Virginia Magazine of History and Biography
The 1928 presidential election posed problems for Virginia Democrats, who were traditionally Protestant and prohibitionist. New Yorker Al Smith's nomination split Virginia's party, allowing Republican Herbert C. Hoover to win by a healthy majority. Led by a Methodist Bishop James Cannon, Jr., Virginians who opposed Smith, a Roman Catholic, cited his link with Tammany Hall and his views on prohibition legislations as justifications to vote against him. State party leaders Harry Byrd, Carter Glass, Louis Joffe, and John Garland Pollard mounted a party loyalty campaign for Smith, but the election's central issue was whether or not a candidate's religion merited political consideration.
Original Publication Citation
Sweeney, J. R. (1982). Rum, Romanism, and Virginia democrats: The party leaders and the campaign of 1928. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 90(4), 403-431.
Sweeney, James R., "Rum, Romanism, and Virginia Democrats: The Party Leaders and the Campaign of 1928" (1982). History Faculty Publications. 6.