The Theory


SAM ERVIN thinks Nixon's in trouble because his gang "undertook to nullify the laws of God and the laws of men."

There is another interpretation: Nixon's in trouble because he undertook to nullify the laws of math.

Every presidential election in this century except one was won by the Democrat or Republican whose last name contained more of the letters FROST WINK JUICE than his opponent.

The only exception was 1972. In 1900 McKinley (5 letters) beat Bryan (2). Four years later Roosevelt (7) handled Parker (4). Bryan was such a weak candidate that in 1908 he even lost to Taft (3). Wilson (5) beat Taft in 1912. Roosevelt ran that year, too--but as a Progressive. Wilson was reelected in 1916, beating Hughes (3). Harding (3) took Cox (2) in 1920, Coolidge (5) beat Davis (2) in 1924, and Hoover (4) beat Smith (3) in 1928.

Once nominated, Franklin Roosevelt was as hard to defeat as his cousin Teddy had been. Between 1932 and 1944 FDR, with his 7 letters, over-whelmed Hoover, Landon (3), Willkie (5), and Dewey (3). In 1948 Dewey lost again, this time to Truman (4).


Stevenson (8) had a power-packed name, but it wasn't good enough to match Eisenhower (9), in '52 and '56. Kennedy (5) defeated Nixon (4) in 1960, Johnson (6) beat Goldwater (5) in '64, and Humphrey (3) lost to Nixon in 1968.

Last year Nixon, still possessing only 4 letters, went up against McGovern (5). Was it the Gallup Polls that scared Nixon about the election of '72, or was it his name? Why did Nixon feel he had to tap phones, infiltrate opponents' campaigns, and manufacture phony newsletters? What was he so afraid of? Could it be that he understood mathematical history--and tried desperately to get around it?

Nixon won.

But was it worth it?