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The tide of Republican fortunes which began to ebb sixteen years ago, and almost disappeared in 1936, yesterday came flooding back with a force equalling even the fondest dreams of B. Carroll Reece, the G.O.P. national chairman. With control of the House of Representatives assured and a majority in the Senate indicated by the latest returns, the Republicans can read the lessons of history and look forward to 1948 with confidence. For without exception, the capturing of a Congressional majority by the party out of power in an off-year election has presaged a Presidential victory by that party two years later.
Although it is too early to be sure, in large measure the surprising margin of Republican victory can be ascribed to the almost total disappearance of the labor vote in America, a vote which in the Roosevelt era proved decisive time and time again. Men like Guffey and Voorhis, with one hundred per cent labor records, went down to defeat, while the CIO PAC in its initial test without Roosevelt's support railed to deliver on almost every candidate who claimed its support.
What hurt the Democrats almost as much as the defection of labor was the relative absence of issues. Although voting throughout the country was heavy for an off-year race, the people were by and large voting against a party which had been in power since 1932 and not for any specific men representing specific ideas. Only the most careful analysis of the voting after all the returns are in will determine whether or not there was any concerted anti-OPA vote by the American people.
If the Republicans are jubilant this morning, there is also a certain amount of grim satisfaction for the Roosevelt Democrat. For if the election proved anything, it has proved the factuousness of the Democratic hope of salvaging victory by playing tweedledum to the Republicans' tweedledee. With such figures as Henry Cabot Lodge, William Stratton and John W. Bricker representing the majority party in the Congress, the democratic party can furnish an effective opposition only by reassuming its liberal character and discarding the leadership of Bourbon Democrats and myopic members of the Truman coterie.
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