Herring Sees Roosevelt in White House if Forecasts Indicate Political Sentiment--Democrats Must Secure Floating Votes
"Democrate in the coming campaign seem to have an unusually favorable chance for putting their candidate in the White House," declared E. P. Herring, instructor in Government, in a CRIMSON interview last night. "If we concede to Roosevelt the ten states of the 'Solid South', we have a nucleus of 115 electoral votes.
"It is quite certain that the few states of the Solid South that broke away and went Republican in 1928 will fall back into the Democratic ranks this year. This year Roosevelt seems to have a good chance to win the border states of Kentucky, Arkansas, and Oklahoma which would bring his total to 148. With this sum fairly sure, there is a possibility of adding greatly to his strength, further votes in the states west of the Mississippi River. Should he win the entire West and retain the South, Roosevelt would easily carry the election with a total of 274 electoral votes.
Senatorial Elections Show Trend
"In order to accomplish this, however, he would have to win 11 doubtful states and eight normally Republican states. The results of the Congressional and gubernatorial elections of 1930 show that a swing to the Democratic Party is not improbable in this region. Colorado turned in that direction by electing its governor and a senator from that party.
"The support of Walsh in Montana, of Cutting in New Mexico, of Norris in Nebraska will undoubtedly swing more voters to the Roosevelt bandwagon. Similar indications can be discovered in the 1930 election returns from other western states.
"If the votes of the states that went Democratic in 1916 are compared with this situation a close correlation can be seen in that the South and West appear favorable to the Democratic candidate. From this standpoint it appears that Roosevelt will repeat Wilson's feat of 1916 and carry the election with a South and West Combination, ignoring the industrial East.
225 Votes Easily Secured
"Taking another stand," he continued, "and recognizing that the election of 1930 was an off-year election, we find by taking the states that went Democratic in that year, removing the doubtful states, and adding the states that seem to be sympathetic to Roosevelt at the present time, we read a total of 225 electoral votes. The Governor then needs only Massachusetts and California to give him the needed 266 for election. But the Literary Digest Poll's latest returns concede to him, California, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, and even Pennsylvania. This combination would sweep him to an over-whelming victory.
"By way of hypothesis," continued Herring, "look at the Republican set-up for a minute. Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, the Dakotas, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming, totaling 137 electoral votes seem a probable nucleus of Republican states.
"By the Literary Digest poll, Mr. Hoover is conceded Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, giving him the total of 256 with the regular Republican states. The pivotal and doubtful states with large electoral votes challenge particular attention in this election.
A recent survey by two Philadelphia newspapers shows the unreliability of straw votes. One paper's results gave the victory to Hoover. The other showed a wide margin in favor of the Democratic candidates. Both papers had subscriptions among the same classes of people.
Electoral Votes are Vital Factor
"To conclude, then," said Herring, "the coming presidential election, of course must be thought of entirely in terms of electoral and not popular votes. It is the turning of the electoral vote tide that is the all-important factor. If we consider the returns of the last nine presidential elections, it appears that 23 states are normally Republican, 11 normally Democratic, and 14 usually doubtful states. There are certain Republican states such as Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine that shifted their allegiance in the split of 1912, and New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia which usually are Republican in a Presidential year.
Democrats Need Floating Vote
"As the election of 1928 showed, there are approximately 6,000,000 more members in the Republican Party than there are in the Democratic ranks. How many disgruntled Republicans and Democrats will cast a protest vote for Norman Thomas is not negligible in view of the fact that the popular votes may gather in such a way as to determine the election. Considering the fact that they are the minority party, it is the floating vote that the Democrats must appeal to and corral if they expect to win the election."