BW - EP132—009: Mutual Mystery Shows Of The 1940s—Truman Wins Reelection


Manage episode 344786340 series 2494501
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On Tuesday November 2nd, 1948 The United States held its forty-first presidential election. If you’d tuned into the results early in the evening, you’d have been convinced that the pre-election polls were correct and Thomas Dewey would become the next president. You’d have been wrong. Dewey ran a low-risk campaign. His advisers believed all he had to do to win was avoid major mistakes. So Dewey spoke in platitudes, avoided controversial issues, and was vague on what he planned to do as president. But, many republicans disliked Dewey, feeling he was too cold and stiff, and surprisingly against outlawing the Communist Party. Believing he had nothing to lose, Harry Truman ran a feisty campaign. He ridiculed Dewey’s platitudes, and claimed Communists were rooting for a GOP victory to ensure another Great Depression. Energizing traditional Democrats, as well as Catholic and Jewish voters, Truman also fared surprisingly well with Midwestern farmers. When it was all over, Harry Truman’s victory was considered one of the greatest election upsets in American history, garnering 303 electoral votes to Thomas Dewey's 189. With simultaneous success in the 1948 congressional elections, the Democrats also regained control of both the House and Senate, which they lost in 1946.

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