The Progressive Party in the first Wilson Administration
The Progressive Party won a respectable number of offices in the 1912 elections for a third party, including nine seats in the U.S. House. Most of their support returned to the Republican Party in the local elections of 1913, and in 1914 the party lost half of its elected officials.
Early in 1916, the big question for the Progressive Party was whether Theodore Roosevelt would be a candidate. Supporters began to enter his name into the Progressive primaries in various states. TR announced on 1/4/1916 that he would not be a candidate for President and asked for his name to be removed from primary ballots. He also said that he planned to be in Chicago during the week when the national conventions of the Progressive Party and the Republican Party were planned [NYT 1/5/1916].
The national committee of the Progressive Party met on 1/10/16 to make the arrangements for the national convention. Those gathered were generally in favor of a second TR campaign, saying that even though he had withdrawn, he was the candidate the most likely to defeat Wilson. The party reserved 800 hotel rooms and several venues for convention committees to meet [NYT 1/11/1916]. Some delegates mentioned the possibility of Hughes as a compromise candidate, while others supported Judge Elbert H. Gary NY [NYT 1/12/1916].
As the states were preparing to select national convention delegates, TR changed course. While on a cr