Election 1940: Gallup Polls (9-13-39 – 11-5-40)

Untitled

1939

SEPTEMBER 13
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Interviewing Date 8/19-24/39

Survey #167-A Question #9b

Asked of Democrats: If Franklin Roosevelt is not a candidate, whom would you like to see nominated by the Democratic party for President in 1940?

Garner…45%
McNutt…21%
Farley… 10%
Hull…10%
Murphy… 2%
Clark… 1%
Hopkins… 1%
Barkley… 1%
Others…9%

SEPTEMBER 22
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S VOTER APPEAL

Interviewing Date 9/13-18/39

Survey #169-B Question #14c

In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 61%
Disapprove… 39%

By Region

Approve Disapprove
New England 53% 47%
Middle Atlantic 58% 42%
East Central 59% 41%
West Central 60% 40%
South 72% 28%
West 65% 35%

Interviewing Date 9/13-18/39

Survey #169-B Question #14d

How strongly do you feel about this?

Approve strongly… 33%
Approve mildly… 28%
Disapprove strongly… 24%
Disapprove mildly… 15%

OCTOBER 1
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 9/21-26/39

Survey #170-A Question #9a

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes…43%
No…57%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 66% 34%
Republicans 3% 97%

Interviewing Date 9/21-26/39

Survey #170-A Question #10

If the war is still going on next year, and if President Roosevelt runs for a third term, would you vote for him?

Yes… 52%
No…48%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 76% 24%
Republicans 10% 90%

OCTOBER 13
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Interviewing Date 10/5-10/39

Survey #172-A Question #8a

Asked of Republicans: Whom would you like to see nominated by the Republican party for President in 1940?

Dewey… 39%
Vandenberg… 27%
Taft… 17%
Hoover… 5%
Landon… 4%
Borah… 3%
Lindbergh… 1%
Bricker… 1%
Others… 3%
No opinion… 14%

OCTOBER 16
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 9/24-29/39

Survey #171-A Question #10b

Which party do you think will win the presidential election in 1940?

Democratic… 65%
Republican… 35%
No opinion… 27%

By Region

Democratic Republican
New England 59% 41%
Middle Atlantic 63% 37%
East Central 61% 39%
West Central 58% 42%
South 81% 19%
West 73% 27%

Interviewing Date 9/24-29/39

Survey #171-A Question #10a

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election in 1940?

Democratic…57%
Republican…43%
No opinion… 34%

OCTOBER 26
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S VOTER APPEAL

Interviewing Date 10/5-10/39

Survey #172-A Question #9c

In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve…64.9%
Disapprove… 35.1%

By Region

Approve Disapprove
New England 59% 41%
Middle Atlantic 65% 35%
East Central 61% 39%
West Central 63% 37%
South 76% 24%
West 67% 33%

By Income

Approve Disapprove
Upper 46% 54%
Middle 62% 38%
Lower 78% 22%

NOVEMBER 5
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 10/20-25/39

Survey #174-A Question #9a

Do you think President Roosevelt will run for a third term?

Yes… 57%
No…43%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 72% 28%
Republicans 31% 69%

Interviewing Date 10/20-25/39

Survey #176-A Question #9b

Do you think President Roosevelt will be elected if he runs?

Yes… 56%
No… 44%

NOVEMBER 6
DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Interviewing Date 10/26-31/39

Survey #175-A Question #8a

Asked of Democrats: Whom would you like to see elected President in 1940?

Roosevelt…83%
Garner… 8%
McNutt… 3%
Hull… 3%
Farley… 1%
Others… 2%

Interviewing Date 10/26-31/39

Survey #175-A Question #8b

Asked of Democrats: If President Roosevelt is not a candidate, whom would you like to see elected?

Garner…45%
McNutt…,… 18%
Hull… 13%
Farley… 8%
Murphy… 3%
Smith… 2%
Barkley… 1%
Ickes… 1%
Clark… 1%
Others… 8%

NOVEMBER 10
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Interviewing Date 10/26-31/39

Survey #175-A Question #8a

Asked of Republicans: Whom would you like to see elected President in 1940?

Dewey…39%
Vandenberg… 26%
Taft… 18%
Hoover… 5%
Landon… 3%
Borah… 3%
Lindbergh… 1%
Lodge… 1%
Others… 4%

Interviewing Date 10/26-31/39

Survey #175-A Question #8b

Asked of Republicans: If It came to a choice among Robert Taft, Thomas Dewey, and Arthur Vandenberg for President, which one would you prefer?

Dewey…44%
Vandenberg… 31%
Taft… 25%

NOVEMBER 19
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 10/12-17/39

Survey #173-A Question #9

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election in 1940?

Democratic… 54%
Republican… 46%
No opinion… 27%

By Region

Democratic Republican
New England 44% 56%
Middle Atlantic 51% 49%
East Central 50% 50%
West Central 51% 49%
South 77% 23%
West 59% 41%

NOVEMBER 19
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked of a cross section of Democrats listed in Who’s Who in America: Whom would you like to see elected President in 1940?

Roosevelt…60%
Hull… 15%
Garner… 12%
Murphy… 3%
Wallace… 2%
Others… 8%

Asked of a cross section of Democrats listed in Who’s Who in America: If Franklin Roosevelt is not a candidate, whom would you like to see elected President in 1940?

Hull… 38%
Garner… 21%
Wallace… 6%
Murphy… 5%
McNutt… 5%
William Douglas… 4%
Others… 21%

Asked of a cross section of Republicans listed in Who’s Who in America: Whom would you like to see elected President in 1940?

Vandenberg… 26%
Taft… 24%
Hoover… 20%
Dewey… 19%
Borah… 2%
Others… 9%

NOVEMBER 22
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S VOTER APPEAL

Interviewing Date 10/26-31/39

Survey #175-A Question #9c

In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve…62.7%
Disapprove… 37.3%

By Income

Approve Disapprove
Upper 43% 57%
Middle 60% 40%
Lower 76% 24%

NOVEMBER 26
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Special Survey

Asked of persons listed in Who’s Who in America: Do you think President Roosevelt will run for a third term in 1940?

Will run… 54%
Will not run… 46%

Asked of persons listed in Who’s Who in America: Do you think President Roosevelt will be elected if he does run?

Will be elected…45%
Will not be elected… 55%

DECEMBER 4
MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM

Interviewing Date 11/10-15/39

Survey #176-A Question #1

What do you think is the most important problem before the American people today?

Keeping out of war…47%
Solving unemployment…24%
Recovery for business… 6%
Adjustment of labor problems… 3%
Threats to democratic institutions… 3%
Adequate relief… 3%
Balancing the budget… 2%
Farm aid… 1%
Old-age pensions… 1%
Spiritual needs… 1%
Others… 9%

DECEMBER 6
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 12/1-5/39

Survey #178-A Question #5

If Thomas Dewey runs for President on the Republican ticket against Franklin Roosevelt running for a third term on the Democratic ticket, which would you prefer?

Roosevelt…54%
Dewey…46%

By Political Affiliation

Roosevelt Dewey
Democrats 88% 12%
Republicans 8% 92%

By Age

Roosevelt Dewey
21-29 Years 57% 43%
30-49 Years 52% 48%
50 Years and over 48% 52%

By Income

Roosevelt Dewey
Upper 33% 67%
Middle 49% 51%
Lower 66% 34%
Reliefers 73% 27%

DECEMBER 13
PARTY BEST ABLE TO MAINTAIN PEACE

Interviewing Date 12/2-7/39

Survey #178-A Question #7

Which political party do you think is more likely to keep us out of war — the Republican or the Democratic?

Republican…21%
Democratic… 27%
No difference… 52%

By Political Affiliation

Republicans
Republican… 42%
Democratic… 3%
No difference… 55%

Democrats
Republican… 5%
Democratic… 48%
No difference…47%

DECEMBER 27
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S VOTER APPEAL

Interviewing Date 12/2-7/39

Survey #178-A Question #14c

In general, do you approve or disapprove today of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 63.5%
Disapprove… 36.5%

By Income

Approve Disapprove
Upper 42% 58%
Middle 61% 39%
Lower 76% 24%

1940

JANUARY 12
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 12/24-29/39

Survey #180-A Question #13c

In general, do you approve or disapprove today of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 63.5%
Disapprove… 36.5%

Interviewing Date 12/15-20/39

Survey #179-A Question #11

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term will you vote for him?

Yes…46%
No… 54%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 79% 21%
Republicans 7% 93%

JANUARY 12
VIEWS OF LEADING AMERICAN WRITERS

Special Survey

Asked of American writers by the Gallup Poll in collaboration with The Saturday Review of Literature.

Do you think the United States will go into war in Europe or do you think we will stay out of the war?

Go in…31%
Stay out…69%
No opinion… 24%

Do you think the United States should declare war on Germany and send our army and navy abroad to fight?

Yes… 6%
No…94%
No opinion… 10%

What party would you like to see win the presidential election in 1940?

Democratic…70%
Republican…30%
No opinion… 22%

In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 69%
Disapprove…31%
No opinion… 7%

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 53%
No…47%
No opinion… 13%

Do you think Congress should provide money to continue the Dies Committee another year?

Yes…43%
No… 57%
No opinion… 5%

Do you think the Wagner Labor Act should be revised, repealed, or left unchanged?

Revised…57%
Repealed…9%
Left unchanged…34%
No opinion… 16%

Which country or countries do you consider responsible for the present war?

Germany… 54%
England and France… 3%
Both sides… 19%
All countries… 8%
Versailles Treaty… 5%
Others… 8%
No opinion… 3%

About how long do you think the war in Europe will last?

Less than one year… 10%
One year… 13%
Two years… 31%
Three years… 12%
Four years… 6%
Five years or more… 28%
No opinion… 51%

Which side do you think will win?

England and France…59%
Germany… 1%
An agreement will be reached… 14%
Russia… 5%
Qualified answers… 4%
No opinion… 17%

Whom would you like to see elected President in 1940?

