Election 1940: Former Farley Aide Sees Willkie Victory (10-17-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 17, 1940)

Chicago, Oct. 17 (UP) –

Emil Hurja, executive director of the Democratic National Committee from 1932 to 1938 and now editor of Pathfinder Magazine, said today that “an idealized cross section poll” of the nation indicated Wendell L. Willkie would be elected President with a 1,500,000 to three million plurality.

Mr. Hurja said he predicted the 1932-34-36 elections accurately as an assistant to then Democratic National Chairman, James A. Farley, “although all Jim (Farley) needed was someone to hold his coat for him to hit them on the nose.”

Mr. Hurja made his prediction before a luncheon audience of 1,000 businessmen on the basis of a poll taken ten days ago.

The amazing thing is the trend to Willkie in the cities as opposed to rural areas. If this trend of the last fortnight continues, Mr. Willkie will win by 5-8 million rather than by 3 million.

He said the poll showed 11-14% of the electorate still undecided on its vote and that 67% of this group was opposed to a third term.