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Senators and Presidential Elections

Mark Hanna & Theodore Roosevelt
New York Public Library

Senators have often played important roles in presidential elections, using their political skills and state-based networks to bolster their party's candidate. In the late 19th century, two senators were so instrumental in electing presidents that they gained the title "kingmaker." Matthew Quay of Pennsylvania played a pivotal role in the 1888 election of Benjamin Harrison. Six years later, Ohio senator Mark Hanna devised a successful strategy for putting William McKinley in the White House.


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