United States presidential election, 1964

United States presidential election, 1964
United States
←  1960 November 3, 1964 1968 →

All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 61.9% [1] Decrease 0.9 pp
  Black and White 37 Lyndon Johnson 3x4.jpg BarryGoldwater.png
Nominee Lyndon B. Johnson Barry Goldwater
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Texas Arizona
Running mate Hubert Humphrey William E. Miller
Electoral vote 486 52
States carried 44 + DC 6
Popular vote 43,127,041 27,175,754
Percentage 61.1% 38.5%

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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 United States presidential election of 1964 was the 45th quadrennial 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 highest share of the popular vote of any candidate since the uncontested 1820 election.

Johnson had come to 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 he 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.

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 influenced the modern conservative movement and the long-time realignment within the Republican Party, which culminated in the 1980 presidential victory of Ronald Reagan.

Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

President and Mrs. Kennedy on the day of his assassination

While on the first campaign swing of his re-election effort, 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]

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 a way of leaving the nation politically unsettled. [2]

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