Lyndon B. Johnson's biographer says the late President may have lost his U.S. Senate election race in 1941 as a result of voting fraud similar to that which is alleged to have helped Johnson win a runoff election in 1948.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Harvard professor and former confidante of Johnson, said in a Boston Globe interview that she discovered discrepancies in the 1941 election while doing research for her book, "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream."

Goodwin said in the interview that Johnson was declared the winner in the 1941 Senate contest against Texas Gov. W. Lee (Pappy) O'Daniel, but lost in a recount one day later.

At the time, she said, officials attributed the turnaround from a 5,000-vote Johnson victory to a 1,311 vote loss to receipt of late returns.

Luis Salas, the election judge for Jim Wells County Box 13 in the 1948 Texas election, said recently that he certified 202 fictitious ballots in late returns to give Johnson the victory in a Senate primary runoff that year.

Former Johnson campaign official J. Edward Johnson (no relation to the late President) was quoted in Texas' Brownwood Bulletin, however, as saying irregularities in Brown County voting in 1948 would have more than offset any fraud in Jim Wells County, and that Johnson legitimately won the race.