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Image The Eisenhower Omnibus

As the presidential elections approached in 1952, the frontrunners in both parties were classical regional candidates—the back-country Tennessee Democrat Estes Kefauver, and the Ohio Republican of old New England stock Robert Taft. But both parties rejected these men in an effort to broaden their appeal. Democrats turned to Adlai Stevenson, a patrician progressive who promised to run well in the northeast. The Republicans adopted the omnibus strategy so often used by conservative parties, and nominated a folksy military hero with few discernable opinions on controversial questions. The omnibus strategy succeeded brilliantly. In 1952 and again in 1956, Eisenhower carried every American state outside the south. The success of the Republican omnibus dealt a crushing blow to the New Deal coalition.

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