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Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:01 AM

55 Years Ago Today; LBJ defeats Goldwater

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1964_United_States_presidential_election



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.

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.

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 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.

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. 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. The long-term realignment of conservatives to the Republican Party continued, culminating in the 1980 presidential victory of Ronald Reagan.

<snip>

General election
Campaign

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, 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. Goldwater had previously voted in favor of the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights acts, but only after proposing "restrictive amendments" to them. 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, as did remarks about making Social Security voluntary 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. 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.

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.

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. 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. The ads were in response to Goldwater's advocacy of "tactical" nuclear weapons use in Vietnam. 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". 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".

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" and "LBJ for the USA".

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.

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

Results

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).


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.

</snip>


All the way with LBJ!

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Reply 55 Years Ago Today; LBJ defeats Goldwater (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Nov 3 OP
Dem4Life1102 Nov 3 #1
Dennis Donovan Nov 3 #2
mountain grammy Nov 3 #3
appalachiablue Nov 3 #4

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:19 AM

1. Johnson was not re-elected in 64

since he had never been elected as President before.

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Response to Dem4Life1102 (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:37 AM

2. whatever

...I changed it.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 08:04 AM

3. Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Medicare, Medicaid.

Sure did get the corporations fired up..and they’ve fought back with a vengeance

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 08:14 AM

4. Investment in the Arts & Humanities: NEH, NEA, PBS, NPR

Bill Moyers, Time to Shout Out for Endowments, 2017

https://billmoyers.com/story/time-shout-endowments/

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