The Shinnston News

      We sit every night and make noises and jesters at the TV asking why are the Politicians on the TV day and night and the Presidential elections is well over a year and half in the future. Back in the days before instant news and TV if you wanted to know about the upcoming elections you had to read the local Newspaper. In 1924 when a local politician was running for President this is how they did surveys to predict who was going to win. It was called a Straw Vote and was run by Newspapers across the nation.
The following is how "The Shinnston News" in September of 1924 participated in the Straw Vote.

Coolidge, LaFollette and Davis Running Neck and Neck

22 States Cast 97,000 Ballots in Nationwide Presidential Poll With Slight Majority to Coolidge.

      Regardless of hopes, wishes, predictions and a brave whistling of political leaders as they amble through various graveyards, September indications concerning our November election have convinced many keen students that there will be many surprises when the last November vote has been tabulated.

      This newspaper's nationwide presidential poll is now into its fourth week of balloting. Through its connection with the Publishers Autocaster Service of New Your the News is cooperating with some seven thousand newspapers published in every state. Returns from 21 states have been received--enough from each section of the country to indicate, in a small way at least, the trend of sentiment there.

      Coolidge is running strong in the East. Davis strength is in the South. LaFollette, as expected is strongest in the North and Northwest. Some 100,000 votes have been cast in this trial balloting. The vote is evenly divided, Coolidge leading with a total of 36,301. LaFollette is second with 30, 830 and Davis is a close third with 30,551.

      This in a way bears out the figures tabulated by other straw votes. The Hearst newspaper group, made up some fourteen newspapers published in the principal cities of the nation, have polled a straw vote of 95,000 ballots. That vote from the cities show LaFollette first with 40,686. Coolidge second with 37, 239 and Davis a third with 17, 410.

      The nation wide poll in which this newspaper is participating is representative of small town and rural vote. The Heart straw vote almost exclusively from the big cities.

      Combining this newspaper's poll from the country with the Heart poll from the city we have a total of 133, 027 votes divided as follows: Coolidge 73, 550; LaFellette 71, 516 and Davis 47, 961.

      The votes in these polls are of course popular votes and not exactly clearly indicative of the electoral strength of the three candidates. However, the tabulation of this newspaper's nation wide voting by state to date offers the opportunity of studying electoral voting.

--------------- --------------- --------------- ---------------
New York654645042951
N. Hamp1474134171
W. Virginia17937195
S. Dakota26622631812

      The Literary Digest is conducting a secret straw vote, but as yet has made no announcement of returns. The votes polled by the Digest will in the majority come from the larger small towns and the cities.

      Many things may happen between now and November, any one of which would switch the vote to make it final and decisive at the polls. However, political leaders in all parties are watching these Presidential polls closely, and you will rendering them a service if you vote in this Presidential poll and show them the strength of your respective candidates in this territory. If you haven't voted yet, do so today. Clip out the sample ballot below and mark an X before the name of the candidate you want to be the next President of the United Stats. Show your fellow voters in other States who The News wants for President.

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