Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Steven Kite
Morton County and Osborne County consistently held strong political affiliations with the Republican Party prior to the 1930s. This changed in the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections when Morton County changed political affiliation by voting for the Democratic candidate. Osborne County, however, did not switch political parties and instead voted once again for the Republican nominee. This thesis will examine why Morton County changed political affiliation during this time, whereas Osborne County stayed the same. In the 1932 presidential campaign, President Herbert Hoover was re-nominated on the Republican ticket and Franklin Roosevelt ran on the democratic ticket. When the Great Depression hit in 1929, Morton County residents suffered a tremendous downfall in their economy, which continued on into the 1932 presidential campaign. This economic downfall weighed heavily on the minds of Morton County citizens and ultimately led them to switch from their Republican affiliation to a Democratic vote in this campaign. Osborne County had not suffered the same drastic economic decline that Morton County had, and therefore their citizens felt confident in holding true to their party, and voted once again for the Republican nominee. Following his election in 1932, Roosevelt began initiating his New Deal legislation. Morton County remained heavily reliant during this time on federal relief money. Osborne County also accepted relief money, but not as readily as Morton County. Osborne County also had trouble with corruption among their New Deal workers. During the 1936 campaign, Morton County voted for the Democratic ticket in hopes for the continuance of federal aid and New Deal legislation. Osborne County, however, was not impressed with the New Deal programs and their economy had started to show signs of improvement. Their citizens chose to vote once again for the Republican ticket. The economic conditions in each county determined how their citizens would vote in the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections.
Bitner, Jodanna, "Dust Bowl Dichotomy: Voting trends in Morton and Osborne County during the Great Depression" (2010). Master's Theses. 163.
© 2010 Jodanna Bitner