Election 1944: Dewey to visit PA again, speak in hard coal area (10-31-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 31, 1944)


WANTED: 35 big electoral votes –
Dewey to visit state again, speak in hard coal area

Importance of Pennsylvania in election emphasized as parties turn on the heat
By Kermit McFarland

The teetertotter position of Pennsylvania in the pre-election dope was emphasized again today when it was announced that Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential candidate, would make two more speeches in the state, both in the anthracite region.

Mr. Dewey will speak Thursday night in the Kingston Armory, across the river from Wilkes-Barre in Luzerne County, and about an hour later in Scranton, Lackawanna County.

The presidential candidate’s double appearance in the hard coal section is a result of special pleas by Governor Edward Martin and other Republican leaders who believe they have a chance to crack the hitherto solid Roosevelt support in this area.

The fact that Mr. Dewey is making a special trip into these two counties, third and eighth in population in the state, and that these eleventh-hour addresses will not be broadcast over a national radio network add to the significance of the plan.

The direct purpose of the Dewey visit is to split the coal mine vote, generally regarded as overwhelmingly back of President Roosevelt, but to which the Republicans in the anthracite area have undertaken a special appeal as a result of John Lewis’ opposition to the fourth term.

When this reporter last week visited Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties, Republican leaders were disappointed because they thought Mr. Dewey would be unable to appear in their area. At that time, it appeared that. Lackawanna County was safely in the Roosevelt column, although by a reduced majority as compared to 1940, and that the race in Luzerne was closer although Mr. Roosevelt was favored.

Fourth speech in state

This will be Mr. Dewey’s third appearance in the state since the campaign began and the Scranton speech will be his fourth in Pennsylvania. He previously has spoken in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and in July was here for conferences with local political and other leaders.

Mr. Dewey’s running mate, Ohio Governor John W. Bricker, will speak in Philadelphia Friday night, his fifth speaking engagement in the state. Previously, he has delivered addresses in Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre.

Led by Governor Martin, who is speaking almost nightly, state Republicans have scheduled an intensive series of rallies to wind up the campaign. Mr. Martin will speak tomorrow night in McKeesport and Wilkinsburg.

Democrats also busy

Meanwhile, the Democrats were also gunning for the state’s “crucial” 35 electoral votes.

Senator Harry S. Truman, vice-presidential candidate, will spend Thursday in the district, capping off his tour with a major address in Syria Mosque at night. On the same program with him will be Gifford Pinchot, former Governor, and top CIO and AFL officials.

The Republicans will hold a local rally Thursday night in North Side Carnegie Hall.