1.) Dewey Defeats Truman! Nah.

  • 06/18/2019 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
1.) Dewey Defeats Truman! Nah.
US National Archives Record Group 46: Records of the U.S. Senate, [Public domain]
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.

 Source: AAN
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