1964 United States presidential election

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1964 United States presidential election
Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg
  1960 November 3, 1964 1968  

All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout61.9% [1] Decrease2.svg 0.9 pp
  Black and White 37 Lyndon Johnson 3x4.jpg Barry Goldwater photo1962.jpg
Nominee Lyndon B. Johnson Barry Goldwater
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Texas Arizona
Running mate Hubert Humphrey William E. Miller
Electoral vote48652
States carried44 + DC 6
Popular vote43,127,04127,175,754
Percentage61.1%38.5%

1964 United States presidential election in California1964 United States presidential election in Oregon1964 United States presidential election in Washington (state)1964 United States presidential election in Idaho1964 United States presidential election in Nevada1964 United States presidential election in Utah1964 United States presidential election in Arizona1964 United States presidential election in Montana1964 United States presidential election in Wyoming1964 United States presidential election in Colorado1964 United States presidential election in New Mexico1964 United States presidential election in North Dakota1964 United States presidential election in South Dakota1964 United States presidential election in Nebraska1964 United States presidential election in Kansas1964 United States presidential election in Oklahoma1964 United States presidential election in Texas1964 United States presidential election in Minnesota1964 United States presidential election in Iowa1964 United States presidential election in Missouri1964 United States presidential election in Arkansas1964 United States presidential election in Louisiana1964 United States presidential election in Wisconsin1964 United States presidential election in Illinois1964 United States presidential election in Michigan1964 United States presidential election in Indiana1964 United States presidential election in Ohio1964 United States presidential election in Kentucky1964 United States presidential election in Tennessee1964 United States presidential election in Mississippi1964 United States presidential election in Alabama1964 United States presidential election in Georgia1964 United States presidential election in Florida1964 United States presidential election in South Carolina1964 United States presidential election in North Carolina1964 United States presidential election in Virginia1964 United States presidential election in West Virginia1964 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1964 United States presidential election in Maryland1964 United States presidential election in Delaware1964 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania1964 United States presidential election in New Jersey1964 United States presidential election in New York1964 United States presidential election in Connecticut1964 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1964 United States presidential election in Vermont1964 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1964 United States presidential election in Maine1964 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1964 United States presidential election in Hawaii1964 United States presidential election in Alaska1964 United States presidential election in the District of Columbia1964 United States presidential election in Maryland1964 United States presidential election in Delaware1964 United States presidential election in New Jersey1964 United States presidential election in Connecticut1964 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1964 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1964 United States presidential election in Vermont1964 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1964 United States presidential election
1964 United States presidential election
Presidential election results map. Blue denotes those won by Johnson/Humphrey, red denotes states won by Goldwater/Miller. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic

Elected President

Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic

The 1964 United States presidential election was the 45th quadrennial American presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 3, 1964. Incumbent Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee. With 61.1% of the popular vote, Johnson won the largest share of the popular vote of any candidate since the largely uncontested 1820 election.

United States presidential election type of election in the United States

The election of president and vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or in Washington, D.C. cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the U.S. Electoral College, known as electors. These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, and for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes is then elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for President, the House of Representatives chooses the winner; if no one receives an absolute majority of the votes for Vice President, then the Senate chooses the winner.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

President of the United States Head of state and of government of the United States

The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Contents

Johnson took the office in November 1963 following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. He easily defeated a primary challenge by segregationist Governor George Wallace of Alabama to win nomination to a full term. At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Johnson also won the nomination of his preferred running mate, Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, a leader of his party's conservative faction, defeated moderate Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York and Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

First inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson 52nd United States presidential inauguration

The first inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson as the 36th President of the United States was held on Friday, November 22, 1963, aboard Air Force One at Love Field, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy earlier that day. The inauguration marked the commencement of the first term of Lyndon B. Johnson as President. This was the eighth non-scheduled, extraordinary inauguration to take place since the presidency was established in 1789.

Assassination of John F. Kennedy 1963 murder of the US President

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas, Texas, while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dealey Plaza. Kennedy was riding with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie when he was fatally shot by former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald firing in ambush from a nearby building. Governor Connally was seriously wounded in the attack. The motorcade rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where President Kennedy was pronounced dead about thirty minutes after the shooting; Connally recovered from his injuries.

