New York gubernatorial election, 1958

New York gubernatorial election, 1958

Infobox Election
election_name = New York gubernatorial election, 1958
country = New York
type = presidential
ongoing = no
previous_election = New York gubernatorial election, 1954
previous_year = 1954
next_election = New York gubernatorial election, 1962
next_year = 1962
election_date = November 4, 1958

candidate1 = Nelson Rockefeller
party1 = Republican Party (United States)
popular_vote1 = 3,126,929
percentage1 = 54.7%

candidate2 = W. Averell Harriman
party2 = Democratic Party (United States)
popular_vote2 = 2,553,895
percentage2 = 44.7%
title = Governor
before_election = W. Averell Harriman
before_party = Democratic Party (United States)
after_election = Nelson Rockefeller
after_party = Republican Party (United States)
The New York gubernatorial election of November 4, 1958 was a sole important Republican victory in a year when the Democratic Party made gains in the midterm election (including winning one of the biggest majorities in the United States Senate).


*Incumbent Governor W. Averell Harriman (Democrat)
*Former Assistant Secretary of State and Undersecretary of HEW Nelson Rockefeller (Republican)
*1950 and 1954 gubernatorial candidate John T. McManus (Socialist)

Harriman, a formerly prominent diplomat and important figure of the national Democratic Party (he was one of the leading candidates to the 1956 Democratic presidential nomination was initially expected to easily win re-election, due to his position and Democratic-favored political situation.

Rockefeller, a scion of one of the wealthiest families in the world, however, because of his personal wealth, charisma and energetic campaign, became a real danger for Harriman and won the Governorship.

Voting results


Harriman's loss in contrast to big Democratic victory across the country definitively hurt his presidential aspirations. He later returned to diplomatic service, but never held any elective office.

Rockefeller, as a man who won the governorship of a big state in the Democratic year, soon became a leader of the GOP's moderate-to-liberal wing and a Presidential hopeful himself. This election opened the door for his career. Although he was a strong Presidential candidate, he failed to win nomination in 1960, 1964 and 1968. He was, however, appointed Vice President of the United States by Gerald Ford and served in the "number-two" office from 1974 to 1977.


* [ OurCampaign article on election]

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