By Political Affiliation

Democrats
Roosevelt… 74%
Hull… 8%
Byrd… 5%
Murphy… 5%
Douglas… 2%
Lehman… 2%
Wheeler… 1%
Eleanor Roosevelt… 1%
Wallace… 1%
McNutt… 1%
No opinion… 27%

Republicans
Dewey… 50%
Vandenberg… 20%
Hoover… 14%
Taft… 10%
J.P. Morgan… 3%
Stone… 3%
No opinion… 32%

Third Parties
Thomas…40%
La Guardia… 20%
Others… 40%
No opinion… 48%

For which presidential candidate did you vote in 1936?

Roosevelt… 66%
Landon…25%
Lemke… 1%
Thomas… 6%
Browder… 2%
No opinion… 14%

JANUARY 19
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 12/24-29/39

Survey #180-A Question #12

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic…54%
Republican…46%

JANUARY 22
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 12/24-29/39

Survey #180-A Question #12

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Middle Atlantic States Only
Democratic… 52%
Republican…48%

East Central States Only
Democratic… 48%
Republican… 52%
No opinion… 16%

JANUARY 26
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S POPULARITY

Interviewing Date 1/13-18/40

Survey #181-K Question #11c

In general, do you approve or disapprove today of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve…63.5%
Disapprove… 36.5%

FEBRUARY 2
POLITICS

Interviewing Date 12/15-20/39

Survey #179-A Question #11

Asked of labor union members: If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 59%
No… 41%
No opinion… 10%

Interviewing Date 1/22-27/40

Survey #182-T Question #8

Asked of labor union members: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic… 66%
Republican… 34%
No opinion… 18%

FEBRUARY 5
POLITICS

Interviewing Date 12/22-27/39

Survey #182-T Question #8

Asked of Negro voters: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election in November?

Democratic…66%
Republican… 34%

Interviewing Date 12/22-27/39

Survey #182-T Question #9

Asked of Negro voters: In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 82%
Disapprove… 18%

FEBRUARY 11
REPUBLICAN PARTY

Interviewing Date 1/21-26/40

Survey #182-K Question #10a

Asked of Republicans: Would you like to see the Republican Party be more liberal or more conservative than it was in the 1936 presidential campaign?

More liberal…59%
More conservative… 17%
About the same…24%

Interviewing Date 1/21-26/40

Survey #182-K Question #10b

Asked of Republicans: Do you think the Republican Party has a better chance or a worse chance of winning this year’s election if it nominates a liberal candidate and adopts a liberal program?

Better chance…77%
Worse chance… 10%
No difference… 13%

FEBRUARY 19
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 2/2-7/40

Survey #183-K Question #9a

Do you think President Roosevelt will run for a third term?

Yes… 52%
No…48%
No opinion… 18%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 57% 43%
Republicans 47% 53%

Interviewing Date 2/2-7/40

Survey #183-K Question #9b

Do you think President Roosevelt will be reelected if he runs for a third term?

Yes… 60%
No…40%
No opinion… 10%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 80% 20%
Republicans 33% 67%
2 Likes

MARCH 1
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT’S POPULARITY

Interviewing Date 2/8-13/40

Survey #184-K Question 12d

In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 64%
Disapprove… 36%

MARCH 3
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 2/8-13/40

Survey #184-K Question #11

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic…55%
Republican…45%
No opinion… 16%

By Income

Democratic Republican
Upper 36% 64%
Middle 51% 49%
Lower 69% 31%

By Region

Democratic Republican
New England 45% 55%
Middle Atlantic 53% 47%
East Central 49% 51%
West Central 51% 49%
South 75% 25%
West 59% 41%

MARCH 13
THIRD TERM

Interviewing Date 12/15-20/39

Survey #179-A Question #11

If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 47%
No… 53%

MARCH 15
PARTY STRENGTH

Special Survey

Asked in New York State: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic… 53%
Republican…47%

New York City Only
Democratic… 69%
Republican… 31%

MARCH 18
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 2/22-27/40

Survey #185-K Question #1

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mrs. Roosevelt has conducted herself as First Lady?

Approve… 68%
Disapprove… 32%

By Income

Approve Disapprove
Upper 56% 44%
Middle 68% 32%
Lower 75% 25%

MARCH 20
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in Pennsylvania: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic… 51%
Republican…49%

Asked in Pennsylvania: If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 49%
No… 51%

MARCH 22
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in California: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic… 58%
Republican… 42%

Asked in California: If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 51%
No…49%

MARCH 25
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Special Survey

Asked of lawyers listed in standard legal directories: If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 29%
No…71%

MARCH 27
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in New Jersey: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Republican…53%
Democratic…47%

Asked in New Jersey: If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes…46%
No… 54%

MARCH 29
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in Massachusetts: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Republican…54%
Democratic…46%

Asked in Massachusetts: If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes…45%
No…55%

APRIL 1
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in Iowa: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Republican… 54%
Democratic…46%

Asked in Iowa: If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes…40%
No…60%

Asked in Iowa: In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve… 58%
Disapprove…42%

APRIL 3
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in Michigan: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Republican… 54%
Democratic… 46%
No opinion… 14%

If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 40%
No… 60%
No opinion… 9%

APRIL 5
POLITICS

Special Survey

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Texas Only
Democratic… 93%
Republican… 7%

Oklahoma Only
Democratic… 68%
Republican…32%

If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Texas Only
Yes… 73%
No… 27%

Oklahoma Only
Yes… 49%
No… 51%

APRIL 8
POLITICS

Special Survey

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Oregon Only
Democratic… 55%
Republican…45%

Washington Only
Democratic…57%
Republican…43%

If President Roosevelt is a candidate far a third term, will you vote for him?

Oregon Only
Yes…47%
No…53%

Washington Only
Yes…50%
No… 50%

APRIL 10
POLITICS

Special Survey

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Maryland Only
Democratic…62%
Republican… 38%

West Virginia Only
Democratic…57%
Republican…43%

Delaware Only
Democratic… 54%
Republican…46%

If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Maryland Only
Yes… 52%
No…48%

West Virginia Only
Yes… 51%
No… 49%

Delaware Only
Yes… 49%
No… 51%

APRIL 12
POLITICS

Special Survey

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Ohio Only
Republican… 51%
Democratic… 49%

Indiana Only
Democratic… 52%
Republican…48%

If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Ohio Only
Yes… 42%
No… 58%

Indiana Only
Yes… 42%
No… 58%

APRIL 14
POLITICS

Special Survey

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Virginia Only
Democratic… 72%
Republican… 28%

Kentucky Only
Democratic…60%
Republican… 40%

President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Virginia Only
Yes… 59%
No…41%

Kentucky Only
Yes… 51%
No… 49%

APRIL 15
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 3/27-4/1/40

Survey #188-K Question #5b

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term on the Democratic ticket against Senator Vandenberg on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Roosevelt… 53%
Vandenberg… 47%
No opinion… 12%

By Region

Roosevelt Vandenberg
New England 52% 48%
Middle Atlantic 52% 48%
East Central 46% 54%
West Central 49% 51%
South 71% 29%
West 59% 41%

Interviewing Date 3/27-4/1/40

Survey #188-K. Question #5a

If Cordell Hull runs for President on the Democratic ticket against Senator Vandenberg on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Hull…58%
Vandenberg…42%
No opinion… 11%

By Region

Hull Vandenberg
New England 59% 41%
Middle Atlantic 59% 41%
East Central 51% 49%
West Central 49% 51%
South 79% 21%
West 58% 42%

APRIL 17
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in Kansas: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Republican…56%
Democratic…44%
No opinion… 13%

If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 37%
No… 63%

APRIL 19
PARTY STRENGTH

Special Survey

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Wisconsin Only
Republican… 55%
Democratic,…45%

Illinois Only
Republican…55%
Democratic…45%

Nebraska Only
Republican… 51%
Democratic…49%

APRIL 21
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 4/11-16/40

Survey #190-T Question #5

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

The Democrats are out in front as the campaign gets under way, the state-by-state tabulations show. If the election were today, the indications are that the Democratic Party would lead in 31 of the 48 states, capturing about 317 out of a total of 531 electoral votes. But the Democratic lead in several states is so slim — notably in New York and Minnesota — that a shift of only 1% would completely alter the picture and throw a majority of electoral votes to the GOP.

APRIL 24
PARTY BEST ABLE TO KEEP PEACE

Interviewing Date 4/5-10/40

Survey #189-K Question #1a

Which political party do you think is more likely to keep us out of war — the Republican or the Democratic?

Democratic… … 35%
Republican… 33%
No difference… 32%
No opinion… 16%

By Political Affiliation

Democrats
Democratic… 62%
Republican… 6%
No difference… 32%

Republicans
Democratic… 5%
Republican… 65%
No difference… 30%

MAY 2
POLITICS

Special Survey

Asked in Minnesota: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic… 51%
Republican…49%

Asked in Minnesota: If President Roosevelt is a candidate for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes…42%
No… 58%

Asked in Minnesota: In general, do you approve or disapprove of Franklin Roosevelt as President?

Approve…65%
Disapprove… 35%

MAY 5
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 4/19-24/40

Survey #191-K Question #8a

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term on the Democratic ticket against Senator Robert Taft on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Roosevelt…58%
Taft…42%
No opinion… 10%

By Region

Roosevelt Taft
New England 56% 44%
Middle Atlantic 56% 44%
East Central 51% 49%
West Central 57% 43%
South 72% 28%
West 64% 36%

Roosevelt Supporters in 1936 Only
Roosevelt… 84%
Taft… 16%

Landon Supporters in 1936 Only
Roosevelt… 8%
Taft… 92%

Interviewing Date 4/19-24/40

Survey #191-K Question #8b

If Cordell Hull runs on the Democratic ticket against Senator Robert Taft on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Hull… 63%
Taft… 37%
No opinion… 22%

By Region

Hull Taft
New England 61% 39%
Middle Atlantic 61% 39%
East Central 54% 46%
West Central 62% 38%
South 81% 19%
West 66% 34%

Roosevelt Supporters in 1936 Only
Hull… 84%
Taft… 16

Landon Supporters in 1936 Only
Hull… 21%
Taft… 79%

Interviewing Date 4/19-24/40

Survey #191-K Question #8c

If John Garner runs on the Democratic ticket against Senator Robert Taft on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Garner… 51%
Taft… 49%
No opinion… 18%

Roosevelt Supporters in 1936 Only
Garner… 74%
Taft… 26%

Landon Supporters in 1936 Only
Garner… 11%
Taft… 89%

MAY 6
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 4/19-24/40

Survey #191-K Question #9

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election?

