The Charlotte News

Monday, November 3, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that on the eve of election day, optimism outweighed all doubts in Governor Stevenson's campaign, as he prepared his last appeal to the voters, which would be delivered this night from Chicago in a nationally broadcast radio and television program, a program also presenting his running mate, Senator John Sparkman of Alabama. The Governor was working on the speech at the Governor's mansion in Springfield, Ill., and even his own lieutenants said they did not know what he was going to say. The previous night, the Governor criticized General Eisenhower's proposals for ending the Korean War, as carrying the risk of a third world war and being designed to "separate us from our allies". He said that a group of 15 war correspondents in Korea had sent telegrams to General Eisenhower and to the Governor, warning against any withdrawal of American troops from the Korean front. The Governor would cast his vote the next day in Half Day, Ill., and then return to Springfield.

The President also would make a brief election eve statement this night via radio and television from Kansas City, introducing Governor Stevenson and Senator Sparkman to the television and radio audience.

The Governor's campaign manager, Wilson Wyatt, predicted the previous night that the Governor would win at least 400 electoral votes and carry at least 30 of the 48 states, with 266 electoral votes necessary to win. But privately, others at campaign headquarters did not share that optimism, seeing a much closer race, even though most were confident of victory. The general feeling was that support for the Governor had risen fast during recent days and had closed the gap and overtaken General Eisenhower in that spurt.

General Eisenhower, to be joined by Senator Nixon, would speak from Boston, also on a nationwide radio-television program, via NBC and ABC at 10:00 p.m., and then an hour later, take part in an hour-long program on four television networks. This date, the General had told a crowd of 5,000 in Boston that his friends, Cardinal Spellman, Rabbi Silver and Bernard Baruch had denied for him the charge that had been leveled against him by Democrats that he was a religious bigot. His motorcade stopped in front of the G & G delicatessen in Mattapan, a heavily Jewish section of Boston, a traditional stumping place for Boston and statewide candidates. The General's motorcade proceeded through South Boston, Dorchester and West Roxbury. A light rain fell and the crowds were comparatively small along the motorcade route, but the General drew cheers even in heavily Democratic South Boston. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., in a tough Senate fight with Congressman John Kennedy, rode with the General and introduced him to the crowds.

Republican national chairman Arthur Summerfield indicated that there were definite signs of a Republican landslide, but added that he avoided predictions of counts because he wanted every Republican to get out and vote.

There were 75,579,785 persons eligible to vote in the country, but on the basis of past voting performance, it was anticipated that approximately 20 million would not vote. No one, however, seemed certain of that prediction, as indications pointed to a record turnout, surpassing by far the record 49,820,000 who had voted in 1940 in the election between FDR and Wendell Willkie. The weather across the nation was predicted to be fair and mild, thus increasing the chance for a large turnout. The campaign between the General and the Governor had proved to be one of the most contested in several decades, after sparring lightly in the early stages following the conventions.

The last Gallup poll before the election, which had interviewed respondents through the prior Thursday, showed that General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson were in a tight race for the popular vote majority, with the race having narrowed since the previous Gallup poll, and that continuation or acceleration of the trend toward the Governor would provide him the popular vote majority by election day. The electoral vote depended on the outcomes in four key states, New York, Illinois, Ohio and California, where the latest polls showed the candidates running virtually even. The report indicates that Republican chances rested primarily on General Eisenhower's personal popularity and the fact that he was running ahead of his party nationally. The group of undecided voters contained more Democrats than Republicans, as in earlier presidential races. In 1944, that group had split 68 percent for the Democrats and 32 percent for the Republicans, and in 1948, 75 percent for the Democrats and 25 percent for the Republicans. It was determined that General Eisenhower had the advantage with voters who had made up their minds on how they would vote, running two points ahead of the Republican Party. Governor Stevenson's chances to win rested on 75 percent of the undecided or non-committal voters moving to him, as was the case with the President in the closing days of the 1948 campaign. For the General to win, he would have to stop or reverse the trend toward Governor Stevenson and maintain his narrow margin in the crucial states. Republican gains, compared to 1948, would be smallest in the large industrial states and greatest in the South, the farm states of the Midwest and the Mountain States of the West. It was possible that even a small popular vote victory could result in a large electoral college victory. The tables show that respondents in the poll had indicated 47 percent preference for General Eisenhower to 40 percent for Governor Stevenson, with 13 percent undecided. Allocating two-thirds of the undecided vote to Governor Stevenson, based on the 1944 model, left General Eisenhower with a two point lead. Allocating 75 percent of the undecided votes to Governor Stevenson, based on the 1948 model, tied the responses. As to party preference, 45 percent favored the Republicans, while 44 percent, the Democrats, with 11 percent undecided. With two-thirds of the undecided voters allocated to the Democrats, the Democrats took the lead by 51 percent to 49 percent, and with 75 percent of the undecided voters allocated to the Democrats, the Democrats took a four point lead.

