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Democrats Confident They’ll Do Well Enough in South in ‘64

June 18, 1963 - A Southern effort to divert electoral votes from major party candidates appears likely to fizzle without any material effect on the 1964 Presidential contest. Governors Ross Barnett of Mississippi (left) and George Wallace of Alabama (right), who tried unsuccessfully to resist integration in their state universities, have launched an “unpledged” elector move. They say their goal is to assemble enough independent electors to prevent any candidate from getting the needed 270 votes in the electoral college. This would throw the election of the next President into the House of Representatives, where each state would have one vote. National Democrats regard this move as aimed primarily at denying President Kennedy the kind of Southern support he needed to win the 1960 election. The Barnett-Wallace movement has produced no signs that it has significant backing in any other states. In the opinion of Senator Harry Byrd (D-Va.), even in the unlikely event that the election were thrown into the House, the majority of Southern states would capitulate to Administration pressures and vote for Mr. Kennedy’s re-election. Chairman John Bailey of the Democratic National Committee has just about given up on Alabama and Mississippi. But he says he is confident that in 1964, Mr. Kennedy will carry no fewer than the 7 Southern states he won in 1960.


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