Democratic… 54%
Republican…46%

MAY 12
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 5/5-10/40

Survey #193-K Question #7a

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term on the Democratic ticket against Thomas Dewey on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Roosevelt… 52%
Dewey… 48%
No opinion… 8%

By Income

Roosevelt Dewey
Upper 31% 69%
Middle 48% 52%
Lower (including reliefers) 66% 34%
Reliefers 74% 26%

Roosevelt Voters in 1936
Roosevelt… 79%
Dewey… 215

Landon Voters in 1936
Roosevelt… 5%
Dewey… 95%

By Region

Roosevelt Dewey
New England 46% 54%
Middle Atlantic 53% 47%
East Central 46% 54%
West Central 48% 52%
South 71% 29%
West 55% 45%

Interviewing Date 5/5-10/40

Survey #193-K Question #4c

If Cordell Hull runs for President on the Democratic ticket against Thomas Dewey on the Republican ticket, which one would you prefer?

Hull… 51%
Dewey…49%
No opinion… 15%

By Income

Hull Dewey
Upper 40% 60%
Middle 49% 51%
Lower (including reliefers) 59% 41%
Reliefers 65% 35%

Roosevelt Voters in 1936
Hull… 75%
Dewey… 25%

Landon Voters in 1936
Hull… 12%
Dewey… 88%

By Region

Hull Dewey
New England 43% 57%
Middle Atlantic 49% 51%
East Central 46% 54%
West Central 49% 51%
South 75% 25%
West 50% 50%

MAY 20
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 5/5-10/40

Survey #193-K Question #3a

If Thomas Dewey runs for President on the Republican ticket against James Farley on the Democratic Ticket, which one would you prefer?

Dewey… 58%
Farley… 42%
No opinion… 15%

By Region

Dewey Farley
New England 62% 38%
Middle Atlantic 61% 39%
East Central 64% 36%
West Central 62% 38%
South 32% 68%
West 60% 40%
2 Likes

JUNE 5
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 5/18-23/40

Survey #195-K Question #16

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, will you vote for him?

Yes… 57%
No…43%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 91% 9%
Republicans 8% 92%

By Income

Yes No
Upper 37% 63%
Middle 54% 46%
Lower 70% 30%

Interviewing Date 5/18-23/40

Survey #195-K Question #4

Do you think Roosevelt has done a good job or a poor job in dealing with the war crisis in Europe?

Good job…79%
Fair job… 7%
Poor job… 14%

By Political Affiliation

Democrats
Good job… 91%
Fair job… 4%
Poor job… 5%

Republicans
Good job… 60%
Fair job… 12%
Poor job… 28%

JUNE 16
PARTY STRENGTH

Interviewing Date 6/9-14/40

Survey #198-K Question #11

Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Democratic… 58%
Republican… 42%
No opinion… 16%

JUNE 28
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT

Interviewing Date 6/1-6/40

Survey #197-K Question #15

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term, would you vote for him?

Yes… 57%
No…43%
No opinion… 13%

By Region

Yes No
New England 57% 43%
Middle Atlantic 57% 43%
East Central 52% 48%
West Central 53% 47%
South 73% 27%
West 55% 45%

JULY 12
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 7/5-10/40

Survey #200-K Question #9

If President Roosevelt runs for a third term on the Democratic ticket against Wendell Willkie on the Republican ticket how would you vote?

Roosevelt… 53%
Willkie…47%
No opinion… 10%

JULY 14
PARTY PLATFORMS

Interviewing Date 7/5-10/40

Survey #200-K Question #8a

Have you read or heard about the Republican party platform?

Yes… 26%
No… 74%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 22% 78%
Republicans 31% 69%

Interviewing Date 7/5-10/40

Survey #200-K Question #8c

Do you think many voters pay attention to political platforms today?

Yes… 27%
No… 73%

Interviewing Date 7/5-10/40

Survey #200-K Question #8d

Should the platform of a political party be drawn up by the convention or by the man nominated for President?

Convention…67%
President… 33%

JULY 20
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in New York State: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt…49%
Willkie…51%
No opinion… 14%

JULY 24
THIRD TERM

Interviewing Date 7/5-10/40

Survey #200-K Question #10

Would you favor an amendment to the Constitution to prevent any President of the United States from serving a third term?

Yes… 41%
No… 59%

By Political Affiliation

Yes No
Democrats 14% 86%
Republicans 69% 31%

JULY 28
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in Pennsylvania: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt,… 48%
Willkie… 52%
No opinion… 13%

AUGUST 1
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 7/21-26/40

Survey #203-T Question #2

Asked of first voters: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 54%
Willkie…46%

By Income

Roosevelt Willkie
Upper 50% 50%
Middle 50% 50%
Lower 63% 37%

AUGUST 2
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in Texas: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 85%
Willkie… 15%
No opinion… 9%

AUGUST 5
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 7/21-26/40

Survey #203-T Question #2

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate, Wendell Willkie, or the Democratic candidate, Franklin Roosevelt?

Roosevelt… 51%
Willkie…49%
No opinion… 13%

AUGUST 14
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 8/2-7/40

Survey #204-K Question #12

Asked in cities over 500,000 in population: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 57%
Willkie…43%

By City

Roosevelt Willkie
New York 62% 38%
Chicago 51% 49%
Philadelphia 56% 44%

AUGUST 21
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in Ohio: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 47%
Willkie… 53%

AUGUST 23
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in New Jersey: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 49%
Willkie… 51%

AUGUST 24
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 51%
Willkie… 49%
No opinion… 12%

AUGUST 28
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

By Income

Roosevelt Willkie
Upper 29% 71%
Middle 47% 53%
Lower 66% 34%
Reliefers 75% 25%

AUGUST 31
PARTY STRENGTH

Special Survey

Asked in Maine: Which party would you like to see win the presidential election this year?

Republican…64%
Democratic… 36%
No opinion… 12%

SEPTEMBER 3
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 8/24-29/40

Survey #207-K Question #9a

Whom do you favor for President— Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 51%
Willkie…49%
No opinion… 10%

SEPTEMBER 4
EUROPEAN WAR

Interviewing Date 8/10-15/40

Survey #205-K Question #6

If England is defeated between now and election time and it looks as though the United States might have to fight Germany, which candidate would you prefer for President — Willkie or Roosevelt?

Roosevelt… 58%
Willkie… 42%
No opinion… 10%

SEPTEMBER 6
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Interviewing Date 8/24-29/40

Survey #207-K Question #1

Wendell Willkie proposed that he and President Roosevelt hold a series of debates, both speaking from the same platform. Do you think the President should accept the proposal?

Yes… 49%
No… 51%
No opinion… 14%

SEPTEMBER 8
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in Maine: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 36%
Willkie… 64%

SEPTEMBER 13
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 8/24-29/40

Survey #207-K Question #9a

Asked of labor union members: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 64%
Willkie… 36%
No opinion… 12%

AFL Members Only
Roosevelt… 62%
Willkie… 38%

CIO Members Only
Roosevelt…75%
Willkie… 25%

SEPTEMBER 15
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Missouri Only
Roosevelt… 53%
Willkie…47%
No opinion… 10%

Kentucky Only
Roosevelt… 55%
Willkie… 45%
No opinion… 9%

West Virginia Only
Roosevelt… 55%
Willkie… 45%
No opinion… 13%

Maryland Only
Roosevelt…56%
Willkie…44%
No opinion… 13%

Delaware Only
Roosevelt… 55%
Willkie… 45%
No opinion… 12%

SEPTEMBER 20
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 9/5-10/40

Survey #209-K Question #4

Whom do you favor for President, Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 55%
Willkie…45%
No opinion… 11%

Roosevelt States

Roosevelt Willkie
South Carolina 98% 2%
Mississippi 95% 5%
Georgia 86% 14%
Louisiana 86% 14%
Alabama 85% 15%
Texas 83% 17%
Arkansas 80% 20%
Florida 75% 25%
North Carolina 72% 28%
Virginia 70% 30%
Tennessee 69% 31%
Arizona 69% 31%
Oklahoma 63% 37%
New Mexico 63% 37%
Nevada 62% 38%
Maryland 61% 39%
Montana 60% 40%
Delaware 60% 40%
California 58% 42%
Kentucky 58% 42%
West Virginia 57% 43%
Washington 57% 43%
Utah 57% 43%
Missouri 56% 44%
Connecticut. 56% 44%
Rhode Island 56% 44%
Idaho 55% 45%
New Jersey 54% 46%
Michigan 54% 46%
Wyoming 54% 46%
Illinois 53% 47%
Ohio 53% 47%
Oregon 53% 47%
New York 52% 48%
Pennsylvania 52% 48%
Colorado 52% 48%
Minnesota 51% 49%
Wisconsin 51% 49%

Willkie States

Willkie Roosevelt
Maine 56% 44%
Vermont 56% 44%
South Dakota 55% 45%
Iowa 54% 46%
North Dakota 54% 46%
Kansas 53% 47%
Nebraska. 53% 47%
Massachusetts 51% 49%
Indiana 51% 49%
New Hampshire 51% 49%

SEPTEMBER 25
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked of Independent voters: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

New York Only
Roosevelt…49%
Willkie…,… 51
No opinion… 20%

Pennsylvania Only
Roosevelt…62%
Willkie… 38
No opinion… 19%

Ohio Only
Roosevelt… 52%
Willkie… 48%
No opinion… 19%

Illinois Only
Roosevelt…46%
Willkie… 54%
No opinion… 19%

Michigan Only
Roosevelt… 53%
Willkie…47%
No opinion… 19%

California Only
Roosevelt… 52%
Willkie… 48%
No opinion… 16%

SEPTEMBER 27
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

By Community Size

Roosevelt Willkie
500,000 and over 61% 39%
2,500-500,000 55% 45%
2,500 and under 51% 49%
Farms 53% 47%
Midwestern farms only 46% 54%

By Age

Roosevelt Willkie
21-24 Years 59% 41%
25-29 Years 59% 41%
30-49 Years 56% 44%
50 Years and over 54% 46%

SEPTEMBER 28
ELECTION FORECAST

Interviewing Date 9/19-24/40

Survey #210-K Question #8

Regardless of how you yourself plan to vote, who do you think will be elected President?

