Tammany suffered a telling defeat in the election of 1932 and did not regain its former strength in succeeding elections. The organization declined greatly during the administrations of Fiorello LaGuardia, 1933–45. The decline was accelerated by woman's suffrage, immigration restriction, and the social programs of the New Deal, which weakened voters' dependence on the machine.

After World War II, Tammany revived considerably under the leadership of Carmine De Sapio, who successfully promoted the nomination and election of Robert F. Wagner, Jr., as mayor in 1953 and of W. A. Harriman as governor in 1954. De Sapio's leadership, however, came under increasing attack from reformers in the Democratic party. In 1961, Wagner was elected for a third term as the leader of a movement against boss rule, and De Sapio was ousted from his position as Tammany chief by the reform forces. Later attempts (1963, 1965) by De Sapio to regain power failed, and during the mayoralty of John V. Lindsay (1966–73), Tammany passed out of existence as a political machine.

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