In four years Hoover and the Democrats had failed to end the Depression, or even make progress in doing so. Smith promised to make reforms and have the government intervene on behalf of the American people, which contrasted sharply with the Democrats' laissez faire policy. Smith also promised to explore solutions to the brewing crisis in the states formerly belonging to the Confederate States of America -- Kentucky, Sequoyah, and western Texas (Houston), as well as the Mormon problem in the state of Utah. Hoover continued advocating strong national defense, especially in the wake of recent Confederate rearmament under Jake Featherston. Ironically, up to this point, Hoover had shown indifference to Confederate rearmament, and had even permitted it to some extent to the allow the C.S. to put down "radical elements" of the Confederacy's Negro population.
1936 saw Franklin D. Roosevelt reelected over Republican Alf Landon in one of the most lopsided elections in American history. Roosevelt won 46 out of 48 states, a record for most states won until Richard Nixon won 49 out of 50 states in 1972. Ronald Reagan would do likewise in 1984. Roosevelt's popular totals were also extremely high. In South Carolina, for instance, he won 96% of the statewide vote.
Ironically, prior to the election, the Republicans had been expecting a landslide for Landon, due to a badly out-of-touch poll conducted by Literary Digest magazine. Literary Digest had correctly predicted the last 5 elections. However, the magazine didn't consider the fact that the majority of its subscribers were Republican, and so more likely to vote for Landon.
Hoover and Smith did face off in OTL in the 1928 election. There, the Republican Hoover handily defeated the Democrat Smith.