Roosevelt… 68%
Willkie… 32%
No opinion… 16%

By Political Affiliation

Roosevelt Willkie
Democrats 96% 4%
Republicans 27% 73%
2 Likes

OCTOBER 1
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in Nebraska: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 43%
Willkie… 57%
No opinion… 8%

OCTOBER 2
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked in Massachusetts: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 52%
Willkie… 48%
No opinion… 6%

OCTOBER 4
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

California Only
Roosevelt… 57%
Willkie… 43
No opinion… 9%

Oregon Only
Roosevelt… 56%
Willkie… 44%
No opinion… 11%

Washington Only
Roosevelt… 58%
Willkie… 42%
No opinion… 10%

OCTOBER 6
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 9/28-10/3/40

Survey #212-K Question #2

Whom do you favor for President, Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 56%
Willkie…44%
No opinion… 9%
Third party… 1%

OCTOBER 9
COMMUNIST PARTY

Interviewing Date 9/22-27/40

Survey #211-K Question #2a

Should Communist Party candidates be allowed the same amount of time on the radio as the Democratic and Republican candidates?

Yes… 29%
No…71%
No opinion… 10%

Interviewing Date 9/22-27/40

Survey #211-K Question #2b

Do you think Communist Party candidates should be allowed any time on the radio?

Yes… 37%
No…63%
No opinion… 13%

Interviewing Date 9/22-27/40

Survey #211-T Question #2a

Should Communist Party candidates be allowed the same amount of free time on the radio as the Democratic and Republican candidates?

Yes…25%
No…75%
No opinion… 11%

Interviewing Date 9/22-27/40

Survey #211-T Question #2b

Do you think Communist Party candidates should be allowed any free time on the radio?

Yes… 31%
No…69%
No opinion… 15%

OCTOBER 13
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

Asked of property owners: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt…47%
Willkie… 53%
No opinion… 10%

OCTOBER 15
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Special Survey

If the presidential election were being held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Illinois Only
Roosevelt…48%
Willkie… 52%
No opinion… 11%

Ohio Only
Roosevelt… 52%
Willkie… 48%
No opinion… 10%

Indiana Only
Roosevelt… 47%
Willkie… 53%
No opinion… 9%

Michigan Only
Roosevelt… 48%
Willkie… 52%
No opinion… 9%

OCTOBER 21
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Interviewing Date 10/2-7/40

Survey #213-T Question #4

Asked of Willkie supporters: Have you, at any time since President Roosevelt was renominated, planned to vote for him?

Yes… 8%
No… 92%

Interviewing Date 10/2-7/40

Survey #213-T Question #4a

Asked of those who replied in the affirmative: What was the main reason that changed your mind?

The following are listed in order of frequency of mention:

  • Anxiety over a third term.
  • Roosevelt’s policies will get us into war.
  • Favorable impression of Willkie.

Interviewing Date 10/2-7/40

Survey #213-T Question #4b

Asked of Roosevelt supporters: Have you, at any time since Mr. Willkie was nominated, planned to vote for him?

Yes… 10%
No… 90%

Interviewing Date 10/2-7/40

Survey #213-T Question #4c

Asked of those who replied in the affirmative: What was the main reason that changed your mind?

The following are listed in order of frequency of mention:

  • Disappointment with Willkie’s speeches and campaign.
  • Roosevelt’s experience is needed in current war crisis.

OCTOBER 22
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 10/7-12/40

Survey #214-T Question #3

If there were no war in Europe today, which presidential candidate would you vote for, Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 47%
Willkie… 53%
No opinion… 8%

2 Likes

Knowing whats coming, it’s fascinating to see how people back then thought things were going to play out. Great job!

2 Likes

The next poll’s coming in a short while. I’ll be writing an article about supporters’ opinions.

2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (October 11, 1940)

The Gallup Poll —
VOTERS TELL WHY THEY ARE BACKING ROOSEVELT, WILLKIE

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Oct. 11 –

Even more important than knowing the total number of voters for President Roosevelt or for Wendell L. Willkie may be knowing the reasons why people are voting for one candidate or the other – what arguments they give, what qualities in a candidate they single out for praise or censure.

The reasons back of an individual’s voting reference cannot be reflected in the cold figured and percentages of the ordinary poll. During recent weeks each voter who has been asked by the Institute whether he is for Mr. Roosevelt or Mr. Willkie in the presidential election has also been asked why he favors that candidate.

The answers indicate, among other things, the extent to which Mr. Willkie’s support represents a “protest” vote.

War Helps Roosevelt

The three chief reasons, in order of frequency why the Willkie voters prefer him over Mr. Roosevelt all relate to objections against the President or the New Deal, rather than positive qualities in Mr. Willkie himself. The results also show that a large part of Mr. Roosevelt’s popularity is due solely to the fact that there is a war in Europe. In fact, many voters say that if there were no wart, they would not be planning to vote for Mr. Roosevelt.

The main reasons in order of frequency why voters favor Mr. Roosevelt or Mr. Willkie are shown below:

REASONS WHY WILLKIE VOTERS FAVOR HIM

  1. Opposition to the third term.
  2. The country needs a change – Mr. Roosevelt has been in long enough.
  3. Opposition to the New Deal spending and other policies.
  4. Mr. Willkie is a successful businessman and a good executive.
  5. Mr. Roosevelt would get us into war.
  6. Mr. Willkie would get better results out of business leaders.

REASONS WHY ROOSEVELT VOTERS FAVOR HIM

  1. Mr. Roosevelt is the friend of the common man, the champion of the masses.
  2. The country has confidence in his ability, training and experience, especially in the handling of foreign affairs.
  3. The country shouldn’t change leaders when there is war abroad.
  4. Third term is less to be feared than an untried and comparatively unknown man in the White House.
  5. Mr. Willkie knocks the administration too much.

Conspicuously absent from the list of reasons favoring President Roosevelt is any mention of his program for rearmament and national defense. A few voters did point to the President’s efforts to rearm the country, but it was not one of the major reasons given for supporting him.

Waitress’ View Typical

Many voters admitted that their support of Mr. Roosevelt was definitely related to the conflict abroad. A waitress interviewed in Chillicothe, Ohio, summed up the attitude of these voters when she said:

If there wasn’t a war, I’d say try someone else besides Roosevelt. But he’s been in there, and he’s better acquainted with conditions.

Among the hundreds and hundreds of individual comments made by voters in the survey the following are the most typical:

A Kansas businessman says:

I believe Mr. Willkie would encourage the goose to lay the golden egg instead of trying to strangle her.

Comments Varied

Another Kansan, a salesman, adds:

Willkie will get behind business and that’s our solution to recovery.

A toy manufacturer in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, who supports Mr. Willkie, says that:

We must change administrations to prevent war, save our liberties and bring back prosperity.

Among voters who favor Mr. Roosevelt the following comments were typical:

West Virginia farmer:

We had a Republican administration once and the country went blooey. I couldn’t get a day’s work in Hoover’s time.

Providence, Rhode Island, salesman:

Willkie is for the money men. Roosevelt is for the poor.

Woman farmer, Spartanburg, South Carolina:

Roosevelt is the first President who has had any conception of our country as a whole. He is the only President in my opinion who has put humanity above property and in his social program has followed the tenets of Christianity.

2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (October 13, 1940)

SURVEY NEXT FRIDAY TO SHOW WHETHER WILLKIE HAS GAINED

Poll to Indicate G.O.P. Nominee’s Strength After Visiting Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York And New Jersey

By Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Oct. 12 –

Wendell L. Willkie’s homestretch campaign has taken him into the pivotal East.

The big question now is: How much has Mr. Willkie’s campaigning in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and other states changed the picture?

That question will be answered next Friday in the fifth state-by-state presidential survey of the American Institute of Public Opinion. Latest standinfgs of President Roosevelt and Mr. Willkie will be reported for each of the 48 states in Friday’s Pittsburgh Press.

Meanwhile, although Mr. Willkie trailed President Roosevelt in the October 6 report of the American Institute of Public Opinion, analysis of his strength in that survey shows him stronger in almost every state, outside the South, than Governor Landon was in the election four years ago:

Roosevelt Willkie G.O.P. Gain since 1936
National Vote 56% 44% +6
Alabama 88% 12% –1
Arizona 69% 31% +3
Arkansas 82% 18% 0
California 57% 43% +11
Colorado 54% 46% +8
Connecticut 55% 45% +3
Delaware 59% 41% –3
Florida 79% 21% –3
Georgia 89% 11% –2
Idaho 56% 44% +10
Illinois 53% 47% +6
Indiana 51% 49% +7
Iowa 52% 48% +4
Kansas 49% 51% +5
Kentucky 62% 38% –3
Louisiana 88% 12% +1
Maine 44% 56% –1
Maryland 60% 40% +3
Massachusetts 52% 48% +3
Michigan 52% 48% +7
Minnesota 56% 44% +11
Mississippi 97% 3% 0
Missouri 55% 45% +6
Montana 62% 38% +10
Nebraska 43% 57% +15
Nevada 66% 34% +7
New Hampshire 52% 48% –1
New Jersey 55% 45% +5
New Mexico 63% 37% 0
New York 52% 48% +8
North Carolina 75% 25% –2
North Dakota 46% 54% +23
Ohio 53% 47% +8
Oklahoma 64% 36% +3
Oregon 56% 44% +13
Pennsylvania 53% 47% +5
Rhode Island 57% 43% 0
South Carolina 99% 1% 0
South Dakota 47% 53% +9
Tennessee 72% 28% –3
Texas 89% 11% –1
Utah 59% 41% +11
Vermont 44% 56% –1
Virginia 73% 27% –2
Washington 58% 42% +11
West Virginia 60% 40% +1
Wisconsin 53% 47% +15
Wyoming 55% 45% +7

Trend to Present On the Gallup Poll

Following are the standings of President Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie in four successive state-by-state surveys of the American Institute of Public Opinion. A new survey will be reported Friday in The Pittsburgh Press.