John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States

John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. A member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.

Johnson championed his passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and his campaign advocated a series of anti-poverty programs collectively known as the Great Society. Goldwater espoused a low-tax, small government philosophy, and opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Democrats successfully portrayed Goldwater as a dangerous extremist, most famously in the "Daisy" television advertisement. The Republican Party was badly divided between its moderate and conservative factions, with Rockefeller and other moderate party leaders refusing to campaign for Goldwater. Johnson led by wide margins in all opinion polls conducted during the campaign.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 legislation

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964–65. The main goal was the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice.

Daisy (advertisement) 1964 Campaign advertisement for Lyndon Johnson

"Daisy", sometimes known as "Daisy Girl" or "Peace, Little Girl", was a controversial political advertisement aired on television during the 1964 United States presidential election by incumbent president Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign. Though only aired once, it is considered to be an important factor in Johnson's landslide victory over Barry Goldwater and an important turning point in political and advertising history. It remains one of the most controversial political advertisements ever made.

Johnson carried 44 states and the District of Columbia, which voted for the first time in this election. Goldwater won his home state and swept the states of the Deep South, most of which had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Johnson's landslide victory coincided with the defeat of many conservative Republican Congressmen, and the subsequent 89th Congress would pass major legislation such as the Social Security Amendments of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act. Goldwater's unsuccessful bid significantly influenced the modern conservative movement and the long-time realignment within the Republican Party, which culminated in the 1980 presidential victory of Ronald Reagan.

Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution Grants residents of Washington, D.C. the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution extends the right to vote in presidential elections to citizens residing in the District of Columbia. The amendment grants the district electors in the Electoral College as though it were a state, though the district can never have more electors than the least-populous state. The Twenty-third amendment was proposed by the 86th Congress on June 16, 1960, and was ratified by the requisite number of states on March 29, 1961.

Deep South cultural and geographic subregion in the Southern United States

The Deep South is a cultural and geographic subregion in the Southern United States. Historically, it was differentiated as those states most dependent on plantations and slave societies during the pre-Civil War period. The Deep South is commonly referred to as the Cotton States, given that the production of cotton was a primary cash crop.

89th United States Congress 1965–1967 U.S. Congress

The Eighty-ninth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1965, to January 3, 1967, during the third and fourth years of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Eighteenth Census of the United States in 1960. Both chambers had a Democratic supermajority. It is regarded as "arguably the most productive in American history". Some of its landmark legislation includes Social Security Amendments of 1965, the Voting Rights Act, Higher Education Act, and Freedom of Information Act.

Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

President and Mrs. Kennedy on the day of his assassination JFK limousine.png
President and Mrs. Kennedy on the day of his assassination

While on the first campaign stop of his re-election campaign, President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Supporters were shocked and saddened by the loss of the charismatic President, while opposition candidates were put in the awkward position of running against the policies of a slain political figure. [2]

A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example:

During the following period of mourning, Republican leaders called for a political moratorium, so as not to appear disrespectful. [3] As such, little politicking was done by the candidates of either major party until January 1964, when the primary season officially began. At the time, most political pundits saw Kennedy's assassination as leaving the nation politically unsettled. [2]

Mourning sorrow (and its conventional manifestation) for someones death

Mourning is, in the simplest sense, grief over someone's death. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate. Customs vary between cultures and evolve over time, though many core behaviors remain constant.

A pundit is a person who offers to mass media their opinion or commentary on a particular subject area on which they are knowledgeable, or considered a scholar in said area. The term has been increasingly applied to popular media personalities. In certain cases, it may be used in a derogatory manner as well, as the political equivalent of ideologue.

Nominations

Democratic Party

Democratic Party Ticket, 1964
Lyndon B. Johnson Hubert Humphrey
for Presidentfor Vice President
Black and White 37 Lyndon Johnson 3x4.jpg
Hubert Humphrey crop.jpg
36th
President of the United States
(1963–1969)
U.S. Senator
from Minnesota
(1949–1964, 1971–1978)
Campaign
LBJ bumper sticker 11.jpg

Candidates

The only other candidate to actively campaign was then Alabama Governor George Wallace who ran in a number of northern primaries, though his candidacy was more to promote the philosophy of states' rights among a northern audience; while expecting some support from delegations in the South, Wallace was certain that he was not in contention for the Democratic nomination. [4] Johnson received 1,106,999 votes in the primaries.

