Nation: The Middle Voter

Shortly before the campaign began in earnest, Political Statisticians Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg published a book, The Real Majority, that was to underscore President Nixon's 1970 strategy. The typical American voter, the authors argued, could be found at the political center. They sketched a portrait: "The Middle Voter is a 47-year-old housewife from the outskirts of Dayton whose husband is a machinist." Scammon and Wattenberg did not have a real person in mind, but a Dayton newspaper and the local machinists' union decided that she was Mrs. Bette Lowrey of suburban Fairborn. In an article about her in LIFE,...

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