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The Roots of Modern ConservatismDewey, Taft, and the Battle for the Soul of the Republican Party$
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Michael Bowen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834855

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869192_bowen

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Opportunity Wasted, 1948

Opportunity Wasted, 1948

Chapter:
(p.56) Three Opportunity Wasted, 1948
Source:
The Roots of Modern Conservatism
Author(s):

Michael Bowen

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807869192_bowen.8

This chapter discusses Taft's disdain for the liberal policies of the preceding sixteen years and his desire to promote the Republicans as a conservative alternative to the Democrats. Though Taft found a degree of success on Capitol Hill, this did not directly translate to the national party. Whether the American polity supported or rejected the tenets of modern liberalism and how the Republicans should develop their campaign strategy remained the central points of contention between the Taft and Dewey factions as they lined up the support of the Republican elites for the next election cycle. As 1948 began, the factionalism expanded from the RNC and the Congress to the forty-eight state parties. In 1947 Truman's popularity reached an all-time low, and many pundits and observers believed that the Republicans would win the White House and expand their majority in Congress easily the following year. Intraparty machinations, however, destroyed Republican ambitions.

Keywords:   Taft, liberal policies, Republicans, conservative alternative, Democrats, Capitol Hill

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