Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wendell Willkie

Electoral Count



Popular Vote



Key Terms: 1940 Election

  1. Taft-Dewey convention battle

  2. dark horse/"We want Willkie"
  3. unprecedented "third term"
  4. invasion of Poland/fall of France
  5. isolationism/"America firsters"
  6. pledge to "stay out of war"


Key Terms: F. D. Roosevelt Administration

  1. Neutrality Acts

  2. "cash and carry"
  3. naval base - destroyer deal
  4. Selective Service Act
  5. Lend Lease Act
  6. Good Neighbor Policy
  7. Atlantic Charter
  8. attack on Pearl Harbor
  9. World War II
  10. War Powers Act
  11. Manhattan Project
  12. Stalin and the "second front"
  13. Operation Overlord/Battle of the Bulge
  14. G. I. Bill of Rights
  15. Big Three/Yalta Conference

FDR genuinely liked Willkie and once told a friend: "You know, Willkie would have made a good Democrat. Too bad we lost him."

In the lobby of his hotel Willkie ran into his conservative fellow Hoosier, Senator James E. Watson, from Rushville. "Jim," said Willkie, couldn't you be for me?" "No, Wendell," said Watson, a party regular, "you're just not my kind of Republican." "I admit I used to be a Democrat," said Willkie amiably. "Used to be?" snapped Watson. "You're a good Methodist," returned Willkie. "Don't you believe in conversion?" "Yes, Wendell," said Watson, "if the town whore truly repented and wanted to join my church, I'd welcome her. I would greet her personally and lead her up the aisle to the front pew, but I'd be damned if I'd ask her to lead the choir the first night."

Presidential Campaigns, Paul F. Boller, Jr., Oxford University Press, New York, 1984.