Popular vote

August 4 August 25 September 20 October 6
FDR 51% 51% 55% 56%
Willkie 49% 49% 45% 44%

States

August 4 August 25 September 20 October 6
FDR 24 28 38 42
Willkie 24 20 10 6

Electoral vote

August 4 August 25 September 20 October 6
FDR 227 247 453 499
Willkie 304 284 78 32
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The Pittsburgh Press (October 18, 1940)

The Gallup Poll —
WILLKIE TREND SETS IN, BUT ROOSEVELT STILL HOLDS LEAD

Five States Shift to Willkie Column and His Popular Vote Rises, But Democratic Strength in Pennsylvania Rises Two Points

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Oct. 18 –

The trend toward President Roosevelt which began in August and has continued week by week since then, has been halted and reversed in the American Institute of Public Opinion’s latest completer national poll on the Presidency. In interviews conducted throughout the 48 states between October 2 and October 14, the Institute found an increase of 1% in Wendell Willkie’s popular vote throughout the country, and a shift of five states from the Roosevelt column to the Willkie column.

The race, which the Institute has pointed out from the beginning, is a close contest, becomes even closer in terms of the popular vote. In terms of electoral votes, Mr. Roosevelt still has a marked advantage over his opponent.

The trend is as follows:

TODAY’S POLL

Roosevelt Willkie
Popular vote 55% 45%
Electoral vote 414 117
No. of States 37 11

OCTOBER 6 POLL

Roosevelt Willkie
Popular vote 56% 44%
Electoral vote 499 32
No. of States 42 6

The five states which shifted to Willkie since the previous poll from October 6 were Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, with a total of 85 electoral votes.

Pennsylvania, however, is revealed as running contrary to the trend noted elsewhere. Today’s poll shows 55% of Pennsylvanians for Roosevelt, as compared with 53% in the poll printed October 6 and 52% in the September 20 poll.

Mr. Willkie’s greatest gains in popular vote came in the Midwest area, although they are fairly widespread throughout the country.

The average “undecided” vote for the nation is 9%, unchanged from last time. This represents about 4 million voters.

Today’s survey is the fifth complete Institute poll on the presidential race since the campaign began. The trend since the first one has presented a consistent picture of Democratic gains up to now. That trend is shown in Mr. Roosevelt’s electoral vote score:

  • August 4 – 227
  • August 25 – 247
  • September 20 – 453
  • October 6 – 499
    …with today’s total of 414 showing the first drop.

Taken at face value, the results indicate a comfortable lead for Mr. Roosevelt in the homestretch. But there are certain factors which make his position precarious.

Among the 37 states in his column, there are eight in which his lead over Mr. Willkie is only 4% or less in popular strength. These states account for 129 electoral votes. The remaining 29 states where Mr. Roosevelt is leading by more than 4 points (that is, more than 54%) total 285 electoral votes, or barely more than the 266 required to win.

Mr. Willkie’s gains in the current poll demonstrate how a shift of only a few percentage points can throw a large number of electoral votes to one candidate or the other.

Interestingly enough, the most Republican state today is not in New England, the only place where Alfred M. Landon carried any states last time. It is a middle western state – Nebraska – where Mr. Willkie leads with 58%.

As a matter of fact, Nebraska seems to be the geographical center of defection from the New Deal. The states closely surrounding it tend to be more Republican than the states farther away. It is noteworthy that the five states which shifted to Mr. Willkie since the last poll are all located in the Midwest area of which Nebraska is geographically the western buttress.

More than twice as many states showed a gain for Mr. Willkie in today’s poll as showed a gain for Mr. Roosevelt. The largest Willkie increase was in Illinois – 5%. There were Republican gains of 4% in nearly a dozen other states, including Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The ‘Undecided’ Vote

Voters undecided at this time on their choice of candidate constitute a highly important factor in the close states.

The undecided vote in the states outside the solid South is as follows:

  • Nevada – 17%

  • Arizona – 15%

  • Montana, Delaware, Connecticut – 14%

  • Rhode Island, Iowa, North Dakota – 13%

  • Vermont, New Jersey, Nebraska, Utah, New Mexico – 12%

  • Idaho, Colorado, Missouri, South Dakota, Illinois – 11%

  • New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oregon – 10%

  • Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wyoming – 9%

  • Maine, Pennsylvania, Kansas, California, Washington – 8%

GALLUP POLL BOX SCORE TODAY

Wendell Willkie

Leading With 54% to 50% Leading by More Than 54%
3 Vermont… 54% 7 Nebraska… 58%
5 Maine… 53% 4 North Dakota… 57%
14 Indiana… 53% 4 South Dakota… 57%
29 Illinois… 52% 9 Kansas… 55%
19 Michigan… 52%
11 Iowa… 52%
12 Wisconsin… 51%
__ __
93 Electoral Votes 24 Electoral Votes

Franklin Roosevelt

Leading With 54% to 50% Leading by More Than 54%
17 Massachusetts… 54% 8 South Carolina… 98%
11 Minnesota… 54% 9 Mississippi… 95%
4 New Hampshire… 53% 12 Georgia… 85%
15 Missouri… 53% 11 Alabama… 85%
47 New York… 52% 23 Texas… 85%
26 Ohio… 52% 10 Louisiana… 84%
3 Wyoming… 52% 9 Arkansas… 79%
6 Colorado… 51% 7 Florida… 76%
13 North Carolina… 72%
11 Virginia… 71%
11 Tennessee… 69%
3 Arizona… 67%
8 Maryland… 64%
3 Nevada… 63%
8 West Virginia… 62%
4 Montana… 62%
11 Oklahoma… 62%
3 Delaware… 61%
3 New Mexico… 60%
11 Kentucky… 59%
4 Rhode Island… 58%
8 Connecticut… 58%
4 Utah… 58%
5 Oregon… 57%
8 Washington… 57%
22 California… 56%
16 New Jersey… 56%
36 Pennsylvania… 55%
4 Idaho… 55%
__ __
129 Electoral Votes 285 Electoral Votes

Total Electoral Votes… Roosevelt 414, Willkie 117
No. of States… Roosevelt 37, Willkie 11

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The Pittsburgh Press (October 23, 1940)

The Gallup Poll —
WILLKIE TREND INDICATES CLOSEST VOTE IN HISTORY

Roosevelt Can’t Win Without 52% of Popular Vote, So Unless Democratic Forces Halt Tide, Election May Duplicate Race of 1888

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Oct. 23 –

If the present trend toward Wendell Willkie continues unhalted, there is a chance that the 1940 election may duplicate with the greatest number of popular votes actually lost the election in the Electoral College.

In politics the trend is all important. If Wendell Willkie had not stopped the Roosevelt trend which Institute polls reported during September and early October, Roosevelt would obviously be winning by a landslide of electoral votes. But today the trend is moving the other way – toward Mr. Willkie – and unless the Roosevelt forces stop the Willkie trend, the campaign may end in the closest race since 1916.

The halting and reversal of Mr. Roosevelt’s trend took place, Institute polls show, early in October:

Roosevelt Willkie
August 4 51% 49%
August 25 51% 49%
September 20 55% 45%
October 6 56% 44%
October 18 55% 45%

The speeches which the President is making this week and next, may, of course, stop and even reverse the Willkie trend.

Popular Vote Is Good Index

The present race illustrates again the fact that the popular vote is a far better index of the basic political strength of a candidate than the electoral vote.

In the course of gaining five points in popular vote between August 25 and October 6, Mr. Roosevelt virtually doubled his electoral vote score, rising from 247 to 499. By the same token, the slightest shift the other way has added a substantial bloc of electoral votes to Mr. Willkie’s side. His gain of 1% in popular vote added no fewer than 85 electoral votes to the Republican score.

Odd Political Fact

While a popular vote of 55% for Mr. Roosevelt may sound to the average layman like a comfortable margin, political experts will recognize that it actually leaves no great leeway for the Democrats.

The odd but highly important political fact is that, in view of the political composition of certain states, Mr. Roosevelt cannot win the election without carrying about 52% of the popular vote. The national vote must be at or near that figure before the key states would normally show any margin over 50% for Mr. Roosevelt.

The reason is, of course, that the Democrats pile up a greater popular vote in the South than they need to carry the electoral votes of that section. With the surplus majority in the South figured in, a vote of 52% for Mr. Roosevelt in the entire nation is normally the equivalent of only about 50% in the key states.

Gap Is Narrow

Mr. Roosevelt’s present strength of 55% is thus only three points above the 52% which he needs to win. Van Mr. Willkie close the gap?

Another oddity of the campaign is that at any time between August and the past week – a period when Mr. Roosevelt’s electoral votes nearly doubled – a shift of less than one million votes would have changed enough electoral votes to put Mr. Willkie ahead.

Moreover, it would be perfectly possible for Mr. Roosevelt to beat Mr. Willkie in popular votes and yet lose the election in the electoral college if key states with numerous electoral votes went for Mr. Willkie.

In 1888, for example, Grover Cleveland had a plurality of 100,000 popular votes nationally, yet Benjamin Harrison ran ahead in electoral votes, 233 to 168, and was elected.

The next complete state-by-state Institute report, to be published Sunday, will shed light on many knotty questions. it will show whether the Willkie trend has continued, It will show what is happening in the key states, both as to popular votes and electoral votes. It will not, however, be the final Institute report on the election. There will be at least two more reports before election.

