Thomas Dewey and Strom Thurmond, 1948
On the campaign trail, Dewey raised provocative, thought-provoking issues. The Lousiville Courier-Journal summed up the Dewey campaign message thus: "Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead.” The Republican platform, daring and right-wing, called for an expansion of Social Security, more funding for public housing, and help from the federal government for health and education.1
On November 2, Dewey, his family, and staff stayed up all night in a New York Hotel listening to election returns. It was like waiting for Santa when Santa doesn't come. Although Truman had only 49% of the popular vote, he won by an electoral landslide, bringing the US its fifth consecutive Democratic administration.2
Harry S Truman:3 303
Thomas Dewey: 189
Strom Thurmond: 39
1. Republicans had been out of office for a long time and were very confused.
2. They were in the Roosevelt Hotel, which should have been a bad sign.
3. Harry Truman had no middle name. The "S" just stands for "S."