A radio documentary "Barometer 1954" on the 1954 mid-term elections. A sampling of races around the country, the personalities, campaigns and issues.
October 25, 2010

Voting in 1954 - the ritual continues

As we're heading into the final week before elections, I thought I would start running some highlights of mid-term elections past. Today it's 1954 and the increased reliance on the media the election campaigns were having. We keep forgetting TV was relatively new in the 1954 elections. The image industry hadn't been fully developed yet. Campaigning was, for the most part, still being done the same way as it had been done for years, if not decades before. But the writing was on the wall that all of that was going to change by the next election. The changes were already beginning to happen by 1950. But by 1954 it was in the process of fine-tuning. This documentary, Barometer 1954 from October 3, 1954, takes a look at the various mid-term elections around the country.

Merrill Muller (NBC News) :”Both parties know that to score with the issues they must first score with the personalities. For as we’ve seen, the individual voter leaves the momentous decisions of national welfare to the name and face and character of the candidate who leaves the best impression.”

Today I think it's called "form without content". Or, to paraphrase Woody Allen: "the haircut that passes for a man."

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