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OCTOBER 25
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 10/11-16/40

Survey #215-K Question #5

Asked in New York State: If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 51%
Willkie…49%
No opinion… 9%

New York City Only
Roosevelt… 61%
Willkie… 39%

Upstate Only
Roosevelt…40%
Willkie…

OCTOBER 26
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 10/11-16/40

Survey #215-K Question #5

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Maine Only
Roosevelt…46%
Willkie…54%
No opinion… 6%

New Hampshire Only
Roosevelt…49%
Willkie… 51%
No opinion… 8%

Vermont Only
Roosevelt…43%
Willkie…57%
No opinion… 8%

Massachusetts Only
Roosevelt… 51%
Willkie…49%
No opinion… 7%

Rhode Island Only
Roosevelt… 55%
Willkie…45%
No opinion… 8%

Connecticut Only
Roosevelt… 54%
Willkie… 46%
No opinion… 11%

Ohio Only
Roosevelt…49%
Willkie… 51%
No opinion… 4%

Indiana Only
Roosevelt…47%
Willkie… 53%
No opinion…4%

OCTOBER 26
MINNESOTA POLITICS

Interviewing Date 10/11-16/40

Survey #215-K Question #12

Asked in Minnesota: For whom do you plan to vote for Governor?

Harold Stassen… 59%
Hjalmar Petersen… 28%
Ed Murphy… 13%
No opinion… 10%

OCTOBER 27
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 10/11-16/40

Survey #215-K Question #5

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Roosevelt… 54.5%
Willkie…45.5%
No opinion… 7%

OCTOBER 31
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 10/11-16/40

Survey #215-K Question #2a

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Missouri Only
Roosevelt… 49%
Willkie… 51%
No opinion… 7%

Kentucky Only
Roosevelt… 54%
Willkie… 46%
No opinion… 7%

Oklahoma Only
Roosevelt… 55%
Willkie…45%
No opinion… 10%

2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (October 27, 1940)

The Gallup Poll —
WILLKIE CUTS INTO ROOSEVELT LEAD BY GAINS IN 23 STATES

President Holds 54.5% of Popular Vote and Needs 52 to Win; Close Election Is Indicated; Pennsylvania 54% for FDR

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Oct. 26 –

As the presidential week enters a week of intensive final efforts, a new nationwide survey by the American Institute of Public Opinion shows President Roosevelt still in a strong position in respect to electoral votes, but indicates that the trend toward Wendell Willkie – first reported in mid-October – has been continuing during the period covered by the survey.

Whereas President Roosevelt received 56% of the major party vote in the Institute’s survey reported October 6, and 55% in the October 18 report, the President’s share of the major party vote now is down to 54.5%. Interviewing in the survey was conducted during the period October 14-22 and consequently does not reflect Mr. Roosevelt’s speech at Philadelphia Wednesday night or other developments of the last few days.

New Institute surveys are now being conducted to measure the effect of last-minute campaigning by both parties, and at least one more state-by-state Institute survey will be reported in The Press before the election.

Roosevelt Still Holds Margin In Spite of Narrowing Vote

As of October 22, however, the survey shows that President Roosevelt still would have held an advantage in electoral votes, despite the narrowing of the popular vote. The President also has gained percentage strength in 17 states since the preceding survey.

The trend since the last Institute survey has been:

TODAY’S POLL

Roosevelt Willkie
Popular vote 54.5% 45.5%
Electoral vote 410 121
No. of States 36 12

OCTOBER 18 POLL

Roosevelt Willkie
Popular vote 55% 45%
Electoral vote 414 117
No. of States 37 11

Although only one state – New Hampshire – has gone over to the Willkie camp since the October 18 report, the survey shows gains for Mr. Willkie in 23 states, most of them in the East and Middle West. Among these states are such vitally important ones in New York, with its 47 electoral votes; Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Iowa.

Pennsylvania’s 36 electoral votes – which may be vital in determining the result – still are in the balance, with Mr. Roosevelt holding 54% of the popular vote, as against 55% in the previous poll on October 18. The Willkie trend in Pennsylvania has been less pronounced than in a number of other important states.

The ‘Undecided’ Vote

In 10 of the states now held by President Roosevelt, his lead is between 54% and 50% in the current survey, or well within the margin of error due to size of sample. These 10 states account for a total of 176 electoral votes – enough to mean victory for the G.O.P. if they should swing to Mr. Willkie.

The average “undecided” vote for the nation is 7% as compared with 9% in the October 18 survey.

Mr. Willkie is leading by narrow margins in several of his own states as well, but this factor is less significant in view of the circumstance that the trend has recently been moving in Mr. Willkie’s favor.

In the current election campaign – as in previous campaigns – there is tendency for supporters of the candidate who leads to exaggerate the accuracy of Institute surveys, while the opposing side usually underestimates their accuracy.

The following points should be remembered, therefore, by those who interpret these election surveys for themselves:

First – The American Institute of Public Opinion never has contended that its surveys always will point to the winner, especially in close elections, and no such contention is made now or ever will be made by the Institute. As a fact-finding organization, the Institute’s sole function is to measure and report the currents of public opinion as they exist at a given time.

It is not the function of such factual reporting to predict the future. If the facts should point to a close race on certain states, the Institute’s job ends with reporting this situation.

Surveys can reveal with a high degree of accuracy the division of sentiment between the candidates at a given time. But there are several important factors in any election which lie completely outside the province of public opinion surveys, and which cannot be measured by scientific methods.

Some of the more obvious of these “unsurveyable” factors outside the province of public opinion measurement are:

  1. The influence of the weather upon the turnout in various parts of the country.

  2. The effectiveness of party organizations and political machines in “getting out the vote” and in getting indifferent voters to the polls.

  3. The presence or absence of political pressure and political corruption.

State-by-State Test

The only scientific test of the accuracy of a national election survey is the average state-by-state error of approximately 6 percentage points. With experience gained since 1936 this error has been reduced in 13 state, national and local elections to an average of about four percentage points. This means that in about half the cases the state error exceeded this figure, and in roughly half the error was less than 4%.

Even when the Institute’s error has been microscopic, however – as in the Lehman-Dewey election in New York two years ago – the Institute has pointed out that such a degree of accuracy cannot be obtained without a good measure of luck.

The Institute’s aim in the coming election will be to improve its average state-by-state error as compared with 1936. The Institute does not believe that its state-by-state error ever will reach that of the Literary Digest in 1936, when the Digest’s forecast showed an average error by states of 19 percentage points. Should the Institute’s average error ever reach this figure, it would well deserve the fate of the Digest.

Trend Is Important

The big question of the campaign now comes to this: Can President Roosevelt halt or reverse the late-campaign trend to his opponent?

Mr. Roosevelt’s lead in popular votes has never in this campaign approached his vote in 1936, and a continuing trend to Mr. Willkie in the final week – if such a trend should continue – would make the November 5 election one of the closest in history.

Mr. Roosevelt’s problem is accentuated by the fact that he actually needs more than a flat 50% of the popular vote in order to win. Election history shows that unless the Democratic candidate received more than 52% of the popular vote throughout the country he is likely to wind up with only the South, a few of the border states and part of the West. This is because heavy Democratic pluralities in the South raise the popular percentage considerably without contributing a proportionate share to the electoral vote totals.

No matter what happens during the rest of the campaign, however, the race between President Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie must go down in the books as one of the most dramatic in history. Institute surveys, conducted at six intervals since the nominating conventions, give a step-by-step picture of Mr. Roosevelt’s gains in mid-campaign, and the reversal of the trend in Mr. Willkie’s favor in October:

Major Party Vote Roosevelt Willkie
August 4 51% 49%
August 25 51% 49%
September 20 55% 45%
October 6 56% 44%
October 18 55% 45%
Today 54.5% 45.5%

It will be noted that President Roosevelt’s popular vote stood below the “danger-line” of 52% in the first weeks of the race. It was at this time Mr. Willkie was found actually leading in electoral votes.

GALLUP POLL BOX SCORE TODAY

Wendell Willkie

Leading With 54% to 50% Leading by More Than 54%
4 New Hampshire… 51% 7 Nebraska… 58%
5 Maine… 54% 4 South Dakota… 58%
14 Indiana… 53% 9 Kansas… 59%
29 Illinois… 51% 3 Vermont… 57%
19 Michigan… 53%
11 Iowa… 54%
12 Wisconsin… 51%
4 North Dakota… 54%
__ __
98 Electoral Votes 23 Electoral Votes

Franklin Roosevelt

Leading With 54% to 50% Leading by More Than 54%
17 Massachusetts… 54% 8 South Carolina… 98%
11 Minnesota… 54% 9 Mississippi… 96%
36 Pennsylvania… 54% 12 Georgia… 86%
15 Missouri… 51% 11 Alabama… 88%
47 New York… 51% 23 Texas… 84%
26 Ohio… 51% 10 Louisiana… 87%
3 Wyoming… 52% 9 Arkansas… 80%
6 Colorado… 52% 7 Florida… 77%
3 New Mexico… 54% 13 North Carolina… 73%
8 Connecticut… 54% 11 Virginia… 72%
11 Tennessee… 67%
3 Arizona… 66%
8 Maryland… 60%
3 Nevada… 61%
8 West Virginia… 60%
4 Montana… 63%
11 Oklahoma… 62%
3 Delaware… 57%
11 Kentucky… 57%
4 Rhode Island… 55%
4 Utah… 60%
5 Oregon… 58%
8 Washington… 59%
22 California… 58%
16 New Jersey… 58%
4 Idaho… 55%
__ __
172 Electoral Votes 238 Electoral Votes

Total Electoral Votes… Roosevelt 410, Willkie 121
No. of States… Roosevelt 36, Willkie 12

2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (October 30, 1940)

The Gallup Poll —
WILLKIE GAINS SO FAST HE IS NEAR VICTORY

Roosevelt Only One Point Above Minimum Needed to Win

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Oct. 30 –

The nationwide trend of sentiment toward Wendell Willkie, first shown in Institute surveys in mid-October, continues at an accelerated pace into the final week of the election race.

Mr. Willkie has whittled down the President’s popular vote lead this month and, in survey returns tabulated up to today, shows an upsurge in popularity reminiscent of his dramatic gain on the eve of the Republican Convention last summer.

