An Examination of the La Crosse Press and the Republican Party in the Wisconsin Election of 1904
McQuin, James M.
Parker, James R.
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The year 1904 produced a political battle in the Wisconsin Republican party that would affect the state's future for nearly a decade thereafter. The Republican party in Wisconsin was split into two factions in the late 1890's. Former Congressman Robert M. LaFollette's faction, the "insurgents" or "half-breeds" was opposed by the dominant Republican faction known as the "stalwarts." The 1904 gubernatorial campaign in the state of Wisconsin produced emotional factionalism in the state Republican party which spread into every community. The purpose of this study is to examine the editorial opinion expressed in three La Crosse, Wisconsin newspapers during the gubernatorial campaign of 1904 and, in so doing, to determine the position taken by each paper concerning the state Republican party strife and the key issues of the campaign. The three newspapers are the La Crosse Chronicle, the La Crosse Leader-Press and the La Crosse Tribune. A short overview of the 1904 campaign and election is followed by an examination of the editorial content of the three newspapers during the period from January 14, 1904 to November 9, 1904. The examination revealed several tendencies. First, the Leader-Press maintained a neutral stand on the gubernatorial campaign, but endorsed the primary election law referendum. Second, the Chronicle supported the stalwart candidates and denounced the primary election law referendum. Third, the Tribune initially maintained an independent political opinion but eventually abandoned that position and supported the Democratic Party and it's candidates. The Tribune argued that the primary election law referendum was not a political issue in the campaign.
Press and politics -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Republican Party (Wis.) -- History
Elections -- Wisconsin
Wisconsin -- Politics and government -- 1848-1950
La Follette, Robert M. -- 1855-1925