U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower Reelection and Second Term

About the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a brief history of his reelection and second presidential term.

34th President



Reelection: Nov. 6, 1956 ...

The nation endured a rerun of the 1952 contest, as the Republicans renominated Eisenhower and the Democrats turned once more to Stevenson. For a while it appeared that Eisenhower's health might be a major issue, but the American people believed the general when he reassured them that he could "perform, as well as I ever have, all of the important duties of the Presidency." In the campaign, Stevenson frequently voiced his concern over the dangerous levels of nuclear fallout in the atmosphere. Eisenhower called Stevenson's request for a temporary halt to nuclear testing "a moratorium on common sense"--though two years later Ike himself would make the same proposal. Just weeks before the election, the revolt in Hungary and the Suez Crisis created an aura of international tension which made the American people less likely than ever to turn away from the reliable father figure in the White House.

Eisenhower's margin of victory over Stevenson was increased to 9 1/2 million votes, as the President rolled up the highest vote total (35,589,477) in American history. (It has been surpassed since.) Stevenson won only 7 states, for 73 electoral votes, against Eisenhower's total of 457.

Second Term: Jan. 20, 1957 ...

Since Jan. 20 fell on a Sunday, Eisenhower took the oath of office in a private White House ceremony, and the public celebration was held on the following day. Ike repeated the oath (administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren) and watched another impressive inaugural parade. The highlight of this parade was a mammoth float--408 ft. long and mounted on 164 wheels--introducing the theme "Liberty and Strength through Consent of the Governed."

Vetoes: Eisenhower vetoed 181 bills in his two terms as president. Though the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for six of his eight years in office, a coalition of southern Democrats and Republicans often worked together to support the President, and only two of Ike's vetoes were overridden.

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