Two Parties in Search of an Issue

Bancroft, Griffing
October 1954
New Republic;10/4/54, Vol. 131 Issue 14, p9
This article presents information on the political conditions of the U.S. The Democrats should win the Congressional elections this fall; history says so, opinion polls say so, and .the record of voting to date says so. The Maine election, of course, was the greatest fillip the Democrats have had. It wasn't so much the defeat of an apparently unpopular Governor, as it was the overall drop of some 12 percent in the Republican vote for winning GOP Congressional candidates. As for the rest of the voting to date, it is not only unwise, it is virtually impossible, to try to draw conclusions from primary elections. They are intra-party and usually local, except in the one-party South where they are final, and if there are any national trends that is where they must be reflected. Of course, in many Southern states, the issue of conservative versus liberal never got as far as the actual balloting. In the last two off-year elections, 1946 and 1950, national issues were overriding. In 1946, while the war had ended, controls were still on, taxes were still high and, if you remember, there was a critical meat shortage just before elections. Republicans capitalized on this and won control of the 80th Congress.


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