POLITICAL NOTES: Poling at the Polls

Even Philadelphia's Republican leaders agreed that their machine badly needed a new look. They were nervous about the vote-getting names the Democrats were assembling for this fall's mayoralty elections. And they knew that a change was long overdue in the city that Lincoln Steffens once (1903) described as "corrupt and contented."

As a first step toward improving the slate, three Republican bosses (two of them county commissioners, the third, the sheriff) decided not to try for reelection. As a second step, the leaders made a surprising choice for mayor. Their man: the...