At the national convention the integrated Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) claimed the seats for delegates for Mississippi, not on the grounds of the Party rules, but because the official Mississippi delegation had been elected by a white primary system. The national party's liberal leaders supported an even division of the seats between the two Mississippi delegations; Johnson was concerned that, while the regular Democrats of Mississippi would probably vote for Goldwater anyway, rejecting them would lose him the South. Eventually, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Reuther and the black civil rights leaders including Roy Wilkins, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bayard Rustin worked out a compromise: the MFDP took two seats; the regular Mississippi delegation was required to pledge to support the party ticket; and no future Democratic convention would accept a delegation chosen by a discriminatory poll. Joseph L. Rauh Jr., the MFDP's lawyer, initially refused this deal, but they eventually took their seats. Many white delegates from Mississippi and Alabama refused to sign any pledge, and left the convention; and many young civil rights workers were offended by any compromise. [5] Johnson biographers Rowland Evans and Robert Novak claim that the MFDP fell under the influence of "black radicals" and rejected their seats. [6] Johnson lost Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina.

Johnson also faced trouble from Robert F. Kennedy, President Kennedy's younger brother and the U.S. Attorney General. Kennedy and Johnson's relationship was troubled from the time Robert Kennedy was a Senate staffer. Then-Majority Leader Johnson surmised that Kennedy's hostility was the direct result of the fact that Johnson frequently recounted a story that embarrassed Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, the ambassador to the United Kingdom. According to his recounting, Johnson and President Franklin D. Roosevelt misled the ambassador, upon a return visit to the United States, to believe that Roosevelt wished to meet in Washington for friendly purposes; in fact Roosevelt planned to—and did—fire the ambassador, due to the ambassador's well publicized views. [7] The Johnson–Kennedy hostility was rendered mutual in the 1960 primaries and the 1960 Democratic National Convention, when Robert Kennedy had tried to prevent Johnson from becoming his brother's running mate, a move that deeply embittered both men.

In early 1964, despite his personal animosity for the president, Kennedy had tried to force Johnson to accept him as his running mate. Johnson eliminated this threat by announcing that none of his cabinet members would be considered for second place on the Democratic ticket. Johnson also became concerned that Kennedy might use his scheduled speech at the 1964 Democratic Convention to create a groundswell of emotion among the delegates to make him Johnson's running mate; he prevented this by deliberately scheduling Kennedy's speech on the last day of the convention, after his running mate had already been chosen. Shortly after the 1964 Democratic Convention, Kennedy decided to leave Johnson's cabinet and run for the U.S. Senate in New York; he won the general election in November. Johnson chose Senator Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota, a liberal and civil rights activist, as his running mate.

Republican Party

Republican Party Ticket, 1964
Barry Goldwater William E. Miller
for Presidentfor Vice President
Barry Goldwater photo1962.jpg
William-Miller.jpg
U.S. Senator
from Arizona
(1953–1965, 1969–1987)
U.S. Representative
from New York
(1951–1965)
Campaign
Barry Goldwater bumper sticker 08.jpg

Candidates

The primaries

Republican primaries results by state
No primary held
John W. Byrnes
Barry Goldwater
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
James A. Rhodes
Nelson Rockefeller
William W. Scranton
Technically in South Dakota and Florida, Goldwater finished in second to "Unpledged Delegates," but he finished before all other candidates. 1964RepublicanPresidentialPrimaries.svg
Republican primaries results by state Technically in South Dakota and Florida, Goldwater finished in second to "Unpledged Delegates," but he finished before all other candidates.

