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AGREEING WITH ANALYSIS OF ARTICLE ON ABOLISHING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE TRUMAN, HARRY S. Typed Letter Signed, as President, to Editor of the New York Law Journal Archibald Watson, thanking for his article concerning an amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing the Electoral College, stating that he is aware of the importance that small states ascribe to their representation in the Senate and Electoral College, and agreeing with his analysis. 1 page, 4to, White House stationery, with integral blank; remnants of hinging at upper edge, horizontal fold. Washington, 12 May 1949
"I certainly appreciated most highly yours of the third, enclosing tear sheets from the New York Law Journal in regard to the amendment abolishing the Electoral College. "Having been in the Senate for ten years I, of course, am familiar with the extreme jealousies with which the small States regard their representation in the Senate and in the Electoral College. "You are exactly right in your analysis of the situation . . . ." In November 1948, although President Truman was widely expected to lose the presidential election to Governor Thomas E. Dewey, support for Truman swelled late in the campaign, winning him a second term. Truman received two million more popular votes than Dewey, but if there had been only slightly fewer popular votes in Ohio, California, and Illinois, the electors would likely have handed Dewey a victory. During that same year, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would eliminate the Electoral College's role in presidential elections in favor of the popular vote in order to improve the role of the South in national politics—but the relevance of Lodge's proposal to the 1948 election did not go unnoticed. The circumstances of that election might easily have resulted in electors choosing a candidate with fewer popular votes, or by the House of Representatives making the choice, since Truman nearly did not receive the absolute majority of electoral votes required by the Twelfth Amendment. Although Truman himself was initially doubtful about the wisdom of the Lodge amendment, when asked during a press conference on February 2, 1950 about Lodge's resolution which passed the Senate the day before (S.J. Res. 2 of January 5, 1949), Truman said: 'I think this resolution . . . is a forward step. . . . I have read all the records and all the hearings on it . . . . And I believe it would be a step in the right direction if the States choose to ratify the constitutional amendment.' The proposed amendment died, however, on July 17, 1950, when the House declined to bring the bill to the floor.
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