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Independent Progressive


Members of the Legislature: 0
Highest Office Won: None
Founded: 1948

NOTE: California has had several Progressive Parties. The first, also known as the Bull Moose Party, existed from 1914 to 1918. The second Progressive Party existed from 1924 to 1942. The final, known in California as the Independent Progressive Party, existed from 1948 to 1955.

The Independent Progressive Party was a native California political party, having been organized in Los Angeles following World War II. In 1948, a year after it was first established, the IPP became California's 12th qualified political party. Although it was first created as a separate entity, California's IPP became a part of the national Progressive Party, but was named (in part) to distinguish itself from two previous "Progressive" political parties in California (the "Bull Moose" Progressive Party which qualified from 1914 to 1918 and the "Progressive Party" from 1934 to 1938.

The Independent Progressive Party was created as a vehicle for electing Henry A. Wallace President. Wallace, who had been a prominent Democratic Vice President (elected in 1940, he served as Vice President for all but the final seven months of World War II). He would almost certainly have served as the 33rd President (following the death of President Roosevelt in 1945), but he was replaced on the the 1944 ticket by Harry S. Truman due to concerns about Roosevelt's health. Wallace was quite aware that he had narrowly missed becoming President (Roosevelt died only 82 days after Truman replaced Wallace as Vice Presidency), and was determined to run again in 1948.

The national "Progressive Party" (which included California's Independent Progressive Party) was launched in 1948, with the hope that large numbers of Democrats would support Wallace over Truman, but received only about 3% of the vote nation-wide. The party did very well for a third party in 1950; when the IPP ran 13 candidates candidates statewide, of whom 9 received over 10%. In 1952, the IPP ran a total of 19 candidates, and 11 received over 10% of the vote. One candidate, Raymond Cox received just short of 18% in a southern California Assembly race. Two years later, the tides had definitely turned against the IPP. Of the six candidates who ran for office that year, only one got higheer than 2%. In 1955, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee included the "Progressive Party" on the list of 'subversive' Communist front groups. The party was disbanded in 1955.