Dewey defeats Roosevelt

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Minuteman, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Minuteman Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    What if Thomas Dewey had defeated Roosevelt in 1944? The states Roosevelt won which pushed him over 266 were close, and if Dewey had won every state where he was defeated by 5.1% or less he could have become president. For this to become possible let's say Roosevelt selects Byrnes, causing African-American voters to either defect en masse or stay home. Labour voters also are less enthusiastic about Byrnes, along with Catholics (dissappointed about Byrnes becoming a Protestant) and Protestants (who think that Byrnes is still a Catholic). Have Roosevelt collapse during a rally, and have Dewey cajole Roosevelt in a radio debate forcing Roosevelt to accept and then lose the debates (Have Dewey sound more confident) along with a military failure in either Europe or the Pacific, Roosevelt could have lost the election.

    With Dewey becoming president in 1944, how does this impact American politics onward?
  2. Amadeus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
    These are just way too many unrelated changes and coincidences in order to work. The fact is that in 1944 the US military situation and economy were up while Roosevelt proved himself the superior politician by mocking the GOP's over the top attacks against him. Dewey had his year - 1948 - but of course he spectacularly blew it. (This was less his fault than the pollsters, which stopped surveying voters two months before the election. His lead in September polling disuaded him from turning the tables on Truman, and as a result he lost under the weight of his opponent's more aggressive fall campaign).
    Bomster likes this.
  3. Thomas1195 Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2016
    The best POD would be anything about FDR's health condition.
  4. Ozzymandias Chief whip of the world

    Sep 2, 2013
    Somehow Dewey beats FDR in 1944.
    Dewey would not take office before January 20, 1945.
    It would take couple of months for new inexpirienced Cabinet to be confirmed, as well to make any war policy changes.
    I do not see anyone daring to break Yalta deal. Unconditional surrender for Nazi Germany would remain policy.
    Maybe he would be ready to negotiate earlier peace with Japan, without US ocupation and warcrime trials ? Does someone knows his positions on this ?
    Probably most of difference would be a republican refusal of Marshall plan, leaving Europe open for grabs to european (French, Italian) communist parties. Probably no CIA in 1947. No secret guaranties to Yugoslavia in 1947 if it breaks away from USSR in 1948.

    Loss of Europe to Stalin without a shot would likely made Dewey a single term president.
    On the other hand, maybe larger support for Chinese Nationalists in Civil war.
    Republicans would most certainly be against recognition of Israel in 1948.
  5. Amadeus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
    No, Dewey supported the recognition of Israel and was on good personal terms with David Ben-Gurion.

    Dynasoar and Historyman 14 like this.
  6. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    That seems like a lot of long shots that would have to land in order to win. It’s basically the equivalent of the Patriots completing that 28-3 comeback with Brady and Gronk on the sideline and the Falcons’ defense is full of Pro Bowlers and coached by Buddy Ryan’s ghost. Or if you don’t follow football, picture Trump pulling it off in 2016 against someone who was universally liked. Biden if he were 10 years younger and had to sub in for Obama for a short time and did a great job. It’s just way too out there.

    But if he does pull it off, like, if FDR nearly strokes out during a radio debate or he puts up someone with obvious Soviet sympathies, like even worse than Wallace, then I don’t expect the plan for victory to change. Total win, unconditional surrender, drop the damn bomb. The peace is another story. If his Cabinet isn’t ready and doesn’t end up brought up to speed the way Truman’s was, Stalin will walk all over them. And if a huge chunk of Europe goes Communist, you can bet the GOP gets the blame and will be associated with communism for a long time.
  7. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    Yes, I could see Dewey blind sided by the postwar international politics, & a few other things as well.
  8. redjirachi Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2018
    Given WW2 was going on, FDR was a shoe-in. If you still want a "Dewey defeats Roosevelt" to be less in-name only, pull a Horace Greeley and have Roosevelt died during the election. The Dems are left with Wallace, and the sudden change compounded by the fact they didn't like Wallace(and depending on when this happens, Truman may have already got the VP slot), and you've got a disaster that could move it in Dewey's favor. It wouldn't be hard to do considering FDR's health during the election was terrible and it was why they wanted to replace Wallace; they knew that he wasn't going to live through his next term
  9. John Fredrick Parker Donor

    May 22, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Small question related to the prospect of Thomas Dewey becoming President - what, if anything, would be the prospects for Eunice Carter?