President Truman seemed headed for outright election, or at least a deadlocked race, at 3:45 a. m. this morning. He was ahead in 28 states with 292 electoral votes. Dewey led in 16 states with 201 electoral votes. Thurmond was ahead in four states with 38 electoral votes.
However, results in California, Ohio, and several other states were so close that the outcome was still in doubt.
Two-hundred-sixty-six votes are needed for election. If no candidate gets this, the election will go to the newly elected House of Representatives, unless the Thurmond electors should switch their allegiance. The House would then choose among Truman, Dewey, and Thurmond, with the states voting as a unit and casting one vote apiece.
The Democratic victory in Congress would then probably assure Truman's reelection.
At 3:45 a. m., Truman was more than 1,200,000 popular votes ahead of Dewey, with 16,036,000 votes to the New York governor's 14,783,000.
The outcome of the presidential race was doubtful throughout the evening. The Wallace vote, though only two and one half percent of the total cast, prevented Truman from running away with the election. At 3:37 a. m., the Wallace vote appeared likely to affect the result in several states.
No election since 1916, when Wilson beat Hughes, has even rivaled the current one in closeness. In 1916, the outcome was not known definitely until well into the day after Election Day.