The Counting Begins

Wendell Willkie got a bare majority of New Hampshire's eleven delegates, fewer than his supporters expected. This was the standout fact in the confused balloting of the first U.S. preferential primary of 1944.

New Hampshire's quirky election laws caused all the confusion. These laws bind any delegates pledged to a candidate to stay pledged no-matter-what, until their candidate's name is no longer before the convention. For this reason Wendell Willkie had urged his delegates not to pledge officially to him. Three men nonetheless officially pledged themselves. They lost. Six men who "unofficially" made their Willkie sympathies known (including two-term Governor Robert...

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