Three other polls, the Crossley, Roper, and Samuel Lubell analysis, made for the Scripps-Howard newspapers, showed General Eisenhower ahead in the race, but none had flatly picked him to win. Crossley indicated that as of the middle of the previous week, the General would receive 47.4 percent of the popular vote to 42.3 percent for the Governor, with 9.9 percent undecided. He had concluded that the election could still go either way. His poll had provided Governor Dewey 49.9 percent and the President 44.9 percent at the same stage in 1948. Elmo Roper stated that their final poll, through the previous Friday night, had shown that there were enough people still undecided to tilt the election either way, but that Governor Stevenson still needed to make up some ground, even though he was still gaining. In 1948, the Roper poll had given Governor Dewey 52.2 percent of the vote in its last pre-election poll.

The Army this date issued its draft call for January, 1953, at 48,000, the highest monthly call since the previous January, when 59,650 men had been inducted. The new call brought the total number of men drafted and earmarked for induction since the draft had been resumed in September, 1950, to 1,202,430.

In Columbus, O., Highway Patrolmen had shot and killed one of the 1,600 rioting prisoners in the Ohio Penitentiary this date, and a few minutes afterward, a National Guard company of about 100 men, armed with rifles and machine guns, marched inside the prison to reinforce the 21 State Patrolmen who had been holding the 1,600 prisoners at bay with criss-crossing shotgun barrages down the corridors of four battered cell blocks. The dead man had been serving a 2 to 10-year sentence for housebreaking. He had been shot in the head. Three other prisoners were wounded earlier this date and a fourth had been shot the previous day, all in the criss-cross fire. The riot had been proceeding for 60 hours in protest of the food served at the prison, having begun on the afternoon of Halloween. There was no spokesman for the 1,600 prisoners. Four buildings had been burned down during the riot and the prisoners had brandished makeshift weapons fashioned from meat cleavers and sharpened spoons, among other implements.

In Charlotte, two religious leaders of the city issued statements this date accusing North Carolina Republican headquarters of seeking to inject Governor Stevenson's religious views into the campaign as a political issue. The statement of the Republicans had stated that the Governor was a member of the Unitarian Church and that Unitarianism "does not accept Christ". Harry Jones, regional director of the National Conference of Christians & Jews, said that the Republicans had made "a very distinct appeal to religious prejudice and must be condemned by all who believe in fair play". The Rev. Edward Cahill, minister of the Charlotte Unitarian Church, said that he was deeply disturbed by the injection of the religious issue into the campaign. Both men pointed out that Presidents Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Quincy Adams and William Howard Taft had been Unitarians. The Republican state chairman, J. M. Baley, Jr., said that the Republican statement had been sent to ministers across the state, had been signed by the state Republican public relations director, but Mr. Baley did not disclaim responsibility for it or its statement. It had indicated that it was "impossible to conceive of the majority of citizens … observing the Holy Birth of Jesus … with a President … not humbly embracing the same faith." Mr. Baley said that he regretted the statement and that the Republicans were not interested in injecting religion into the campaign.

A piece on the page urges the citizenry to vote.

On the editorial page, "On Election Eve—A Reaffirmation" again imparts why the newspaper had, since the previous January, endorsed General Eisenhower for the Republican nomination, and since October 9, endorsed him in the general election. It laments the fact that what had started as a high-minded campaign had degenerated into mud-slinging, with even the President stooping "to the gutter in order to besmirch the good name of a great soldier whom, only six months previously, he tried to persuade to become the Democratic nominee for the presidency." It suggests that on the eve of the election, it was not surprising that many thousands of voters were bewildered and upset at having to make a decision amid such tactics.

In recapitulation of the reasons for its support of the General, it states that it wanted to see an honorable conclusion to the Korean War, and believed the General had the better knowledge and experience to do so. It also believed that Federal defense spending had increased too much and that the General was better qualified to guide the cutting of waste and duplication, without compromising unduly the defense of the nation. It also asserts that the General would be better positioned to clean up Washington than would Governor Stevenson, who would be handicapped by having received the blessing and support of the President. The next President would also have responsibility for ferreting out Communists in Government agencies and it believes that the General would be in a stronger position to strengthen internal security in that regard. It also suggests that the General's election would strengthen the two-party system, vital to the South's future. It further asserts that the General would be able to decentralize Government power so that the states, instead of Washington, would have greater responsibilities and functions.

It wishes the General luck and hopes that the voters would have the wisdom to elect him.

