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Political Polling–1892 Style

April 12, 2016

Hat Tip To Dan.

This is an amusing story.

Polling methods certainly have changed over the years, and I recently found an example showing one of the old ways.

The 1¢ Ulysses S. Grant paid reply postal card (Scott UY1) is addressed to the ‘“Chairman, Democratic Committee, Norwood, Mass.”

The message on the card is dated Oct. 27, 1892, two days after the card’s Oct. 25 issue date.

The message reads: “Dear Sir: Will you kindly send us by the next mail, on accompanying return postal, your estimate (in round figures, if you have not figured more closely) of the Republican vote and the Democratic vote in your town at the coming election. The courtesy will be much appreciated, Very truly, BOSTON JOURNAL.”

The postscript message asks, “Please write the name of your town and the party on your reply.”

The card was postmarked Oct. 28 in Boston.

The committee apparently never responded because the reply part of the card is still attached.

In the 1892 election, former 22nd president Grover Cleveland (a Democrat) defeated the 23rd president Benjamin Harrison (a Republican) to become the 24th president, by 5.552 million votes (277 electoral votes) to 5.179 million votes (145 electoral votes).

This was sweet revenge for Cleveland because he had been defeated in the prior election by Harrison.


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