The Nation: Fighting for the Ethnic Vote

After listening to Mr. Ford, Polish Communist Party Chief Edward Gierek died.

How did he die? Of laughter.

That not very funny Polish joke is even less of a laughing matter for Jerry Ford. It echoes his troubles among Polish Americans and other people of Eastern European descent who make up 10% or more of the population in such pivotal states as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. A loss of a relatively few ethnic votes in those battlegrounds could cost Ford dearly, and many of these voters were...