Eisenhower and the American Crusades

By Herbert S. Parmet | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 18
Time for a Change

A NALYSES OF THE 1952 results brought considerable agreement. Republicans could not be credited with having wrought a change reminiscent of the Jeffersonian success of 1800, the Jacksonian triumph of 1828, the initial Republican victory behind Lincoln in 1860, the 1920 GOP return behind Warren Harding or the FDR sweep of 1932. The statistics showed clearly that Republican Congressional gains had been extremely modest in comparison with the Eisenhower endorsement. Only twenty- two seats had been picked up in the House, eight fewer than in the 1950 mid-term elections. Further, 359,397 more people voted for Democratic Congressional candidates than for Republicans. In the Senate, Wayne Morse's rejection of his old party affiliation had limited their majority to a single vote. Even Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., whose re-election hopes had banked on help from the General's name at the head of the Massachusetts ballot, lost by nearly seventy-one thousand votes to thirty- five-year-old Congressman John F. Kennedy. In Dallas County, Texas, heavy campaigning by John Roosevelt had brought the best-known Democratic name in behalf of the General and helped gain for Ike an astonishing 62.7 percent of the vote in that part of the state. Yet there was little confidence by local Republicans that the electorate had really abandoned traditional party lines.1 In only seventy of the 199 House seats that had been held by the GOP did the Republican candidate run ahead of the General.

It seemed certain that popular confidence in Eisenhower, as a man of integrity, patriotism, moderation and particularly his bipartisan "above politics" appeal characteristic of a George Washington, had clearly

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