|"An Addition to the Political Menagerie" by W. Hanny for St. Joseph News Press, Aug. 1916|
Republican and Democratic party platforms in 1916 both supported women's suffrage only on a state-by-state basis (the Progressive Party had endorsed full women's suffrage in 1912). Women had the vote in twelve of the 48 states already, nearly all of them in the far west.
The Republican nominee, Charles Evans Hughes, went one step further than his party platform on August 1, 1916, endorsing a women's suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
|"The Summer Flirt!" by Chapin in St. Louis Republican, Aug., 1916|
|"Mr. Hughes Kissed Her!" by Daniel Fitzpatrick in St. Louis Post Dispatch, Aug. 1916|
Suffragettes having gotten nowhere with Wilson, the Women's Committee of the Hughes Alliance raised over $132,000 from 1,100 contributors with which they organized and financed a special train to travel throughout the states where women had the vote. They held campaign rallies where women orators mobilized supporters to get out the vote for the Republican.
Wilson did not come out in support of women's suffrage until September, 1918, tying it to the war effort (the U.S. having entered the war in April, 1917):
Meanwhile, back in 1916: Hughes's endorsement of women's suffrage was seized upon by Rollin Kirby and other Democratic-leaning cartoonists who pointed out the tension between Holmes's support from German-Americans and the suffrage movement's historic ties to the Prohibition movement. Prominent among German-American businesses were breweries and distilleries, which naturally did not welcome the financial ruin Prohibition promised them.
In Jonathan Cassel's cartoon, Hughes appears to cherish suffrage (that's a mirror, isn't it?) the most of all the issues in his carpetbag – Wall Street support; the late President of Mexico, Victoriano Huerta; Hyphen support (meaning non-WASP-Americans); military conscription; and the Trusts – as he heads off in pursuit of those western women's votes.
|"What Will Poor Wilson Do Now?" by Raymond O. Evans in Baltimore American, Aug. 1916|
"I regard the concurrence of the Senate in the Constitutional amendment proposing the extension of suffrage to women as vitally essential to the successful prosecution of this great war of humanity in which we are engaged. ...
"This war could not have been fought, either by the other nations engaged or by America, if it had not been for the services of women – services rendered in every sphere – not merely in the fields of effort in which we have been accustomed to see them work, but wherever men have worked and upon the very skirts and edges of the battle itself. We shall not only be distrusted but shall deserve to be distrusted if we do not enfranchise them with the fullest possible enfranchisement."
|"A New Friend" by Rollin Kirby for New York World, Aug. 1916|
|"Packing His Belongings" by Jonathan H. Cassel for New York Evening World, Aug. 1916|