Sunday, April 09, 2017

Returns show Stevenson leading Johnson by 6,190,

August 29, 1948, AP - New York Times, page A24, Returns show Stevenson leading Johnson by 6,190,
[The NYT's archive actually uses the title: "Article 2 -- No Title"]

DALLAS, Tex., Aug. 28 (AP) -Returns tonight showed Coke Stevenson, wartime Governor of Texas, leading Representative Lyndon B. Johnson, 332,928 to 326,738, for the Democratic nomination for the Senate. The tabulation, by the Texas Election Bureau, covered 190 of the state's 254 counties, sixty complete.

In the July 24 first primary, Stevenson won 168 of the counties with 477,077 votes. The first primary was a record-breaker. More citizens voted than at any other time in Texas history. Johnson ran second with 405,617 votes. Nine others were in the race.


Isn't Stevenson's having won 168 counties in the first primary a useless fact? More helpful would be the spread from that contest--71,390, and in this one, which I've provided. But can it be true, as the AP states, that at press time, 60 Texas counties were reporting 100 percent of their results, while 64 other counties were reporting zero percent?
What the AP calls "unofficial returns" from a "Presidential referendum," were really just a sampling of preferences from an intra-party straw poll conducted in only 0.78740157480315 percent of Texas' 254 counties.
A news organization could build a story around this, of course, especially when one county offers a running tabulation of results during the day, while it takes another county three days to return 200 ballots. But it winds up leaving the senate race looking incidental.
The Times' reporting was consistent in its suggestion of how badly the Truman campaign was going, and how poor were his prospects. It can be expected such test polling and push-messaging will self-fulfill. In hindsight, it all seems so pre-arraigned, all except for the failure of the intention.

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