There was extensive political maneuvering before the political parties held their conventions in 1912.The dominant story was Roosevelt, and his dissatisfaction with Taft's presidency. The two old friends had a serious falling out, and as 1910 and 1911 unfolded, Roosevelt more and more began to act like a candidate who sought to unseat the incumbent President of his party by capturing the Republican nomination in 1912. By early 1912 there was an open political brawl between the ex-President and the incumbent President. The fight between the two former friends divided the GOP and eventually led to the formation of a third party, the Progressive Party.

Source: McCutcheon, T.R. in Cartoons. Orig. in Chicago Tribune.


The split in the Republican Party meant that it was likely that the Democrats would win the presidential election and expand their power in the Congress.

Although no realistic observer dreamed that the Socialist Party would win the presidency in 1912, that small party continued to be split into factions as 1912 approached. Socialists were optimistic, nevertheless, that their message was gaining sway among American industrial workers. The Socialist vote, although small, had been steadily increasing since the first nomination of Eugene Debs in 1900.

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