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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Is today’s election a repeat of the Truman/Dewey fiasco of 1948?

In November of 1948, The New York Times emblazoned the headline: “Thomas E. Dewey’s Election as President is a Foregone Conclusion.” On November 1, 2010, Newsweek gives Democratic candidates a manual to know when to fold ‘em. If this looks like a reasonable similarity, there is more. President Harry Truman, at the time, was running his campaign against the Eightieth Congress, rather than Dewey.

Truman had also proposed a very unpopular bill—even with his own party—that would guarantee the rights of Blacks. This caused a clash in the Democratic Party resulting in a split that led to the forming of the Dixiecrats. During the convention, all Mississippi delegates, half of Alabama, for a total 35 walked out. They in turn ran their own candidate, South Carolina Senator, Strom Thurmond, for President.

The odds against Truman could not have been worse.

Read more here.

More to come.

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