The Republican Party (GOP) was badly divided in 1964 between its conservative and moderate-liberal factions. Former Vice-President Richard Nixon, who had been beaten by Kennedy in the extremely close 1960 presidential election, decided not to run. Nixon, a moderate with ties to both wings of the GOP, had been able to unite the factions in 1960; in his absence the way was clear for the two factions to engage in an all-out political civil war for the nomination. Barry Goldwater, a Senator from Arizona, was the champion of the conservatives. The conservatives had historically been based in the American Midwest, but beginning in the 1950s they had been gaining in power in the South and West. The conservatives favored a low-tax, small federal government which supported individual rights and business interests and opposed social welfare programs. The conservatives also resented the dominance of the GOP's moderate wing, which was based in the Northeastern United States. Since 1940, the Eastern moderates had defeated conservative presidential candidates at the GOP's national conventions. The conservatives believed the Eastern moderates were little different from liberal Democrats in their philosophy and approach to government. Goldwater's chief opponent for the Republican nomination was Nelson Rockefeller, the Governor of New York and the longtime leader of the GOP's liberal-moderate faction.

Initially, Rockefeller was considered the front-runner, ahead of Goldwater. However, in 1963, two years after Rockefeller's divorce from his first wife, he married Margarita "Happy" Murphy, who was nearly 18 years younger than he and had just divorced her husband and surrendered her four children to his custody. [8] The fact that Murphy had suddenly divorced her husband before marrying Rockefeller led to rumors that Rockefeller had been having an extramarital affair with her. This angered many social conservatives and female voters within the GOP, many of whom called Rockefeller a "wife stealer". [8] After his remarriage, Rockefeller's lead among Republicans lost 20 points overnight. [8] Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut, the father of President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush, was among Rockefeller's critics on this issue: "Have we come to the point in our life as a nation where the governor of a great state—one who perhaps aspires to the nomination for president of the United States—can desert a good wife, mother of his grown children, divorce her, then persuade a young mother of four youngsters to abandon her husband and their four children and marry the governor?" [8]

In the first primary, in New Hampshire, both Rockefeller and Goldwater were considered to be the favorites, but the voters instead gave a surprising victory to the U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., Nixon's running mate in 1960 and a former Massachusetts senator. Lodge was a write-in candidate. He went on to win the Massachusetts and New Jersey primaries before withdrawing his candidacy because he had finally decided he didn't want the Republican nomination. [9]

Despite his defeat in New Hampshire, Goldwater pressed on, winning the Illinois, Texas, and Indiana primaries with little opposition, and Nebraska's primary after a stiff challenge from a draft-Nixon movement. Goldwater also won a number of state caucuses and gathered even more delegates. Meanwhile, Nelson Rockefeller won the West Virginia and Oregon primaries against Goldwater, and William Scranton won in his home state of Pennsylvania. Both Rockefeller and Scranton also won several state caucuses, mostly in the Northeast.

The final showdown between Goldwater and Rockefeller was in the California primary. In spite of the previous accusations regarding his marriage, Rockefeller led Goldwater in most opinion polls in California, and he appeared headed for victory when his new wife gave birth to a son, Nelson Rockefeller Jr., three days before the primary. [8] His son's birth brought the issue of adultery front and center, and Rockefeller suddenly lost ground in the polls. [8] Goldwater won the primary by a narrow 51–49% margin, thus eliminating Rockefeller as a serious contender and all but clinching the nomination. With Rockefeller's elimination, the party's moderates and liberals turned to William Scranton, the Governor of Pennsylvania, in the hopes that he could stop Goldwater. However, as the Republican Convention began Goldwater was seen as the heavy favorite to win the nomination.

Total popular vote

Convention

The 1964 Republican National Convention at Daly City, California's Cow Palace arena was one of the most bitter on record, as the party's moderates and conservatives openly expressed their contempt for each other. Rockefeller was loudly booed when he came to the podium for his speech; in his speech he roundly criticized the party's conservatives, which led many conservatives in the galleries to yell and scream at him. A group of moderates tried to rally behind Scranton to stop Goldwater, but Goldwater's forces easily brushed his challenge aside, and Goldwater was nominated on the first ballot. The presidential tally was as follows:

The vice-presidential nomination went to little-known Republican Party Chairman William E. Miller, a Representative from upstate New York. Goldwater stated that he chose Miller simply because "he drives [President] Johnson nuts". This would be the only Republican ticket between 1948 and 1976 that did not include Nixon.

