Franklin D. Roosevelt had died in 1945, less than three months into his fourth term. Harry S. Truman had succeeded him, taking office with little knowledge of the former administration’s plans and promises. He had been successful in ending the war and entering the United Nations, but his popularity was waning with both the people and within his own party. Despite attempts to find another presidential candidate, Truman was re-elected to run at the turbulent Democratic convention in Philadelphia. The Republicans revealed a strong political platform and nominated Thomas E. Dewey. Also in the running were candidates from the right-wing Democratic splinter group, the States’ Rights party (Dixiecrats), and from the Progressive party. Dewey ran a bland campaign, but he remained the favourite and it was assumed he would win. Yet Truman campaigned hard and won a surprising victory with 49.4 per cent of the popular vote and 303 electoral votes.
— OR —