Church in America)
  8004 reported votes, states (4) : Arkansas (1,319 / 0.14%, Colorado (4,604 / 0.34%), New Mexico (249 / 0.05%), Tennessee (1,807 / 0.11%) -- also: 16 write-ins from Michigan,  5 write-ins from Michigan, 7 write-ins from North Dakota
 
1992 President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   George Ormsby (PA) businessman, president National Council of the International Organization of Good Templars (Presbyterian Church in America)
  935 reported votes, states (3) :  Arkansas ((472 / 0.05%), New Mexico (120 / 0.02%), Tennessee (343 / 0.02%) -- also:  21 write-ins from Colorado, 2 write-ins from Massachusetts, 3 write-ins from North Dakota
   
1996 President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman (Baptist)
  Vice-President:   Rachel Bubar Kelly (IL) educator, president of Women's Christian Temperance Union
  1294 reported votes, states (4) : Arkansas (483 / 0.05%), Colorado (375 / 0.02%), Tennessee (324 / 0.02%), Utah (111 / 0.02%) -- also:  one write-in from Illinois and 4 write-ins from Massachusetts
 
   
2000 President:   Earl F. Dodge (CO) Prohibition Party executive secretary/chairman
(independent Baptist)
   Vice-President:  W. Dean Watkins (AZ) retired aeronautical engineer (independent Baptist)
 

208 reported votes, 1 state : Colorado (208 / 0.01%)

   
2004

A private, invitational conference of (some) Prohibition National Committeemen, held at the chairman's home in June, 2003, recommended then-chairman Earl F. Dodge for president and Texas national committeeman Howard Lydick for vice-president. These candidacies were explicitly rejected by the 34th quadrennial nominating convention of the Prohibition Party, held at Fairfield Glade, Tennessee in September
.

The button at upper left is a vendor button. All others were sold by Dodge or were offered to donors as incentives.  It is doubtful that any of Dodge's buttons were given away as campaign items.
 

  President:   Gene Amondson (AL) Evangelist and Artist (Church of God, Anderson)
  Vice-President:  Leroy Pletten (MI) Law Enforcement Consultant (Church of God)
 

This button appeared in s dealer's catalog in 2013, incorrectly attributed to "hopefulls, Prohibition 2004" Nothing is known of its provenance.

The LH button was issued by the Prohibition National Committee and was distributed during the campaign; the center and RH buttons are vendor buttons.

Preliminary figures show a total of 1896 votes -- the best showing for the Prohibition Party since l988.  Louisiana provided 1512 of those, and Colorado (on the "Concerns of People" line) provided 324. 

     Dodge and Lydick, the unendorsed independents in Colorado, received 140 votes, fewer than half as many as the official Prohibition Party ticket.  This is an unequivocal repudiation by the voters of Earl F. Dodge as a Prohibition Party spokesman. (Dodge and Lydick failed to get on the ballot in any other state.)

Probably, ballot position had much to do with the large vote in Louisiana:  We were at the top of the second column.  In Colorado, we were about half way down the column (Dodge & Lydick were five positions below "Concerns of People.")

   
2008 President:   Gene Amondson (AL) Evangelist and Artist (Church of God, Anderson)
  Vice-President:  Leroy Pletten (MI) Law Enforcement Consultant (Church of God)
 

653 reported votes, 3 states:  Colorado (85 / 0%), Florida (293 / 0%), Louisiana (275 / 0.01%). 
     Neither candidate did any campaigning. These votes probably are entirely "protest" votes and are low because of down-column ballot positions in all 3 states

   
2012 President -- Jack Fellure (WV), Businessman, Evangelist (Missionary Baptist) 
  Vice-President -- Toby Davis (TN), Pastor (Cumberland Presbyterian)
  518 reported votes, 1 state:  Louisiana (518/ 0.03%)
   
Educational Backgrounds of the Candidates
 
Third-party movements tend to appeal to members of specific cultural, social, or economic subgroups within the larger American population.  Some of this data on Prohibition Party leaders is given in the preceding list of candidates.  The following table gives their educational backgrounds; where and how long people attend school is one determinant (or reflection) of their philosophical frameworks and value systems.
    
The names are given in their order of nomination (names of vice-presidential candidates are italicized).  Some individuals ran more than once, and for both vice-president and for president in different years -- only the first nomination is listed.
James Black
     -----
John Russell
     -----
Green Clay Smith
     -----
Gideon T. Stewart
     -----
Neal Dow
     -----
Henry A. Thompson
     -----
John P. St. John
     -----
William Daniel
     -----
Clinton B. Fisk
     (BA) Michigan Central College
John A. Brooks
     -----
John Bidwell
     -----
James B. Cranfill
     -----
Joshua Levering
     -----
Hale Johnson
     -----
John G. Wooley
     -----
Henry B. Metcalfe
     -----
Silas C. Swallow
     -----
George W. Carroll
     -----
Eugene W. Chafin
     -----
Aaron S. Watkins
     -----
J. Frank Hanley
     -----
Ira Landrith
     -----
D. Leigh Colvin
     (PhD) Columbia University
Herman P. Faris
     -----
Marie C. Brehm
     -----
William F. Varney
     ----
James A. Edgerton
     -----
William D. Upshaw
     (attended) Mercer University
Frank S. Regan
     ----
Claude A. Watson
     -----
Roger W. Babson
     (BA) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Edgar V. Moorman
     -----
Andrew Johnson
     (BA) Asbury Seminary
Dale H. Learn
    (AB) Dickinson College
Stuart Hamblen
     (BA) McMurray State Teachers College
Enoch A. Holtwick
     (BA) Greenville College
Edwin M. Cooper
     -----
Rutherford L. Decker
     -----
E. Harold Munn, Sr.
     (BA) Greenville College, (MA) University
     of Michigan
Mark R. Shaw
     -----
Rolland E. Fisher
     (attended) Central College (McPherson,
     Kansas) and Greenville College, (BA)
     Kansas University
Marshall E. Uncapher
     -----
Ben Bubar
     (attended) Colby College
Earl F. Dodge
     (not)
Warren C. Martin
     -----
George Ormsby
     home-schooled
Rachel B. Kelly
     (BA) Colby College
W. Dean Watkins
     (BA) Butler University
Gene Amondson
     (BA) Warner-Pacific College, (MA) Asbury
     Seminary
Leroy Pletten

     (BA) University of Minnesota

Jack Fellure
     (not)
Toby Davis
     -- leave blank for now --

The Free-Silver Prohibition candidates, Bentley and Southgate, ran in some of the same states as the "National Party.

 "Our Party stands for a country so financially, politically, and morally clean as to make it an object lesson to be imitated....." - Silas Swallow, 1904 presidential candidate

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