The 1920 general election featured a greatly divided country on issues ranging from race, healthcare, foreign policy, and reactions to reforms brought on by the Progressive Era. It was also the first election women could vote; however, many issues that affected the race had to do with the long-standing debate and the general mood after a tumultuous World War and the lingering effects of the Flu pandemic that first struck in 1918.
William Harding and Calvin Coolidge, in 1920, led the Republican ticket and James Cox and Franklin Roosevelt led the Democrats. For the Republicans, Harding was a surprise choice. It was a negotiated nomination that was done during the 1920 Chicago Republican Convention. Rather than having a primary election, nominations were secured by delegates who often negotiated for their votes. Harding was seen as a compromise candidate.
For the Democrats, James Cox was chosen as other candidates seemed contentious. At the same time, Roosevelt was nominated as the Vice-Presidential pick, as he was a rising star within the party at the time and his relation to his somewhat distant cousin Theodore Roosevelt also helped secure his nomination.