An incumbent President faces nearly impossible odds for his re-election bid. This certainly describes the state of the presidential race in 2020, with the brash outsider, Donald J. Trump, against the establishment favorite Joe Biden. Yet it also recalls an earlier contest, 72 years ago, which resulted in the Chicago Tribune prematurely declaring: “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

“Dewey Defeats Truman.”

Hot off the heels of a resounding Republican Congressional midterm victory in 1946, the Eastern Establishment—the Eastern-based political elite representing the professional and business class of the East Coast (also described as “Protestant patricians,” and referring to what would come to be known as the Rockefeller Republicans)—and the Republican Party thought they had the 1948 election in the bag. Thomas E. Dewey, the respected son of a newspaper owner who came to be Governor of New

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