Democrats Confident; GOP Optimistic; Congressional Turnover Seen As Slight

Both Parties Claim Scent of Victory

Posted November 3, 2008 at 6:47pm

From the Nov. 2, 1960, issue of Roll Call:

Republicans see a decisive victory for Vice President Richard M. Nixon Tuesday by 41 electoral votes, while Democrats list 21 states classified as “leaning-Democratic” that alone will give Sen. John F. Kennedy the magic total of 269 electoral votes.

Democrats also claim 90 additional votes from nine other states and list five states with 86 votes as “doubtful.” Democrats concede only five states with 35 votes to the Republicans and admit 10 other states with 57 votes are “leaning” to the GOP.

Republicans say that Nixon will amass 289 votes from 28 states and that Kennedy will pick up 248 votes in 22 states. The GOP and Democratic predictions were tabulated in 22 states. The GOP and Democratic predictions were tabulated by ROLL CALL after interviews with Republican and Democratic campaign officials.

A look at the forecasts of both parties shows that Nixon’s expected strength lies in the nation’s farm-midwest-western area and that Kennedy’s strength will come from New England, Southern and industrial states.

Nearly half of the Nixon total expected by the GOP comes from five states; the GOP hopes to pick up 140 votes from California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

The GOP also lists 18 midwestern, western or farm states in the Nixon column, four Southern states (Texas, Florida, Virginia and South Carolina) and three eastern states.

Republicans as of today see New York and Michigan’s combined 65 votes going to Kennedy, along with the votes from six Southern states and New England states.

Of the seven major states, Democrats claim five — New York, Ohio, Illinois, Texas and Michigan for 141 votes — are leaning Democratic. California and Pennsylvania the Democrats list as doubtful.