• U.S.

The Press: The Swing to Ike

3 minute read

In the South, the editorial pages of dozens of papers last week were a surprise. Never before had so many Southern dailies come out for a Republican candidate. Such big dailies as the Richmond News Leader, Dallas Times-Herald and Birmingham News, which are traditionally Democratic, are supporting a Republican this year for the first time in their history. Another switch came from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, whose editorials by Virginius Dabney backed the New Deal and earned him a reputation as one of the South’s leading liberals. Wrote Dabney, explaining why his paper is supporting its first Republican candidate in 101 years: “[The paper] casts its weight unreservedly behind the candidacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower . . . The time has come for a change from top to bottom in Washington, with a new party in control . . . The Democrats have been in power too Iong for their own and the nation’s good.” The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, Alabama Journal and Hattiesburg (Miss.) American, which in 1948 strayed momentarily from the regular Democratic fold to support Dixiecrat Candidate J. Strom Thurmond, have gone over to Ike.

Last week the Associated Press finished a survey of 112 Southern papers which in 1948 declared themselves. A.P. found that 54 papers have come out or are coming out for Ike, while only 29 are for Stevenson. The rest are still undecided. This was a big gain for the Republicans.

In 1948, only 24 of the papers had supported Dewey, although another 22 had supported Thurmond. Actually, Southern papers have been deserting the Democrats since the early days of the New Deal. This year, with some Dixiecrat papers swinging to Ike, the exodus has been like a stampede.

The 54 papers in Ike’s camp are:

ALABAMA : Birmingham Post-Herald and News, Dothan Eagle, Montgomery Advertiser and Alabama Journal. Talladega Daily Home, Selma Times-Journal.

ARKANSAS : Paragould Big Picture.

FLORIDA: Palatka News, St. Petersburg Independent, Gainesville Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale News & Sentinel, Fort Pierce News-Tribune.

GEORGIA: Savannah Evening Press and Morning News, Tifton Gazette, Columbus Ledger.

KENTUCKY : Lexington Leader.

LOUISIANA: North Baton Rouge Journal.

MISSISSIPPI: Hattiesburg American, Laurel Leader-Call.

OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma City Oklahoman and Times, Tulsa Tribune and World, Enid News and Eagle.

TENNESSEE: Maryville Daily Times, Memphis Commercial Appeal and Press-Scimitar, Chattanooga Times and Free Press, Knoxville News-Sentinel.

TEXAS : Dallas Times-Herald and Morning News, Denton Record-Chronicle, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Palestine Herald Press, Houston Post and Press, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Press, San Antonio Express and News, San Antonio Light, San Angelo Standard-Times, Longview News-Journal.

VIRGINIA: Suffolk News-Herald, Richmond News Leader and Times-Dispatch, Petersburg Progress-Index, Pulaski Southwest Times.

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