Election 1944: Close contest in presidential race foreseen (9-13-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 13, 1944)


Close contest in presidential race foreseen

Both parties feel trend is favorable
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Washington (UP) –
The best bet as the political campaign accelerates today is that the presidential election will be a close contest for popular votes.

Political events in Maine, Texas and Ohio variously comforted Democrats and Republicans but without producing conclusive evidence of a national trend either way.

Maine’s jump-the-gun state election yesterday gave the Republican gubernatorial candidate 73 percent of the vote and a plurality of 80,000, the largest in recent state records. Democrats will find some offset in the fact that only 185,000 or so voters of approximately 350,000 registrants went to the polls. But the returns seem to make the state safe for Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the GOP presidential candidate.

If these indications of a close contest are accurate, Mr. Dewey should run better this year than Wendell L. Willkie ran in 1940. Mr. Roosevelt beat Mr. Willkie by 27,243,000 votes to 22,304,000. In 1936, he took GOP candidate Alf M. Landon, 27,576,000 to 16,679,000 votes. Mr. Hoover lost to Mr. Roosevelt in 1932 by 15,761,000 to 22,821,000.