In this survey, based on interviewing conducted between October 22 and 27 – the first full week after the military draft registration and after Mr. Roosevelt’s Philadelphia speech – Mr. Willkie shows an advance of 1.5% in popular vote strength, narrowing the contest to the point where he is now within easy striking distance of victory if nothing happens to upset the trend. Most of the interviewing in the survey was made before the radio address of John L. Lewis.

The results of this latest survey are:

Roosevelt…53%
Willkie… 47%

The new Willkie rise puts President Roosevelt in a position more precarious than would seem apparent at first glance.

A lead of 53% for the President is actually the equivalent of a neck-and-neck race because, owing to surplus Democratic majorities on the South, a Democratic President normally requires about 52% in the nation to win.

The Willkie gains have been so widespread that later reports from the survey probably will show the two candidates about even in electoral votes, or with Mr. Willkie slightly ahead.

Final Poll Due Nov. 4

Today’s results are based on tabulations by sections. State-by-state results are now being compiled by the Institute for publication within the next few days.

A special survey of every state is being made this week by telegraph, and will furnish the basis for the final Institute report Monday, November 4.

The greatest Republican gains have come in places where Mr. Willkie needed them most – in New York, Pennsylvania and other areas in the Middle Atlantic section. Even on the Pacific Coast, which has for many years been a New Deal stronghold, the increases for Mr. Willkie have been sufficient to put that area ij the doubtful column.

The trend of the major party vote in this campaign has been as follows:

Roosevelt Willkie
August 4 51% 49%
August 25 51% 49%
September 20 55% 45%
October 6 56% 44%
October 18 55% 45%
October 27 54.5% 45.5%
Today 53% 47%

The proportion of persons undecided as to their choice in today’s survey is 8%.

It must not be forgotten, however, the President Roosevelt’s intensive campaign speaking has just begun and that his forthcoming radio addresses may halt and reverse the Willkie trend.

Moreover, the new crisis in the Balkans – the Italo-Grecian War – may be a factor in Mr. Roosevelt’s favor. Surveys in the past have shown that the President tends to gain with every fresh emergency abroad.

2 Likes

NOVEMBER 1
PRESIDENTIAL TRIAL HEAT

Interviewing Date 10/24-29/40

Survey #217 Question #2a

If the presidential election were held today, would you vote for Franklin Roosevelt or Wendell Willkie?

Wisconsin Only
Roosevelt…48%
Willkie… 52%

Michigan Only
Roosevelt…48%
Willkie… 52%

Minnesota Only
Roosevelt… 51%
Willkie…49%

Maryland Only
Roosevelt… 58%
Willkie…42%

The Pittsburgh Press (November 2, 1940)

GALLUP DISCOUNTS FLYNN’S ASSERTION
New York, Nov. 2 (UP) –

Dr. George H. Gallup, director of the American Institute of Public Opinion, said the charge made by Edward J. Flynn that the Gallup Poll is controlled by “pro-Willkie” people was “fantastic.”

Mr. Gallup declared:

That statement is just as fantastic as the one made by some Willkie supporters a month ago that the Gallup Poll had sold out to the New Deal for $100,000, or as fantastic as a statement in The Chicago Tribune that “Gallup is well known to a rabid New Dealer.”

2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (November 3, 1940)

Untitled

The Gallup Poll —
WILLKIE STILL GAINS IN 9 PIVOTAL STATES; RACE IS VERY CLOSE

G.O.P. Nominee Leads in New York and Connecticut With Roosevelt Ahead in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

Princeton, N.J., Nov. 2 –

Semi-final returns from nine north-eastern states – accounting for a total of 140 pivotal electoral votes – show a net gain for Wendell L. Willkie in this area since mid-October, as the American Institute of Public Opinion prepares for its final campaign report to be published Monday.

In the Institute’s semi-final returns from these nine states, interviewing for which was completed between October 24 and October 29, Mr. Willkie leads in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and New York.

President Roosevelt leads in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey, while New Hampshire is on the 50-50 line. The current figures do not, however, reflect the possible effect of President Roosevelt’s recent swing through southern New England and his Boston speech Wednesday night.

In order to measure the effect of last-minute speeches and developments, and because of the closeness of the race in its last stages, the Institute is conducting a special telegraphic poll of the 48 states this weekend. Results will be received and tabulated tomorrow afternoon in the Institute’s main offices at Princeton.

Unless last-minute swings alter the complexion of the race, the election next Tuesday may be one of the closest in recent American history. Because of the surplus Democratic majorities in the South, Mr. Roosevelt needs a minimum of about 52% of the major party vote in the nation to win.

The latest national figures, reported in mid-week, showed 53% for Mr. Roosevelt, 47% for Mr. Willkie.

Semi-final figures for the none northeastern states, with the gain or loss for Mr. Willkie since previously reported state figures, are as follows:

Willkie Roosevelt Gain or loss for Willkie Since Last Report
Maine 56% 44% +2
New Hampshire 50% 50% –1
Vermont 57% 43% 0
Massachusetts 49% 51% 0
Rhode Island 47% 53% +2
Connecticut 51% 49% 0
New York 51% 49% 0
Pennsylvania 48% 52% +2
New Jersey 46% 54% +4

Not until the final telegraphic poll has been completed tomorrow will it be possible to measure the effects of last-minute efforts by both sides. Indeed, it will not be possible to measure at all – in time for report Monday – the effect of election-eve speeches Monday night, when Mr. Roosevelt will address the voters in an eleventh hour radio address.

The closeness of the race in these nine northeastern states is underlined by the fact that in seven of them the vote for the leading candidate is between 54% and 50% – or well within the margin of error which must be taken into account in interpreting sampling studies of this kind.

The big question of the campaign is still – Has the Willkie trend continued into the final days of the race, or has the President’s campaigning, combined with a somewhat heightened war crisis in Europe, begin to reverse the trend once more?

As a fact-finding organization, the Institute’s function is merely to measure and report the currents of public opinion as they exist at a given time. In this objective the Institute is supported by more than 130 leading American newspapers – Democratic, Republican and Independent – which have united to underwrite the Institute’s factual research.

So far in this campaign the Institute surveys have shown the following major trends:

  1. An exceptionally even race during the first weeks of the campaign, during which time Mr. Roosevelt led in popular votes but trailed in electoral votes.

  2. An upswing for Mr. Roosevelt beginning in September.

  3. The halting of the Roosevelt trend and a counter-swing to Willkie in early October.

The trend of the popular vote, as reported in seven complete and successive nationwide surveys, has been:

Roosevelt Willkie
August 4 51% 49%
August 25 51% 49%
September 20 55% 45%
October 6 56% 44%
October 18 55% 45%
October 27 54.5% 45.5%
October 30 53% 47%

It is no part of the Institute’s work to predict the future. If the facts should point to a close division of election sentiment in certain states and areas, the Institute’s job will end with reporting that situation.

Surveys can reveal, with a high degree of accuracy, the division of sentiment between candidates at a given time. But there are many “unsurveyable” factors in any election which cannot be measured by scientific means. Some of these include the influence of the weather upon turnout on Election Day, the effectiveness of various political organization in turning out the vote, the possibility of political corruption and the like.

The only scientific test of the accuracy of a national election survey is the average state-by-state deviation from the election returns. In the 1936 election, the Institute’s average state-by-state error was 6 percentage points.

In the present election the Institute’s aim will be to improve its average state-by-state error as compared with 1936.

An even more important part of the Institute’s work – far more important than measuring election sentiment – will begin once the election is over. One great problem which invariably faces a successful Presidential candidate, and the country itself, is:

What does the ‘mandate’ of the voters mean?

Will it be a “mandate” to enforce every single item in the winner’s campaign platform, or in the winner’s speeches, where these have differed in some way from the platform itself?

Beginning within a few hours of the actual election, new Institute fact-finding studies will be launched to answer the question:

What does the voters’ mandate mean – in domestic affairs, in foreign policy, in labor policy and defense?

Throughout the campaign the Institute has experimented with a number of new procedures in measuring aspects of election sentiment. At least six different aspects have been studied.

Some of the supplementary studies include:

  1. Work with the so-called "attitude scale in an effort to break down the various degrees of Roosevelt and Willkie sentiment in terms of intensity.

  2. Separate intensity studies by means of voting “thermometers.”

  3. Studies of the relative certainty of individual voters as to whether they will actually go to the polls to vote.

  4. Special measurements in “barometer” areas, where the presidential vote in years past has been an almost unfailingly good guide to the national result.

  5. Work with a new type of secret ballot for use in public opinion polls.

  6. Studies of which candidate the voters think will win.

With the first actual election returns Tuesday night, Institute statisticians will go to work to analyze and interpret the results, and will give a full report of various Institute election experiments.

2 Likes

The Pittsburgh Press (November 4, 1940)

The Gallup Poll —
ELECTION OUTCOME TOO UNCERTAIN TO JUSTIFY FORECAST

Willkie Leads in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Illinois And Michigan; Roosevelt Has Greater Number of Sure States

By Dr. George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion

—TODAY’S GALLUP POLL FIGURES AT A GLANCE—

Total Popular Vote
Roosevelt… 52%
Willkie… 48%

Sure States
Roosevelt… 21 (198 electoral votes)
Willkie… 8 (59 electoral votes)

Borderline States
Leaning Roosevelt… 9 (78 electoral votes)
Leaning Willkie… 10 (196 electoral votes)

Pennsylvania Figures
Roosevelt… 49%
Willkie… 51%

Princeton, N.J., Nov. 4 –

Franklin D. Roosevelt leads Wendell L. Willkie in popular votes in the American Institute Of Public Opinion’s final survey on the 1940 campaign. But, as of Sunday, November 3, the trend was still continuing toward Mr. Willkie. It was running strongly enough to indicate the closest election in 24 years and one in which the winner in popular votes might not carry a majority of electoral votes.

As of Sunday noon, in a nationwide telegraphic poll, the survey showed the President with 52% of the major party voter, to 48% for Mr. Willkie. But a lead of 52% by no means spells victory for Mr. Roosevelt. What counts in a presidential election is electoral votes.

