Nation: Carter's Pollster

As Jimmy Carter prepared to take office in 1977, he received a memo from Pollster Patrick Caddell advising him to keep on emphasizing the open, anti-Washington style that had helped him win the election. In this way, the pollster said, Carter could turn his narrow victory margin into a broader mandate. The memo soon became known as Caddell's "style over substance" pitch. Somehow, Carter forgot that advice. But last month, when he began trying to rescue his presidency, he turned again to Caddell for counsel, and this time he followed it.

Caddell wrote a...

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