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Episode 852             Episode 854
Episode 853

1950 United States Senate election in California
Thu, 2019-Sep-05 01:02 UTC
Length - 2:38

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Thursday, 5 September 2019 is 1950 United States Senate election in California.

The United States Senate election held in California on November 7, 1950, followed a campaign characterized by accusations and name-calling. Republican Richard Nixon defeated Democrat Helen Gahagan Douglas, after Democratic incumbent Sheridan Downey withdrew during the primary election campaign. Douglas and Nixon each gave up their congressional seats to run against Downey; no other representatives were willing to risk the contest.

Both Douglas and Nixon announced their candidacies in late 1949. In March 1950 Downey withdrew from a vicious primary battle with Douglas by announcing his retirement, after which Los Angeles Daily News publisher Manchester Boddy joined the race. Boddy attacked Douglas as a leftist and was the first to compare her to New York Congressman Vito Marcantonio, who was accused of being a communist. Boddy, Nixon, and Douglas each entered both party primaries, a practice known as cross-filing. In the Republican primary, Nixon was challenged only by cross-filers and fringe candidates.

Nixon won the Republican primary and Douglas the Democratic contest, with each also finishing third in the other party's contest (Boddy finished second in both races). The contentious Democratic race left the party divided, and Democrats were slow to rally to Douglas—some even endorsed Nixon. The Korean War broke out only days after the primaries, and both Nixon and Douglas contended that the other had often voted with Marcantonio to the detriment of national security. Nixon's attacks were far more effective, and he won the November 7 general election by almost 20 percentage points, carrying 53 of California's 58 counties and all metropolitan areas.

Though Nixon was later criticized for his tactics in the campaign, he defended his actions, and also stated that Douglas's positions were too far to the left for California voters. Other reasons for the result have been suggested, ranging from tepid support for Douglas from President Truman and his administration to the reluctance of voters in 1950 to elect a woman. The campaign gave rise to two memorable political nicknames, both coined by Boddy or making their first appearance in his newspaper: "the Pink Lady" for Douglas and "Tricky Dick" for Nixon.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:02 UTC on Thursday, 5 September 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see 1950 United States Senate election in California on Wikipedia.

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