Pinback button promoting William H. Taft for president and James S. Sherman for vice president, 1912. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Stalwart Republicans stood behind Taft and Sherman in 1912, despite Theodore Roosevelt’s effort to reclaim leadership of the party, and his subsequent defection to the Progressives. In the trifecta of the election, however, the incumbents had the worst of it: Roosevelt siphoned away millions of votes that would have otherwise gone Republican, enough to give the Democrats, Wilson and Marshall, a narrow popular majority and an electoral landslide. To top it off, Vice President Sherman died a few weeks before the election. Republicans would have to wait until 1920 to regain control of the executive.
This pinback from 1912 features portraits of the ill-fated incumbents.