Senator Humphrey Holds Fayette Edge Over Kennedy
April 14, 1960
Senator Humphrey Holds Fayette Edge Over Kennedy
U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn) moved out in front of U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) in a straw poll taken by the Montgomery Herald and Fayette Tribune this week. The survey was taken by telephone throughout the country.
The question asked of Democrat voters was: “If you are a Democrat, you will vote for whom, U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy or U.S. Hubert H. Humphrey for the Democratic presidential nomination?”
Senator Humphrey was picked by four to one in each coal camp which was polled by the two newspapers. Senator Kennedy made his best showing in Smithers as he won by three to one.
In Montgomery the two presidential aspirants ran about the same. In Oak Hill Senator Humphrey ran almost eight to one over his opponent. At Gauley Bridge the two candidates ran fairly close with Kennedy ahead.
It was in the upper Kanawha valley where the two candidates practically split even in the sample voting. But in Fayetteville district Humphrey was better than four to one over Kennedy.
Percentage wise Humphrey polled 54 percent of the votes while Kennedy added up a 46 percent mark. The percentage breakdown is only based upon the votes actually cast for one of the two candidates and does not include a large ‘undecided’ vote.
A few weeks ago Senator Kennedy was to the No. 1 choice for president among both Democrats and Republicans in Fayette county. However Senator Humphrey’s hard campaigning in W. Va. Seems to be paying off in votes for the fiery Minnesota senator.
Both presidential hopefuls have campaigned in W. Va. But the reader and observer must remember that Kennedy still has not made a personal appearance in Fayette county and Humphrey has. After Kennedy’s visit here the Herald and Tribune intend to sample a public opinion once more before the election.
By Larry Holliday
By Larry Holliday
The country has seen many polls devoted to the coming battle for the Presidency and it will see a great many more before November rolls around.
The standard polls commonly pit potential candidates against each other and ask whom you’d vote for. Though we have little faith in such polls the Herald and the Fayette Tribune at Oak Hill this past fall took one.
At that time it is interesting to note that people in this area appeared to favor Senator John F. Kennedy for the Presidency. However at that time no other candidate openly had made known his intentions to seek the office.
In the forthcoming West Virginia primary Senator Kennedy will be pitted against Senator Hubert H. Humphrey in the Presidential primary.
With the likeable Senator Humphrey’s visit to Montgomery and other Fayette communities last week it looks as if a very close and hard fought race is about to begin.
As the Herald pointed out two weeks ago, West Virginia could play a very important part in determining who the next Democrat nominee may be.
Just what qualities do we most want in a President?
In a recent issue of Life Magazine an article was presented which was based on an unusual and extremely interesting poll. In addition to qualities that poll also assessed the leading candidate in the light of what voters regard as their strength and weaknesses.
To begin with the interviewers found that the voters rating of desired Presidential qualities runs in order of importance as follows: principle combined with ability to conciliate, experience in foreign affairs, non-partisanship, decisiveness and the “common touch.”
On the other side of the ledger excessive personal ambition was listed as the least desirable of possible Presidential attributes. Other undesirable qualities mentioned were partisanship, opportunism, immaturity insincerity, weakness of character and the like.
The poll went on to describe what the voters think of the seven most likely candidates.
Vice President Nixon comes closer than the others to the generally held Presidential image. As of now, he is the first choice of one of every three voters. But he is also the last choice of one of every four voters. People it is clear feel strongly about him, pro or con.
Senator Kennedy inspires an “extraordinarily warm and friendly personal feeling among voters. He is not a man who arouses hostility. But the article adds, “he rates lowest of all the candidates in experience, particularly in foreign affairs.”
Senator Humphrey has backers who see him as a fighting liberal and opponents who think him too radical.
Adlai Stevenson of course is extremely well known and is highly regarded for his experience and maturity. However, numbers of voters think him too much the scholar rather than the leader. Many also feel that he lacks forcefulness. Yet he is more respected than the other candidates.
The remaining possible candidates touched on the poll Governor Rockefeller and Senators Johnson and Symington all have one failing in common – they don’t present clear cut images. Many voters see them only fuzzily.
For instance, Senator Johnson is praised for his principles and his abilities as a conciliator and criticized for being too politically minded.
Senator Symington is neither liked nor disliked with any pronounced degree of intensity and he is known least of all to the masses of voters.
Governor Rockefeller is well liked but his wealth is both a liability and an asset. Some say it would make him more immune than the rest to political pressures. Other say the fact that he is so rich would influence him unduly in favor of business. The article says he has enormous potential as his appeal cuts across party lines.
All of the candidates obviously have traits and characteristics that help with some voters, hurt with others. The article concludes by saying if the Democrats nominate a personality whose national image closely coincides with the voter’s image of an ideal President then has a good chance.
If Kennedy carries West Virginia he may well be the next Democratic Presidential nominee. Humphrey has a more uphill battle. But if he wins it certainly will bolster his chances and attract the attention of the party bigwigs.
We’ll just have to wait and see what our fellow Mountaineers do at the polls this coming May.
U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy will be in the Oak Hill and other Fayette county communities next Wednesday it has been announced today by Fred A. Forbes, campaign aide.
The Democrat presidential aspirant Kennedy will hold a live press conference over WOAY-TV at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. At the conference local members of the press and radio will be on hand to interview the senator.
After the press conference Senator Kennedy will meet local citizens at the Collins high school gymnasium between 10:05 and 10:35 a.m.
More details of Kennedy’s visit will be printed in Monday’s edition.
Hon. Howard W. Carson, formally of Montgomery and publicly endorsed by the Fayette Tribune and Montgomery Herald for the State Senate may be seen (left) with his hand on the U.S. Senator Hubert H. Humphrey’s shoulder. While in Oak Hill Humphrey visited a local drug store and mixed a prescription as he may be seen in the above photo. In a poll taken by the Herald and Tribune Humphrey now lead his Democrat opponent for the presidential nomination in Fayette county by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin.
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