He ran for president five separate times as a Socialist candidate from 1900 to 1920–twice earning close to a million votes.
Eugene V. Debs
William Jennings Bryan
Eugene V. Debs.
Eugene V. Debs ran for president five separate times on the Socialist ticket from 1900 to 1920 twice earning close to a million votes. Debs an engaging and effective orator was a lifelong labor organizer and advocate. He became increasingly critical of traditional American politics in the 1890s. In 1898, two years after campaigning for Democratic-Populist presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, Debs established the Socialist Party of America (although the name was not officially adopted until 1901). He garnered a little over 86,000 votes in the 1900 election, but surged to some 400,000 in 1904. In 1912, he earned about 900,000 votes–almost 6% of the popular vote. When he ran for the Socialists again in 1920 (having refused the nomination in 1916), he polled 915,000 votes, which was only 3.4% of the popular vote by then. He was also in prison, having been convicted of sedition under the 1917 Espionage Act. Released by presidential pardon in 1921, he died in 1926.
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