AND OTHER PASTIMES
On Capitol Hill and in the state capitals of the no longer solid South, Roosevelt's name was being uttered with epithets as the year 1944 began. Congress's attitude toward the New Dealers and the president was dramatized by two major brawls in which the southern Democratic-Republican coalition scored bruising victories.
The first round was a ferocious clash over the soldier vote. By this time the Democrats had been advised by their pollsters that turnout was the crucial factor in their hopes for 1944. Soldiers and sailors, most of them young and presumably admirers of their commander in chief, were a vital component of this thesis. The White House made the first move with a proposal for a federal ballot that would be delivered to every serviceman before the election, enabling them to vote for presidential candidates but no one else.