Ironic Headline Published the Day Robert F. Kennedy Shot
Who Will Survive in California? ;THE PRINCIPAL contestants in today's primary election in California are Sen. McCarthy of Minnesota and Sen. Kennedy of New York, and one will receive more votes. The real winner, though, may be Vice-President Humphrey, for his two opponents could reach a sort of standoff that does little toward heading off Humphrey's drive for delegates via the non-primary route. Unless Kennedy loses to McCarthy or unless Kennedy scores an impressive victory, it seems hazardous to predict that either man would fold his efforts to win the Democratic nomination. After all, the party convention is nearly three months away and events this year have shown the unwisdom of projecting contemporary political trends that far into the future. The Romney fadeout, the McCarthy primary successes, the off -and -on candidacy of Gov. Rockefeller, the withdrawal of President Johnson, the entry of Kennedy and Humphrey ... . . all of these attest to the fluidity and unpredictability of this year's politics. But should Kennedy or McCarthy withdraw after today's election, it seems possible that Humphrey would pick up some votes. Not all McCarthy delegates would shift to Kennedy, or vice-versa. This adds weight to the possibility both Kennedy and McCarthy will continue in the race. In a thoughtful analysis of the post-California period, a New York Times writer notes that there are two imponderables that could change the balance of power at the Chicago convention in a way that the California primary cannot. One would be a breakdown in the Paris peace talks and expansion of the war. The second would be convention fights on a number of issues, fights that could shatter Humphrey's alliance of labor, business, southerners and party organization. Those possible fights the analysis goes are a credentials fight over seating delegates from those southern states where Negroes are not fully integrated into party processes, a fight over a peace plank in the platform and a fight over the vice-presidential nomination (some southerners are seeking nomination of a conservative). Robert Kennedy already is talking of a united Kennedy-McCarthy front to stop Humphrey and to bring a new direction to national policy. The prospects for such a front will be clearer after today's election. And the nation may soon have an answer to the question of whether both men continue in the race.