THE CAMPAIGN: About 1/4 Inch

The political prophets, haunted by the memory of 1948, tiptoed into the homestretch of the 1950 election with bated breaths. Party bosses made only the modest kind of claims. Apparently they were afraid that too much optimism might cause party workers to relax. The great looming doubt was the sleeper vote. But some prognosticators put their necks out about 1 inch. Some necks showing:

¶ Statistician Louis Bean, an Agriculture Department economist who charts elections as a hobby: "This is still a Democratic year with Republicans likely to make approximately normal mid-term gains in both houses of Congress—but Democrats...