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The 1960 Presidential Election


John Simkin
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The pollster Louis Harris.

Very impressive. Where did you get that answer from?

In 1959 John F. Kennedy recruited Harris to do all his polling for the forthcoming presidential campaign. At the time George Gallup dominated this industry but was believed to be a strong Republican Party supporter. (In fact it later emerged he had been fiddling the results in order to get Republicans elected). Harris was a Democrat and was on record as saying: "For this poll-taker's part, he will never undertake to work for any candidate he believes will set back human progress."

Kennedy paid Harris $400,000 for his surveys, much more than a political pollster had ever received before. Harris argued in his autobiography, The Anguish of Change (1973): "I don't think any poll-taker before or since has sat on a strategy committee. Joe Kennedy, Bobby and Jack Kennedy, and I - we were the inner strategy committee. So I was part of and privy to the whole bloody campaign. The only people who got the polls were Jack and Bobby, nobody else." Elmo Roper attacked those "so-called public opinion researchers," who allow their polls to be exploited "rather openly for propaganda purposes."

After his victory in the 1960 Presidential Election, Kennedy apparently told Harris that "maybe next to me you've got more power than anybody else in this country." Harris agreed and he told the New York Times: "When polls figure largely in the outcome of a major victory, such as... President Kennedy's in Virginia in May, 1960, the poll-taker becomes a kind of political miracle worker." One former Kennedy aide commented: "Face it, politicians have big egos, bigger than anybody's. Harris was smart. He'd come in with these polls that showed that everybody adored Kennedy, and Kennedy ate it up." Ted Sorensen disagreed with this assessment and claimed that Kennedy "felt that a pollster's desire to please a client and influence strategy sometimes unintentionally coloured his analysis."

Michael Wheeler, the author of Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: The Manipulation of Public Opinion in America (2007), has pointed out: "During the campaign he would sometimes engage in flights of fancy about his future after the election... some people close to Harris at the time say he would wistfully imagine himself as director of the CIA one day and secretary of commerce the next... Having supposedly masterminded a presidential campaign, Harris became the number one political pollster. Democrats who wanted to win came to him, and they paid top dollar for what they got."

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYharrisL.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYroperE.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYgallup.htm

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Guest Tom Scully

(quote name='Len Colby' timestamp='1348836851' post='260529']

The pollster Louis Harris.

Very impressive. Where did you get that answer from?

Google?

(/quote]

No, if you put the quote in Google the only website listed was this thread on the forum. Michael probably got it from one of those old fashioned things called books.

..................

Your contributions have been very good as well. In fact, in my opinion, Michael and Robert are the best two posters on this forum.

http://www.amazon.co...Mx1COL7D3TK6WFD

In reply to your post on Aug 19, 2012 3:48:17 PM PDT

Posted Douglas says:

Doug Horne

Location: Falls Church, VA, United States

Web Page: insidethearrb

.... Your citations seem to me like the kind of detailed biographical information that would be maintained by the same "outfit" that would have maintained Mitchell's operational file at the Agency. Who the hell else would know these things? What ordinary reader would have the ability to look up and find the citations you so conveniently found? ....

SimkinBestPosters.jpg

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No, if you put the quote in Google the only website listed was this thread on the forum. Michael probably got it from one of those old fashioned things called books.

John, It was you and this thread that got me interested in Michael Wheeler's book.

http://educationforu...33

That same day I ordered it from ABE books for four dollars. I haven't finished reading the book, but I read the parts that

pertained to the Kennedy administration the day I got it.

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No, if you put the quote in Google the only website listed was this thread on the forum. Michael probably got it from one of those old fashioned things called books.

John, It was you and this thread that got me interested in Michael Wheeler's book.

http://educationforu...33

That same day I ordered it from ABE books for four dollars. I haven't finished reading the book, but I read the parts that

pertained to the Kennedy administration the day I got it.

That is where I got it from. It is a very good book and has a lot of information about George Gallup. There is virtually nothing on the web about Gallup's work for the intelligence services or the Republican Party (that is why I have created a page on the man). We must make sure that he does not get away with it. The British Security Coordination secret report on the way they corrupted public opinion polls that was written in 1945 was passed onto the CIA and MI5. I am sure that since then intelligence services have made full use of this strategy.

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Good for you Michael." Leni" got it wrong. (Imagine that!)

I had no idea either that Gallup was involved in these ways. Casts a whole new light on their polling.

Dawn

I made a reasonable guess and was wrong Dawny is so right, how will I ever live down my shame?

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http://www.amazon.co...Mx1COL7D3TK6WFD

In reply to your post on Aug 19, 2012 3:48:17 PM PDT

Posted Douglas says:

Doug Horne

Location: Falls Church, VA, United States

Web Page: insidethearrb

.... Your citations seem to me like the kind of detailed biographical information that would be maintained by the same "outfit" that would have maintained Mitchell's operational file at the Agency. Who the hell else would know these things? What ordinary reader would have the ability to look up and find the citations you so conveniently found? ....

SimkinBestPosters.jpg

I'm sure there was a point lurking somewhere in the background, why don't you tell us what it was?

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