Election Eve

2 minute read

In every State where the contest was close, pre-election week produced a flurry of speechmaking, doorbell ringing, last-minute appeals.

For once, the ins worked harder than the outs. After ten years in full power, the Democrats saw the pendulum of political favor swinging away from them: they labored mightily to halt its course.

House Majority Leader John W. Mc-Cormack went on the air with a plea for Democratic victory, Speaker Sam Rayburn with a stanch defense of the Congress. Before week’s end most of the party’s bigwigs would be insisting that this is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party: Senate Majority Leader Alben W. Barkley in Illinois and Michigan, Senator Albert B. Chandler in Illinois, Senator Claude Pepper in California, Senator Robert F. Wagner in Rhode Island, Senator Lister Hill in New Jersey.

The Republicans, out of office, had fewer officially famous men to sound the tocsin in their behalf. Their candidates had to campaign with less Olympian aid. Nevertheless, the Gallup poll showed them winning somewhere between five and 25 seats in the House.

Except among politicos, there was hardly any pre-election excitement at all. The light registration had long been noted; it was an axiom that this year voters were “apathetic.” Whether it was really apathy, or some deeper discontent or bafflement, would be clearer after the results were in.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com