Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

Today: September 17, 2014
J. Presper Eckert and Walter Cronkite discuss the UNIVAC prediction

November 4, 1952

CBS News Uses UNIVAC Computer to Predict Election

CBS News borrows a UNIVAC computer to make a scientific prediction of the 1952 presidential election, a race between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. The computer’s analysis of early returns showed an easy victory for Eisenhower, but newscasters Walter Cronkite and Charles Collingwood were wary of the machine’s accuracy, as opinion polls predicted a landslide victory for Stevenson. They postponed announcing the UNIVAC prediction until it became clear that Eisenhower would, indeed, win.