What the 1958 Elections Mean

Bettmann / CORBIS

New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller

The Democratic surge to lopsided control of the 86th Congress began with the night's first returns. The sun had barely set in the Pacific when Democrats got the news of a stunning party sweep in Connecticut. Then came word that Vermont had sent its first Democrat to Congress in 106 years. The Democratic bandwagon came to a screeching halt in New York, where Republican Nelson Rockefeller, after a remarkable personal campaign, carried the G.O.P. ticket to a vital win. But the Democrats regained their momentum moving westward, and climaxed their victory with the overwhelming defeat of Republican William Knowland for...

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