DEMOCRATS: Operation Reverse Coattails

As control of Congress switched back and forth by the narrowest of margins over the last decade, political managers turned increasingly to the study of state and district elections as a possible key to national hopes. One of those who pored over the state election ledgers was James Finnegan of Pennsylvania, onetime accounting student, now Adlai Stevenson's campaign manager. The result of Finnegan's studies: a Democratic campaign strategy that has been dubbed "Operation Reverse Coattails."

In the 1952 elections, Finnegan found some statistics that especially fascinated him. In state after state, Stevenson...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!