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 largely 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.