Political history indicates that when a Democratic candidate has 52% of the popular vote, it is an even race because of the surplus Democratic popular majorities in the south.

The Democrat, Grover Cleveland, in 1888 had 51.4% – a majority – and yet lost the election to Harrison in the Electoral College.

In 1916, President Wilson had 51.7% and barely won in the Electoral College, with only 11 electoral votes to spare.

Average Error is 4%

In fact, the evidence from the Institute’s own early studies of the campaign provide recent confirmation of the fact that a Democratic candidate with 52% is in a precarious position. In two surveys in August the Institute found Mr. Roosevelt with 51% in popular votes, but Mr. Willkie actually leading ion electoral votes, with 304 on one occasion and 284 on another. It takes 266 to win.

To attempt to predict the winner on the basis of a 52-43 split requires one to go beyond the figures, and to ignore the known margin of error in all survey work. That error in Institute surveys inn recent elections has average 4% state-by-state.

On the basis of today’s results either party could claim victory on Tuesday, depending on the breaks in certain areas.

Mr. Roosevelt has 21 sure states (Democratic by more than 54%) accounting for 198 electoral votes. Mr. Willkie has eight sure states (Republican by more than 54%) accounting for 59 electoral votes.

In between are 19 states with 274 electoral votes, where neither candidate leads by more than 54%. These states hold the key to victory or defeat for the two candidates.

The survey found Mr. Roosevelt holding a slight advantage in nine states with 78 electoral votes and Mr. Willkie holding an advantage in 10 states with 196 electoral votes. Any unusual or dramatic event in international or domestic affairs, or in local situations, occurring today could up the scales in these close states.

Willkie Trend Is Question Mark

Politicians north of the Mason-Dixon Line will be following the U.S. weather reports with intense interest, as rain in large states like New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois may make a difference in the vote turnout of the predominantly Republican rural areas. The long-range weather forecast issued Friday predicted rain in new York and several other large states.

The strong Willkie trend in the closing days of the campaign provides the big question mark. Will it continue between Sunday noon, when this survey was complete, and Tuesday morning, when the voters go to the polls? Or will Mr. Roosevelt’s Monday night speech pull the election out of the fire as it did in the famous Lehman-Dewey race in New York in 1938?

In light of all facts and in view of the margin of error which experience has shown to be present in sampling operations, the American Institute of Public Opinion does not believe the data here reported justifies a prediction of the outcome of this election.

Following are the divisions of major-party sentiment in each of the 48 states, as indicated in Institute returns up to Sunday.

SURE DEMOCRATIC STATES
(Roosevelt leading by more than 54% up to Sunday)

Roosevelt
South Carolina 97%
Mississippi 94%
Georgia 87%
Alabama 86%
Louisiana 86%
Arkansas 82%
Texas 79%
North Carolina 72%
Florida 72%
Virginia 70%
Tennessee 64%
Arizona 61%
Maryland 59%
West Virginia 59%
California 58%
Montana 57%
Washington 57%
Nevada 56%
Oklahoma 56%
Delaware 56%
Utah 55%

STATES LEANING DEMOCRATIC
(Roosevelt leading with 54-50% up to Sunday)

Roosevelt
Kentucky 54%
Oregon 54%
Rhode Island 54%
Wyoming 53%
New Mexico 53%
Connecticut 53%
New Jersey 52%
Massachusetts 51%
Minnesota 51%

SURE REPUBLICAN STATES
(Willkie leading with more than 54% up to Sunday)

Willkie
Nebraska 59%
South Dakota 59%
Vermont 58%
Maine 57%
Kansas 57%
Iowa 55%
Indiana 55%
Colorado 55%

STATES LEANING REPUBLICAN
(Willkie leading with 54-50% up to Sunday)

Willkie
North Dakota 54%
Illinois 52%
Michigan 52%
Wisconsin 52%
Ohio 51%
New York 51%
Pennsylvania 51%
Missouri 51%
New Hampshire 51%
Idaho 51%

The Democrats have a great advantages in the number of sure states. To win, President Roosevelt has only to get 68 electoral votes more than the 198 electoral votes in sure Democratic states, Mr. Willkie, to win, must take all the states sure and leaning Republican, plus 11 electoral votes.

Willkie Intensity Greater

The Republicans’ chief hope of victory lies in the trend which, since early October, has been toward Mr. Willkie, and in the greater zeal or intensity of feeling found by Institute studies among the Willkie followers which may result in a higher proportion of Republicans getting out to vote than Democrats.

From the state-by-state reports of candidates strength listed above, analysis can calculate the potential electoral vote of both parties.

Mr. Willkie starts out with a minimum of 59 electoral votes in states indicated as sure for the Republicans. Add to that total the electoral votes in states “leaning Republican,” and Mr. Willkie would receive 255, or 11 short of the number for victory.

Possibilities Cited

Therefore, if Mr. Willkie is to win, he must dip into the list of states leaning Democratic (50-54%, but definitely within the possible margin of error) for 11 electoral votes. Should he carry all the states shown leaning Democratic, he would, of course, win with a comfortable margin of 333. That would be his maximum.

It is apparent that Mr. Roosevelt, by carrying all his sure Democratic (over 54%) states and his “leaning Democratic” states, can acquire a total of 276 electoral votes, or more than enough for victory.

When full allowance is made for the margin of error in the leaning Democratic and leaning Republican states, it can be seen that Mr. Roosevelt’s maximum is 472 electoral votes. This result would materialize from his sweeping the leaning Democratic and the leaning Republican states – states definitely within the possible range of sampling error.

Posers For 'Prophets’

While the Institute’s election studies provide basic material for political forecasters who will attempt to predict the results of the election next Tuesday, there are several cautions which should be kept in mind by those who interpret the Institute’s figures for themselves.

First and foremost is the fact that many of the states listed for both Mr. Willkie and President Roosevelt are extremely close. Many of the largest states – with the greatest number of electoral votes – are to be found in the groups where on candidate leads with less than 54% of the popular vote to Sunday.

Such states are within the margin of error which must be taken into account in interpreting sampling studies of this kind.

Bare Majority Not Enough

Second, although President Roosevelt has maintained a popular vote majority throughout the entire campaign, a bare popular majority will not be enough to re-elect him. Because of the surplus Democratic majorities in the South, a Democratic presidential candidate needs about 52% of the total popular vote in order to give him a majority in the all-important matter of electoral votes.

Finally, while surveys can reveal the division of sentiment between candidates at a given time, there are several important factors which may come into play on Election Day which cannot be measured beforehand by scientific means.

There are, in short, “unsurveyable” factors, such as the influence of the weather, the effectiveness of the parties in “getting out the vote” for their candidate, and the presence of political corruption in some cases.

Poll’s Election Aim

The best test of survey accuracy in a national study of this kind is the average state-by-state deviation from the actual results. In 1936 the Institute had an average error of about 6%, and its aim this year will be to reduce that figure. In view of this relative closeness of the race this year, the Institute confidently expects its findings will be on the “wrong” side in some states.

Even after the tumult and the shouting have died, the 1940 presidential election will likely go down in the history books as one of the most dramatic of all time. Political historians will find the record of the campaign outlined step-by-step on eight successive Institute surveys.

While many voters have adhered to their favorite candidates from start to finish of the campaign, the surveys show that there has been an important and volatile group which has shifted with the major events of the past 14 weeks.

Shifts Reported

Indeed, the Institute’s surveys show that if the election had been held in early August, Wendell Willkie would have been a definite favorite. And on the other hand, they show that of the election had been held a month ago President Roosevelt would likely have received am electoral vote landslide.

Institute studies have shown three major phases in his campaign:

  1. An exceptionally close race during the first weeks of the campaign, when President Roosevelt led with 51% of the popular vote but trailed in electoral votes.

  2. A sharp upswing for Mr. Roosevelt beginning in September.

  3. The counter-trend to Wendell Willkie which began in early October and which cut down President Roosevelt’s popular vote lead during the last weeks of the race.

The trend of the major-party popular vote, as reported in these eight surveys has been:

Roosevelt Willkie
August 4 51% 49%
August 25 51% 49%
September 20 55% 45%
October 6 56% 44%
October 18 55% 45%
October 27 54.5% 45.5%
October 30 53% 47%
November 4 52% 48%

More important than measuring election sentiment, however, is charting the currents of American public opinion on the scores of issues upon which the American electorate never has the chance to voice itself – issues which are never individually presented on the official ballot on Election Day.

What’s Meaning?

Once Tuesday’s election returns have been completed, for instance, there will inevitable arise the question: What did the votes of some 50 million Americans mean with regard to American aid to Britain, with regard to domestic policy and so on?

Supported by leading American newspapers of all shades of political belief, the Institute has endeavored for more than five years to measure and clarify the main trends of American opinion in just such issues. These newspapers, numbering more than 130, provide the entire support for the Institute’s research.

Obviously the Institute has had an opportunity over these past five years to test all sorts of sampling methods, and throughout the present campaign Institute statisticians have experienced with at least six different procedures for measuring particular aspects of election sentiment.

Guide for Future

These have included work with “attitude scales,” intensity measurements, studies of voting certainty, examination of special “barometer” areas where the vote in past presidential years has been an exceptionally good guide to the national results, and experiments with a secret ballot in public opinion sampling.

These studies will permit a more complete analysis of the 1940 presidential election than has been possible in any past election; hence a full report will be provided on these experimental studies immediately after Election Day, as well as an analysis of such survey flaws as may be revealed.

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NOVEMBER 9
ELECTION ANALYSIS

The American Institute of Public Opinion’s final pre-election report showed Franklin Roosevelt with 52% of the total popular vote, or 2.5% less than he received in the election returns.

By Region

For Roosevelt Error
New England 50.5% -2.6%
Middle Atlantic 49.5 -2.9%
East North Central 47.8% -3.1%
West North Central 46.6% -2.2%
South Atlantic 68.1% -0.4%
East South Central 66.1% -4.0%
West South Central 73.1% -1.1%
Mountain 51.7% -4.2%
Pacific 56.0% -2.0%

Average Error… 2.5%

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