"Job Classification Popular Elsewhere" indicates that job classification, as had been proposed in Charlotte to the City Council, which had been reluctant to implement it, had been popular in Wake County, Guilford County, Burlington, Rocky Mount, New Bern, Gastonia, Raleigh, High Point and Durham.

The only thing job classification did was to provide a detailed description of the duties to be performed by each employee, to group all positions involving similar duties and responsibilities together under the same descriptive title, and arrange the groups of positions in an orderly fashion with respect to one another.

It urges that the proposal be adopted by the City Council.

Drew Pearson indicates that former professor Carl McGowan had placed himself as a kind of roadblock in the Stevenson campaign, seeing to it that virtually no one got through to the Governor, including, on occasion, DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell and campaign manager, Wilson Wyatt. Among other things, he had kept from the Governor details of the planned whistle-stop tour through New England, as he had not favored such a tour, even though the Governor had agreed to do it. In consequence, the train trip was almost upset.

The promise by General Eisenhower that he would go to Korea to try to end the war had won him votes, but had upset General MacArthur who commented that all he had to do was to come to see him, as he knew everything about Korea.

Swedish newspapers had been reporting that Senator Nixon had employed a Swedish maid, who had entered the U.S. on a diplomatic passport and was supposed to have left the country after her job at the Swedish Embassy had ended the prior summer. The Swedish Embassy had notified the State Department that she had gone to work for the Senator, but after the Justice Department interviewed the maid and sent a report to Attorney General James McGranery, the latter had decided to do nothing. The maid had told other maids that she made only $70 per month working for the Senator and that she had to work long hours six days per week, but believed that as long as she remained working for him, she would not be deported. Following the publication of some of those facts in the Swedish newspapers, the Justice Department had interviewed her a second time, and had taken away her passport. But there still was no determination as to whether there would be an effort to deport her, as the Justice Department did not want to make the matter into a political issue, while admitting that any other alien illegally working in the country would be deported immediately.

Mr. Pearson notes that Senator Nixon had favored restricting immigration, as under the McCarran Act.

General Eisenhower, speaking recently on the CBS television network, had maintained a split feed, one intended for Southern audiences and the other for Northern audiences. The Southern broadcast featured three Democratic Governors, James Byrnes of South Carolina, Allan Shivers of Texas, and Robert Kennon of Louisiana, while 25 Republican Governors were on the Northern feed. In consequence, the South did not hear Maryland Governor Theodore McKeldin state that the first thing he did as Governor was to abolish the Jim Crow rail car, or other Northern Governors emphasizing civil rights.

Will Durant, author of The Story of Philosophy and, with his wife Ariel, the multi-volume Story of Civilization, in a reprinted letter to the editor of The New York Times, sets forth his reasons for switching his support from General Eisenhower to Governor Stevenson. He begins by complimenting the Times for presenting the campaign fairly in its news columns, says that he felt the need to explain his switch as he had made lectures in several cities where he indicated support for General Eisenhower.

He found it disturbing that, to win the nomination, the General had begun his campaign by representing himself as a conservative, "almost a reactionary", on nearly every issue of domestic policy. "It was more disturbing to note his willingness to preach war to the American Legion and peace to other audiences; undiminished military appropriations to Congress and impossible tax reductions to all; rejecting nearly all the Republican platform and surrounding himself with the men who wrote it; courting the farm vote with 100 percent parity and the Southern vote without facing the issues of FEPC and [Senate] cloture; deliberately (as the asterisks showed) misquoting—or allowing his aides to misquote—Secretary Acheson and pretending amid his moral crusade that Senator Nixon had answered the ethical questions raised by accepting secret financial assistance from a small section of the community whose total interest he was pledged to serve. Frankly, the General seems ready to embrace any person or proposal that promises votes."

He indicates that Governor Stevenson had also made concessions to political expediency, such as changing his views on Taft-Hartley and FEPC, but the rest of his campaign had been "refreshingly courageous". "He has warned the Legion that he will not be a party to military chauvinism; he has warned labor that a President must consider the interests of the nation above those of any class; he has warned the taxpayer that no honest man can offer a reduction of taxes until the problem of national security has been solved; he has dared to defend civil rights in places where he must have been surprised to find so generous a response, and he has discussed the real issues with a candor, consistency and rationality rare in candidates for office."

Mr. Durant concludes that it would be "a pity and a disgrace" for the electorate to reject the Governor after such an effort to keep the campaign on a level of appeal to reason.

He states his awareness that the Democratic Party had been guilty of corruption and "criminal waste of public funds", believes that Government corruption reflected the country's moral deterioration. But he also indicates that the widespread approval of Senator Nixon's address on his secret expense fund suggested "a general decline in moral sense as well as in intellectual ability to resist dramatic diversions from the point at issue."

