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Richard M. Nixon remains a clear favorite to win the Presidency today despite a last-minute Louis Harris poll showing Hubert H. Humphrey ahead, 43 to 40 per cent.
While Humphrey aides talk optimistically about an upset, a state-by-state breakdown presents them with a much bleaker picture than do the national polls, conceded by both Harris and George Gallup to be inconclusive.
John F. Kennedy '40, in narrowly beating Nixon eight years ago, won the states of New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Humphrey is given a good chance in the first, a fair one in the second, not much hope in the third, and none at all in the fourth.
To hold Nixon below the critical 270-mark in the Electoral College, Humphrey must take, besides those states conceded him, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kentucky, Connecticut, Washington and Delaware. Either he or George Wallace must eke out a majority in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Arkansas, and Wallace must otherwise hold firm.
Pennsylvania is probably the best yardstick by which to measure the likelihood of a Humphrey upset. Nixon is now favored there, but if the Harris Poll indicates a genuine last-minute shift, one which could continue till balloting time, then the Democrats might well carry the state. Without it, Humphrey is virtually assured of defeat.
Other Eastern states not unalterably in the Nixon column include Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Maryland, in which Humphrey is favored; New York and Connecticut, regarded as even; and New Jersey, in which a strong Democratic turnout coupled with a marked anti-Wallace movement would be necessary to carry the state for Humphrey.
Despite major Democratic advances, particularly in the wake of the bombing halt, California and Ohio are regarded as safe for Nixon. Others in this safe category are Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma; also, among smaller states, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia are less securely Nixon country.
Humphrey country, besides the Eastern states mentioned above and the District of Columbia, includes Hawaii, Michigan, and Minnesota.
Wallace is strongly favored in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Just in case any Cambridge residents haven't been keeping up on the news lately, there is an election going on today. All eligible citizens should vote; the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A list of polling places is on page 8.
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