In accepting his nomination, Goldwater uttered his most famous phrase (a quote from Cicero suggested by speechwriter Harry Jaffa): "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." For many GOP moderates, Goldwater's speech was seen as a deliberate insult, and many of these moderates would defect to the Democrats in the fall election.

General election

Campaign

First page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Civilrightsact1964.jpg
First page of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Although Goldwater had been successful in rallying conservatives, he was unable to broaden his base of support for the general election. Shortly before the Republican Convention, he had alienated moderate Republicans by his vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, [10] which Johnson championed and signed into law. Goldwater said that he considered desegregation a states' rights issue, rather than a national policy, and believed the 1964 act to be unconstitutional. Goldwater's vote against the legislation helped cause African-Americans to overwhelmingly support Johnson. [11] Goldwater had previously voted in favor of the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights acts, but only after proposing "restrictive amendments" to them. [11] Goldwater was famous for speaking "off-the-cuff" at times, and many of his former statements were given wide publicity by the Democrats. In the early 1960s, Goldwater had called the Eisenhower administration "a dime store New Deal", and the former president never fully forgave him or offered him his full support in the election.

In December 1961, he told a news conference that "sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea", a remark which indicated his dislike of the liberal economic and social policies that were often associated with that part of the nation. That comment came back to haunt him, in the form of a Johnson television commercial, [12] as did remarks about making Social Security voluntary [13] and selling the Tennessee Valley Authority. In his most famous verbal gaffe, Goldwater once joked that the U.S. military should "lob one [a nuclear bomb] into the men's room of the Kremlin" in the Soviet Union.

Goldwater was also hurt by the reluctance of many prominent moderate Republicans to support him. Governors Nelson Rockefeller of New York and George Romney of Michigan refused to endorse Goldwater and did not campaign for him. On the other hand, former Vice-President Richard Nixon and Governor Scranton of Pennsylvania loyally supported the GOP ticket and campaigned for Goldwater, although Nixon did not entirely agree with Goldwater's political stances and said that it would "be a tragedy" if Goldwater's platform were not "challenged and repudiated" by the Republicans. [14] The New York Herald-Tribune , a voice for eastern Republicans (and a target for Goldwater activists during the primaries), supported Johnson in the general election. Some moderates even formed a "Republicans for Johnson" organization, although most prominent GOP politicians avoided being associated with it.

Shortly before the Republican convention, CBS reporter Daniel Schorr wrote from Germany that "It looks as though Senator Goldwater, if nominated, will be starting his campaign here in Bavaria, center of Germany's right wing." He noted that a prior Goldwater interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel was an "appeal to right-wing elements." However, the there was no ulterior motive for the trip; it was just a vacation. [15]

Fact magazine published an article polling psychiatrists around the country as to Goldwater's sanity. Some 1,189 psychiatrists appeared to agree that Goldwater was "emotionally unstable" and unfit for office, though none of the members had actually interviewed him. The article received heavy publicity and resulted in a change to the ethics guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association. In a libel suit, a federal court awarded Goldwater $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages. [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Eisenhower's strong backing could have been an asset to the Goldwater campaign, but instead its absence was clearly noticed. When questioned about the presidential capabilities of the former president's younger brother, university administrator Milton S. Eisenhower, in July 1964, Goldwater replied, "One Eisenhower in a generation is enough." However, Eisenhower did not openly repudiate Goldwater and made one television commercial for Goldwater's campaign. [21] A prominent Hollywood celebrity who vigorously supported Goldwater was Ronald Reagan. Reagan gave a well-received televised speech supporting Goldwater; it was so popular that Goldwater's advisors had it played on local television stations around the nation. Many historians consider this speech—"A Time for Choosing"—to mark the beginning of Reagan's transformation from an actor to a political leader. In 1966, Reagan would be elected Governor of California in a landslide.

