Antedating of "Swing Voter"

Barnhart barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Fri Dec 31 18:28:59 UTC 2004

Earlier still:

Such an attack could rather easily make Nixon, especially in the eyes of
Negro voters, the real hero of the civil rights battle.  And just because
(as Nixon has consistently preached in the Administration’s inner circles)
the Negro vote is the swing vote in the industrial North, Nixon could well
emerge from the battle with more political profit than anyone else.
Stewart Alsop, “Matter of Fact: Civil Rights and 1960,” Warren [Penn.]
Times Mirror (, Aug. 14, 1957, p 5

Season's (or Seasons') Greetings,


barnhart at

American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on Friday, December 31,
2004 at 11:16 AM -0500 wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
>Subject:      Antedating of "Swing Voter"
>This was "Word of the Year" for 1964, according to Allan Metcalf's book,
>America in So Many Words.
>swing voter (OED 1966)
>1962 _N.Y. Times_ 12 Nov. 25 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  Upon
>analysis it would appear that only 1,000,000 voters out of the nearly
>5,800,000 who went to the polls in New York last Tuesday decided the
>outcome.  These were the so-called independent or swing voters who bounced
>across voting machines in a pattern similar to that of a small boy on a
>pogo stick.
>Fred Shapiro
>Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
>Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
>  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
>Yale Law School                             forthcoming
>e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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