He finds that the principal question which should be debated in the campaign was whether Government interference with economic life did more harm than good, finds that such interference had been necessary "to counteract the disruptive inequalities of human capacity." Those who were exceptionally able had their superiority multiplied by invention, science and the marketplace, such that unless the Government helped the average man, wealth would be concentrated at the top, causing "revolutionary disturbances or overturns fatal to our Constitution."

He asserts that FDR's statesmanship had recognized that the country's capacity to produce had to be balanced by a widespread capacity to purchase or the system could not work. President Roosevelt had deliberately placed the Government on the side of the average man, supporting unions, the farmer, and raising the general standard of living, saving the country's economy from the poverty and class war which might have otherwise transpired, as in France and Italy, where Communism thrived on the basis of the Soviet claim of ending poverty.

He states that the American system, combining capitalism and socialism, had been far more successful than either the capitalism of the "not-so-gay Nineties" or Russian Communism. That system had developed from five successive Democratic Administrations since 1933. Seen in that light, he finds that the Democrats were conservative, preserving the essentials of the American system, while showing a "vital capacity for adaptive change". He says that at age 67, he had never found the Republicans, while in office, to believe that it was time for a change in anything.

Marquis Childs indicates that it was only a five-minute walk between the Commodore Hotel, where General Eisenhower had his campaign headquarters, and the Waldorf-Astoria, where General MacArthur had his suite, and yet neither General had offered to visit the other.

General MacArthur's name was on the ballot as a presidential candidate in five states, and potentially could sway the election if he received enough votes to deny those states to General Eisenhower. A write-in vote of 75,000 to 125,000 in California for General MacArthur could cause the defeat of General Eisenhower. In both Missouri and Texas, he was on the ballot twice. In Texas, he appeared as a candidate for the Constitution Party and also for the Christian Nationalist Party. In Missouri, he was on the ballot of the America First Party and also the Christian Nationalists. In Arkansas, Washington and North Dakota, General MacArthur was also on the ballot as the Christian Nationalist candidate.

There was no evidence that he had encouraged that his name be placed on the ballot in those states, but there was also no indication that he had sought to remove it.

A letter writer, John N. Frederick, congratulates the newspaper for its editorial endorsement of all Democratic candidates for State and county offices, despite having endorsed General Eisenhower for the presidency, finds the endorsements to be fair. He also indicates that a person bearing his first initial and last name had written both the News and the Observer endorsing General Eisenhower, says he did not know that person. He thanks the voters who had cast 127,000 votes for him in the Democratic primary in his bid to become State Commissioner of Insurance, says that he was supporting the Democratic ticket completely.

A letter writer indicates that the arguments that Republicans would bring on depression and that Democratic spending would destroy the economy were beyond his understanding of economics. In light of the promises by Republicans to make the dollar worth more, he wonders whether the bank would accept 30 of those "good, sound Republican dollars in place of 58 weak, limp, Democrat dollars" which he paid them on his house every month under a G.I. loan. He believes they would want the $58 without regard to the condition of the dollar generally. While prices might drop and wages with them, his mortgage was going to stay the same. "So God bless our mortgaged homes and those puny, weak, Democrat dollars that will pay for it."

A letter writer from Kannapolis indicates that America was facing bankruptcy, with a public debt of 264 billion dollars, while the people were complacent about it, though it was the chief source of inflation "which has been deliberately fostered by shallow-minded Harry Truman." She finds that little had been said during the campaign about the question of the debt, that Governor Stevenson had not repudiated the "wasteful and extravagant record" of the present Administration and that only more of the same could be promised by a Stevenson administration. She urges General Eisenhower and his speakers to "thunder our grave financial condition from every speaker's platform in the land!"

A letter writer asks what the election meant to the reader, whether it entailed a country freed from Communism, a Government freed from corruption, a state freed to practice a states' rights program, and if so, urges voting for General Eisenhower.

Sounds like you're selling a set of encyclopedias.

A letter writer indicates that leaders of organized labor should confine their activities to the job at hand rather than engaging in political campaigns, says that he was a member of organized labor and believed that the average member of any organization had a mind of his own and was intelligent enough to vote without unsolicited and unwarranted interference.

A letter writer addresses the "little people", indicates that for thousands of years, the masses had been either slaves, peons or serfs, but at long last, a few of those shackles had been removed "through the grace of God and FDR." He finds that the rich and powerful could not take it, urges readers not to fear the New Deal and not to allow the big moneyed interests to take it away. "Don't change from a certainty to an uncertainty." He urges not forgetting the 1930's.

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