Ads and slogans

Full "Daisy" advertisement

Johnson positioned himself as a moderate and succeeded in portraying Goldwater as an extremist. Goldwater had a habit of making blunt statements about war, nuclear weapons, and economics that could be turned against him. Most famously, the Johnson campaign broadcast a television commercial on September 7 dubbed the "Daisy Girl" ad, which featured a little girl picking petals from a daisy in a field, counting the petals, which then segues into a launch countdown and a nuclear explosion. [22] The ads were in response to Goldwater's advocacy of "tactical" nuclear weapons use in Vietnam. [23] Confessions of a Republican , another Johnson ad, features a monologue from a man who tells us that he had previously voted for Eisenhower and Nixon, but now worries about the "men with strange ideas", "weird groups" and "the head of the Ku Klux Klan" who were supporting Goldwater; he concludes that "either they're not Republicans, or I'm not". [24] Voters increasingly viewed Goldwater as a right-wing fringe candidate. His slogan "In your heart, you know he's right" was successfully parodied by the Johnson campaign into "In your guts, you know he's nuts", or "In your heart, you know he might" (as in "he might push the nuclear button"), or even "In your heart, he's too far right". Some cynics wore buttons saying "Even Johnson is better than Goldwater!"[ citation needed ]

The Johnson campaign's greatest concern may have been voter complacency leading to low turnout in key states. To counter this, all of Johnson's broadcast ads concluded with the line: "Vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay home." The Democratic campaign used two other slogans, "All the way with LBJ" [25] and "LBJ for the USA". [26]

The election campaign was disrupted for a week by the death of former president Herbert Hoover on October 20, 1964, because it was considered disrespectful to be campaigning during a time of mourning. Hoover died of natural causes. He had been U.S. president from 1929 to 1933. Both major candidates attended his funeral. [27]

Johnson led in all opinion polls by huge margins throughout the entire campaign. [28]

Results

Election results by county.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Barry M. Goldwater
Unpledged electors PresidentialCounty1964Colorbrewer.gif
Election results by county.

The election was held on November 3, 1964. Johnson beat Goldwater in the general election, winning over 61% of the popular vote, the highest percentage since the popular vote first became widespread in 1824. In the end, Goldwater won only his native state of Arizona and five Deep South states—Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina—which had been increasingly alienated by Democratic civil rights policies. This was the best showing in the South for a GOP candidate since Reconstruction.

The five Southern states that voted for Goldwater swung over dramatically to support him. For instance, in Mississippi, where Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt had won 97% of the popular vote in 1936, Goldwater won 87% of the vote. [29] Of these states, Louisiana had been the only state where a Republican had won even once since Reconstruction. Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina had not voted Republican in any presidential election since Reconstruction, whilst Georgia had never voted Republican even during Reconstruction (thus making Goldwater the first Republican to ever carry Georgia).

1964 Presidential Election, Results by Congressional District 1964 Presidential Election, Results by Congressional District.png
1964 Presidential Election, Results by Congressional District

The 1964 election was a major transition point for the South, and an important step in the process by which the Democrats' former "Solid South" became a Republican bastion. Nonetheless, Johnson still managed to eke out a bare popular majority of 51–49% (6.307 to 5.993 million) in the eleven former Confederate states. Conversely, Johnson was the first Democrat ever to carry the state of Vermont in a Presidential election, and only the second Democrat, after Woodrow Wilson in 1912 when the Republican Party was divided, to carry Maine in the twentieth century. Maine and Vermont had been the only states that FDR had failed to carry during any of his four successful presidential bids.

Of the 3,126 counties/districts/independent cities making returns, Johnson won in 2,275 (72.77%) while Goldwater carried 826 (26.42%). Unpledged Electors carried six counties in Alabama (0.19%).

The Johnson landslide defeated many conservative Republican congressmen, giving him a majority that could overcome the conservative coalition.

This is the first election to have participation of the District of Columbia under the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution.

The Johnson campaign broke two American election records previously held by Franklin Roosevelt: the most number of Electoral College votes won by a major-party candidate running for the White House for the first time (with 486 to the 472 won by Roosevelt in 1932) and the largest share of the popular vote under the current Democratic/Republican competition (Roosevelt won 60.8% nationwide, Johnson 61.1%). This first-time electoral count was exceeded when Ronald Reagan won 489 votes in 1980. Johnson retains the highest percentage of the popular vote as of the 2016 election.

