Interview with Charles Butts

Talk about the informal polling that you did in '65 and why that set it up for '67?


Ah, in, in 1965, the political pundits ah, didn't believe that Carl Stokes was even going to be really a factor. Ah, they didn't believe that most Blacks ah, voted and they didn't think that if they did they necessarily would follow a Black ah, candidate. There wasn't the precedent. They had polled, and I did the same kind of polling, ah, Blacks that they had encountered just ah, in the course of the day. And they'd said, "Did you think Carl Stokes was going to win?" And they said, "No." And I think they thought that he probably wouldn't. They didn't ask the second question though, that I, I did ask. And that is, "But are you going to vote for him?" And they said, "But you're darned right." And they did. And I, they may have surprised themselves, because of their numbers and the intensity of their support ah, resulted in an election that was close enough for a recount. Carl didn't win it that time but he came that close. And it was certainly the momentum of '65 that made '67 ah, possible. And everybody knew then that it was possible.


Thank you very much.