Imagine if Dewey had nosed out Truman in Ohio and California in 1948 (he lost them by .24% and .44%, respectively). The electoral count would have been:
Truman - 254,
Dewey - 239,
Thurmond - 38 (I'm giving the Tennessee elector who strayed from Truman back to him in this scenario).
(1) Would the election have been settled in the House (81st Congress), controlled by the Democrats 263 - 171 - 1 (AL)?
(2) Would Thurmond have made a deal for his electors to decide the election in the Electoral College?
- Consider what the dealing might have been over and what Dewey might have been offered in exchange for Thurmond's electors.
(3) What about the Vice Presidency? If the race had been settled by the Senate, would the 53 -43 Democratic majority have held for Barkely?
234 Democrats elected in the House. Why 234? Because there were 29 races where the margin of error was under 5% and I think it's perfectly reasonable that if Dewey ran a better campaign, and focused more on the Congressional races, then he would've been fine. Now, this is a slim majority, but even so, it is likely that Truman would be given the necessary electors. Why? Because he was much less of a progressive on civil rights than Dewey. The man on top of the wedding cake would need to do a lot
of ideological pandering to convince Thurmond to give him the needed electors. Now the senate is an entirely different story. 50-46 is possible, as there were 4 seats that went Democratic that really could've gone either way. That means only 3 crossovers are needed to throw Barkley off. Maybe Russell is chosen as the compromise candidate to keep the southern Dems in line. But then the GOP is in a much more powerful position to take back the Congress in 50, and in a stronger majority position in 52, with Taft as the likely nominee, just cuz