Assess why Roosevelt was successful in the 1944 Presidential campaign against Thomas Dewey for a fourth  term.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In so many ways, the Republican candidate Thomas Dewey had little chance to unseat President Roosevelt.  The fact that the Republicans were still choosing to campaign against the New Deal reflected their desperation.  With all of American attention fixated on World War II, theoretical debates about government size via the New Deal was not a winning strategy.  Roosevelt was able to turn the election on himself and how his approaches were enabling America to be victorious in the world conflict.  The Republicans tried to invoke a fear of Communism, with Dewey suggesting that Roosevelt and other members of his government were "indispensable" to the Communists.  Yet, this, too, was falling on deaf ears as the Russians were demonstrating themselves essential to defeating the Axis Powers, seen as the time as the looming power and threat to American freedom.  President Roosevelt's strength was seen in the liberation of Paris in August of the election year and in the fact that successes in the Asian theatre were also becoming evident.  Roosevelt did a great job of concealing his own physical debilitation, and was able to convince the American public to vote for his fourth consecutive term as President.

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