There is a fairly obvious explanation of the failure of the prophets in the U.S.A. to predict the size of Mr. Roosevelt's majority. The constituency reached by the ordinary newspaper ballot is necessarily a selected one inasmuch as the least literate sections of the population take the least part in it. In previous elections this has not affected predictions, for the Republican and Democratic parties (like the Conservative and Liberal parties in nineteenth century England) each had a substantial following in every stratum of society, so that a ballot of the more literate sections gave sufficient indication of the trend of opinion in the whole nation.
But Mr. Roosevelt has received the practically solid backing of organised labour in America, in spite of the fact that he has
never adopted anything remotely like a Socialist policy nor even a Trade Unionist one.
His enemies and even his friends prophesy that he will pay the penalty (rather as M. Blum has done) in the form of strikes led by labour leaders claiming his benevolent intervention in return for favours received.