It has been over a century since the last time a New York Republican was elected president, but Donald Trump enters the New Year with a political half life that is seemingly long enough to at least enable him to make his mark on the Republican primary contests. Since presidential primaries were introduced in 1912, a handful of New York GOPers have won at least a single primary – though just one during the modern political era since 1972. Former President Teddy Roosevelt won nine primaries in 1912 (California, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota) and one in 1916 (New Jersey). His fellow 1916 Empire State Republican rival (and eventual nominee) Charles Evans Hughes carried two states (Oregon, Vermont). Future governor and twice failed nominee Thomas Dewey won five primaries in 1940 (Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin), three in 1944 (New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania), and two in 1948 (New Jersey, Oregon). Governor Nelson Rockefeller won two primaries in 1964 (Oregon, West Virginia) and one in 1968 (Massachusetts). The last New York Republican to claim victory in a presidential primary was Steve Forbes in 1996 (who grew up in and also maintained a home in New Jersey) winning two early contests (Arizona, Delaware).

Leave a Comment