Government Essay - Elections

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Government Essay Assignment - Elections

Every four years, the citizens of America migrate to their respective polling locations and cast their vote. On this important day, the second Tuesday of November, the next President of the United States is elected. Thosen to lead the country is by proxy the leader of the free world; the election of the United States President is a deeply historical event. The actual decision, though, does not come as easily as one would think. Yes, people sometimes vote blindly along party lines, but there is a whole host of variables that can influence a voter's decision, and, largely, the outcome of an entire election. Such variables include the issues at hand, party preferences, polling results and the media's coverage. While these criteria are ever-important influences in any election, there are a select few races in which they became more important than ever. Three elections in particular come to mind – the elections of 1948, 1960 and 2004. All of these elections were close and in many ways demonstrate the intricacies and interrelationships of elements of a Presidential election.

One such important race was the race of 1948 – Thomas E. Dewey against Harry S. Truman. Top polling organizations and media luminaries were united in their prediction of Dewey's certain victory. Life Magazine even put Dewey on their cover with a headline that declared him "The Next President of the United States." Harry Truman was apparently the only man convinced that he would win; "everyone else was certain Dewey would be elected" ("Truman Surprise"). Truman, the incumbent candidate, was suffering in the polls with a weak 36% approval rate. He was leading a nation fearful of taxes and Communism. His presidential campaign was faring no better. At the Democratic Convention (the first ever televised), the entire Mississippi delegation and half of the Alabama delegation walked out during his speech. Soon after The New York Times reported that the...
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