Campaigning against Franklin Roosevelt’s third term, 1940
A Spotlight on a Primary Source by Republican National Committee
Franklin Roosevelt’s run in 1940 for a third consecutive term as president was unprecedented. George Washington established a two-term tradition when he declined to run for a third term in 1796, and until 1940, no other president received support from his party to run for a third term.
In 1940, Republicans were apprehensive of Roosevelt’s expansive New Deal policies, the potential for US intervention in World War II, and the implications of a third term in office for the nation and the candidate. In this broadside, the Republican National Committee laid out five reasons to "Vote Against a Third Term and Dictatorship," noting that a third term would go against American historical tradition as well as make the man holding the office "believe that his will alone should be the law."