PORTLAND, Me. -- Rep. Margaret Chase Smith's smashing majority in winning the first full Senate term ever voted a woman Republican was hailed by GOP leaders today as the forerunner of a Dewey-Warren landslide.
The 49-year-old Mrs. Smith, a onetime telephone operator serving her fifth term in Congress, easily defeated Democratic Dr. Adrian H. Scolten of Portland yesterday. The contest was the nation's first state election of this presidential year.
Pacing a GOP ticket that swept the state's top offices for the seventh straight time, she gained nearly 74 per cent of the total vote in returns from 573 of 621 precincts.
The attractive widow easily carried the normally Democratic twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn.
[Gov. Thomas E. Dewey said at Albany today that he hoped the smashing Republican victory in Maine will be taken as "a stimulus to even more intensive work" by party members throughout the country.]
Two years ago, when a national Republican tide enabled the party to recapture control of Congress, Maine GOP Senator Owen Brewster won re-election with 63.5 per cent of the vote. Jubilant over Mrs. Smith's triumph, Republican State Chairman Alan L. Bird said her "impressive percentage ... portends a smashing victory for Dewey and Warren in November."
Maine will vote again in November but only for President.
Though the Republican sweet was expected in this traditionally GOP state, Democrats had hoped to poll more than 35 per cent of the total vote.
Elected Governor was Frederick G. Payne, 47, of Waldoboro, one-time state finance commissioner. He defeated Democratic Mayor Louis B. Lausier, 68, of Biddeford for the office being vacated by Republican Gov. Horace A. Hildreth.