Presidential candidatePartyHome statePopular voteElectoral
vote
Running mate
CountPercentageVice-presidential candidateHome stateElectoral vote
Lyndon Baines Johnson (Incumbent) Democratic Texas 43,127,04161.05%486 Hubert Horatio Humphrey Minnesota 486
Barry Morris Goldwater Republican Arizona 27,175,75438.47%52 William Edward Miller New York 52
(Unpledged Electors)DemocraticAlabama210,7320.30%0 Alabama 0
Eric Hass Socialist Labor New York 45,1890.06%0 Henning A. Blomen Massachusetts 0
Clifton DeBerry Socialist Workers Illinois 32,7060.05%0 Ed Shaw Michigan 0
Earle Harold Munn Prohibition Michigan 23,2670.03%0 Mark R. Shaw Massachusetts 0
John Kasper States' Rights New York 6,9530.01%0 J. B. Stoner Georgia 0
Joseph B. Lightburn Constitution West Virginia 5,0610.01%0 Theodore Billings Colorado 0
Other12,5810.02%Other
Total70,639,284100%538538
Needed to win270270

Source (Popular Vote):Leip, David. "1964 Presidential Election Results". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved May 8, 2013.

Source (Electoral Vote): "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration . Retrieved August 7, 2005.

Popular vote
Johnson
61.05%
Goldwater
38.47%
Others
0.48%
Electoral vote
Johnson
90.33%
Goldwater
9.67%

Geography of results

1964 Electoral Map.png

Results by state

[30]

States/districts won by Johnson/Humphrey
States/districts won by Goldwater/Miller
Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic
Barry Goldwater
Republican
Unpledged Electors
Unpledged Democratic
Eric Hass
Socialist Labor
MarginState Total
Stateelectoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%electoral
votes
#%#
Alabama 10---479,08569.4510210,73230.55-----268,353-38.90689,817AL
Alaska 344,32965.91322,93034.09-------21,39931.8267,259AK
Arizona 5237,75349.45-242,53550.455---4820.10--4,782-1.00480,770AZ
Arkansas 6314,19756.066243,26443.41-------70,93312.66560,426AR
California 404,171,87759.11402,879,10840.79----4890.01-1,292,76918.327,057,586CA
Colorado 6476,02461.276296,76738.19----3020.04-179,25723.07776,986CO
Connecticut 8826,26967.818390,99632.09-------435,27335.721,218,578CT
Delaware 3122,70460.95378,07838.78----1130.06-44,62622.17201,320DE
D.C. 3169,79685.50328,80114.50-------140,99571.00198,597DC
Florida 14948,54051.1514905,94148.85-------42,5992.301,854,481FL
Georgia 12522,55745.87-616,58454.1212-------94,027-8.251,139,336GA
Hawaii 4163,24978.76444,02221.24-------119,22757.52207,271HI
Idaho 4148,92050.924143,55749.08-------5,3631.83292,477ID
Illinois 262,796,83359.47261,905,94640.53-------890,88718.944,702,841IL
Indiana 131,170,84855.9813911,11843.56----1,3740.07-259,73012.422,091,606IN
Iowa 9733,03061.889449,14837.92----1820.02-283,88223.971,184,539IA
Kansas 7464,02854.097386,57945.06----1,9010.22-77,4499.03857,901KS
Kentucky 9669,65964.019372,97735.65-------296,68228.361,046,105KY
Louisiana 10387,06843.19-509,22556.8110-------122,157-13.63896,293LA
Maine 4262,26468.844118,70131.16-------143,56337.68380,965ME
Maryland 10730,91265.4710385,49534.53----10.00-345,41730.941,116,457MD
Massachusetts 141,786,42276.1914549,72723.44----4,7550.20-1,236,69552.742,344,798MA
Michigan 212,136,61566.70211,060,15233.10----1,7040.05-1,076,46333.613,203,102MI
Minnesota 10991,11763.7610559,62436.00----2,5440.16-431,49327.761,554,462MN
Mississippi 752,61812.86-356,52887.147-------303,910-74.28409,146MS
Missouri 121,164,34464.0512653,53535.95-------510,80928.101,817,879MO
Montana 4164,24658.954113,03240.57-------51,21418.38278,628MT
Nebraska 5307,30752.615276,84747.39-------30,4605.22584,154NE
Nevada 379,33958.58356,09441.42-------23,24517.16135,433NV
New Hampshire 4184,06463.894104,02936.11-------78,03627.78286,094NH
New Jersey 171,867,67165.6117963,84333.86----7,0750.25-903,82831.752,846,770NJ
New Mexico 4194,01759.224131,83840.24----1,2170.37-62,17918.98327,615NM
New York 434,913,15668.56432,243,55931.31----6,0850.08-2,669,59737.257,166,015NY
North Carolina 13800,13956.1513624,84443.85-------175,29512.301,424,983NC
North Dakota 4149,78457.974108,20741.88-------41,57716.09258,389ND
Ohio 262,498,33162.94261,470,86537.06-------1,027,46625.893,969,196OH
Oklahoma 8519,83455.758412,66544.25-------107,16911.49932,499OK
Oregon 6501,01763.726282,77935.96-------218,23827.75786,305OR
Pennsylvania 293,130,95464.92291,673,65734.70----5,0920.11-1,457,29730.224,822,690PA
Rhode Island 4315,46380.87474,61519.13----20.00-240,84861.74390,091RI
South Carolina 8215,70041.10-309,04858.898-------93,348-17.79524,756SC
South Dakota 4163,01055.614130,10844.39-------32,90211.22293,118SD
Tennessee 11634,94755.5011508,96544.49-------125,98211.011,143,946TN
Texas 251,663,18563.3225958,56636.49-------704,61926.822,626,811TX
Utah 4219,62854.864180,68245.14-------38,9469.73400,310UT
Vermont 3108,12766.30354,94233.69-------53,18532.61163,089VT
Virginia 12558,03853.5412481,33446.18----2,8950.28-76,7047.361,042,267VA
Washington 9779,88161.979470,36637.37----7,7720.62-309,51524.591,258,556WA
West Virginia 7538,08767.947253,95332.06-------284,13435.87792,040WV
Wisconsin 121,050,42462.0912638,49537.74----1,2040.07-411,92924.351,691,815WI
Wyoming 380,71856.56361,99843.44-------18,72013.12142,716WY
TOTALS:53843,127,04161.0548627,175,75438.4752210,7320.30-45,1890.06-15,951,28722.5870,639,284US

