National Affairs: The Crucial Lesson

When the U.S. woke up after the election with a ticket-splitting headache, many politicians and most pundits agreed with the hasty diagnosis of Fair-Dealing Columnist Thomas Stokes: "The personal victory of President Eisenhower dramatizes, by contrast, the increasing weakness of his party." This was a glib, convenient way of talking about Democratic congressional victories against the Eisenhower avalanche. But it was also a superficial and misleading explanation of an election that carried a deeper and vastly more significant meaning.

The true key to the 1956 election lay in the politically discriminating voter, better...

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