1952 saw Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe, win the Republican nomination, with Richard D. Nixon as running mate. After internal disputes and unrest, the Democrats settled on Adlai E. Stevenson, a candidate with an impressive political past. With a backdrop of the ‘Red Scare’, the party platforms opposed each other on the key issues of the Taft-Hartley Act (which restricted the powers of labour unions) and the Korean War. Eisenhower relentlessly campaigned, projecting an image that appealed to the public, and increased his popularity with the first ever presidential-campaign television adverts. Eisenhower suffered a setback when Nixon was accused of financial irregularities – a crisis he successfully handled with the famous ‘Checkers’ speech – but he still won a landslide victory in the electoral vote and 55 per cent of the popular vote.
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