In the election of 1948, incumbent President Harry S. Truman was far behind Republican nominee Thomas Dewey in polls and popular perception. Fifty out of 50 political writers confidently predicted his defeat. But in an aggressive campaign summed up by the legendary phrase "Give 'em Hell, Harry" Truman took to the rails to cross the country on a whistle stop tour. The President traveled over 30,000 miles, speaking in person before, by his own count, more than 15 million people. His election in 1948 ranks as the greatest surprise in American political history, and in some ways served as the last hurrah for a style of campaigning that would become increasingly rare in the television age.
an enormous lead in the polls, Dewey followed an extremely cautious
and inoffensive campaign course, perhaps befitting the famous comment
about his bland demeanor that he looked like the "groom on the
more about Truman's campaign:
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