Interview with Carl Stokes
QUESTION 8
LOUIS MASSIAH:

We're now moving into the general election. Were you surprised by the amount of, I don't know if I can correctly call it backlash, but the amount of White cross-over vote for Taft once it was announced that you had won and, uh, Taft was going to be your adversary?

CARL STOKES:

No. We were not surprised at the, at the White voter crossover in support of Seth Taft because he was an acceptable kind of person to, uh, to, uh, that, that a White voter who didn't want to vote for Carl Stokes could with, uh, some security be able to vote for Seth Taft. His record in the community was an excellent one. He himself was an outstanding member of a long time political, uh, dynasty. And, uh, I had no, no, uh, I was not in any kind of way surprised at the narrowness of the, uh, general election, despite the fact that the city of Cleveland is overwhelmingly democrat. The, in addition to which, of course, throughout the campaign we had been tracking voter attitudes with polls. And so we knew before the November, uh, 7 date that the election would be very close.

LOUIS MASSIAH:

Okay, I'm going to ask you that once again, and make it just a little bit shorter. Were you surprised by the, the White backlash or the crossover in the White community once y--it, it was a fact that you had beaten Locher and Seth Taft, err, a Republican, was going to be your adversary?

CARL STOKES:

No. I was not surprised at, uh, the White backlash or the crossover of, of normally Democrat voters to support the White Republican in general election, primarily because Seth Taft was entirely a different creature from, uh, Mayor Locher. And those Whites who were reflecting their own racism found it comfortable to vote for Seth Taft because he was an outstanding civic and community figure. Ah, the member of the long time, uh, Taft political dynasty in this state--

LOUIS MASSIAH: