NOVEMBER 5, 1954
LOS ANGELES, Thursday—Even by Thursday morning there seemed a great many election returns that were still uncertain. The Democrats had evidently gained control in the House but the question of the Senate still hung in the balance. Of course, if there is a tie, the Vice President has the deciding vote which gives his position added importance. The close division in the Senate will also increase the importance of the one Independent, Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon.
The gains in the House were important enough to the President for him to make an announcement that he will consult with the Democratic leaders. I thought that was done at all times and that minority leaders were included with the majority leaders in conferences which touched general policies. Evidently there is a feeling that the Democratic majority in the House will require closer cooperation between the Administration and the Democrats.
It will be interesting when the final returns are all in to see some analysis of voting in different parts of the country where, evidently, there were some great surprises. I will be particularly interested in the analysis of the New York State and City vote. In some cases it looked as though there had been a gain in Democratic strength in some areas upstate and I would be happy to see a better balance in that area.
It is never healthy for one party to be so predominant that there is no real chance for another party's candidate. The same thing holds good in reverse in New York City. There has always been such complacency in the feeling that, under all circumstances, the vote would be Democratic in the city. But I think this tends to put too much strength in the hands of the leaders. It is always healthier when the leaders have to listen to what the people have to say and know that it is possible for a vote to change.
California has stayed Republican, except for the two Democratic victories in this area of the state. My son, James, apparently polled about 62 percent of the vote in his district.
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As usually happens, the requests to see people and to do things are pouring in for the short time I am here in Los Angeles, but outside of the two lectures, one Wednesday night in Long Beach and one Thursday night for the Modern Forum in Los Angeles my time is largely given to seeing my family and friends.
On the whole it seems to me that when one is away from home one accomplishes things one has wanted to do for a long time at home. I have wanted to hear Mrs. Robert Magidoff speak as a new American, and she is giving her talk here on "My Discovery of America." So I am hopeful that on Friday morning I can go and hear her. To find out what someone, born and brought up in the Soviet Union, really thinks of this country and how they came to reach these conclusions will be very interesting, and I am looking forward to hearing it.