Thursday, April 9, 2020

1.) Dewey Defeats Truman! Nah.

Harry Truman seemed poised to lose the 1948 presidential election to Governor Thomas Dewey (R-NY). 

Three major polls, including Gallup – the gold standard at the time – predicted a landslide Dewey victory.

Fortunately, for Truman, there were several flaws.

  • First, polling stopped two weeks before Election Day. A prolific campaigner, Truman successfully energized voters during the homestretch. 
  • Second, pollsters relied on telephone surveys, a device that remained limited to well-to-do households in 1948. A populist Democrat, Truman polled poorly with wealthy Americans.

While the labor vote was energized on Election Day, overconfident Republicans played golf.


AAN Staff
AAN Staff
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