Setting Up the 1940 Election
After a tough midterm election where his party sustained major losses, President Wheeler struggled to drum up support. With a relatively low approval rating among members of his own party, Wheeler is concerned for his future. Although the economy has been trending upwards due to war preparedness spending, with lower unemployment figures and more consumer spending, the specter of war now looms over the horizon. The US appears to be divided on full out intervention, so it's said that this election will be a mandate on war policy.
The Bull Moose Party, despite a rough convention, soldiered forward with President Wheeler and Vice President Sinclair. The most prominent danger to Bull Moose support with their own base is composed of the independent socialist bid of Bull Moose Congressman Norman Thomas and Montana Senator Jeanette Rankin, both of whom coalesced around Elmer Austin Benson in the primaries and convention. The Republican Party's nominee, George Aiken, selected Newspaperman Frank Knox as his vice president to provide a geographical balance on the ticket and attract Midwestern support. Alben Barkley, the Democratic nominee, picked New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his running mate. Lastly, the Conservative Party's leader John Nance Garner picked New Hampshire senator Styles Bridges to run with him on a Right Wing ticket.
The Bull Moose Party is running on a platform of civil rights for women and minorities, continuing aid to allies but not intervening, and a minimum wage. The Democratic Platform consists of intervention in Europe to aid the UK and France in their fight against Germany along with continuing the economic policies of the last few years. The Democrats oppose a preemptive attack on Japan, but they do support a draft. Moreover, the Democratic Platform calls for a huge boost in research and science spending for weaponry and new technologies. The Republican consensus is on cutting some of the jobs programs of the 1930's in favor of war preparedness and combat spending. Republicans support keeping a wary eye on Japan and forging alliances, moving towards intervention on the European stage. However, at this stage, Republicans do not support a draft. The Conservative Party supports interning German Americans, immediately attacking Germany, and curtailing federally contracted companies' labor union rights. They support a crackdown on any 'subversive' activity conducted by Black liberation groups, ethnic Americans, or immigrants.