Close states

Margin of victory less than 5% (23 electoral votes):

  1. Arizona, 1.00%
  2. Idaho, 1.83%
  3. Florida, 2.30%

Margin of victory over 5%, but less than 10% (40 electoral votes):

  1. Nebraska, 5.22%
  2. Virginia, 7.36%
  3. Georgia, 8.25%
  4. Kansas, 9.03%
  5. Utah, 9.73%

Consequences

Although Goldwater was decisively defeated, some political pundits and historians believe he laid the foundation for the conservative revolution to follow. Ronald Reagan's speech on Goldwater's behalf, grassroots organization, and the conservative takeover (although temporary in the 1960s) of the Republican party would all help to bring about the "Reagan Revolution" of the 1980s.

Johnson went from his victory in the 1964 election to launch the Great Society program at home, signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and starting the War on Poverty. He also escalated the Vietnam War, which eroded his popularity. By 1968, Johnson's popularity had declined and the Democrats became so split over his candidacy that he withdrew as a candidate. Moreover, his support of civil rights for blacks helped split white union members[ citation needed ] and Southerners away from Franklin Roosevelt' s Democratic New Deal Coalition, which would later lead to the phenomenon of the "Reagan Democrat". Of the 13 presidential elections that followed up to 2016, Democrats would win only five times, although in 7 of those elections, a majority, the Democratic candidate received the highest number of popular votes.

The election also furthered the shift of the black voting electorate away from the Republican Party, a phenomenon which had begun with the New Deal. Since the 1964 election, Democratic presidential candidates have almost consistently won at least 80–90% of the black vote in each presidential election.

Electoral records

See also

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Notes

    Bibliography

    Books