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California gubernatorial election, 1934


California gubernatorial election, 1934

California gubernatorial election, 1934

November 6, 1934

Nominee Frank Merriam Upton Sinclair Raymond L. Haight
Party Republican Democratic Progressive
Popular vote 1,138,629 879,537 302,519
Percentage 48.87% 37.75% 12.99%

Governor before election

Frank Merriam

Elected Governor

Frank Merriam

The California gubernatorial election, 1934 was held on November 6, 1934. Held in the midst of the Great Depression, the 1934 election was amongst the most controversial in the state's political history, putting conservative Republican Frank Merriam against former Socialist Party member turned Democrat Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle. A strong third party challenge came from Commonwealth-Progressive Raymond L. Haight, a Los Angeles lawyer campaigning for the political centrist. Much of the campaign's emphasis was directed at Sinclair's EPIC movement, proposing socialist reforms to cure the state's ailing economy. Merriam, who had recently assumed the governorship following the death of James Rolph, characterized Sinclair's proposal as a step towards communism.

General Election Results

1934 gubernatorial election, California
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Frank F. Merriam (incumbent) 1,138,629 48.87
Democratic Upton Sinclair 879,537 37.75
Progressive Raymond L. Haight 302,519 12.99
Communist Samuel Adams Darcy 5,826 0.25
Socialist Milen Dempster 2,947 0.13
Total votes 0 100.0
Republican hold Swing


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