1964 Presidential Election Essay Research Paper The — страница 3

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might be even before all the votes were counted. Another new development was the Vote Profile Analysis, which made it easier to predict the outcome of the election before the election (Dunham 129). Today this is a media specialty. President Johnson started off with a substantial early lead in the campaign. Many people were satisfied with the government s performance, which can prove to be a huge advantage for incumbents. In order to win the election, Goldwater would have to make the people see issues not readily visible. Up until the election of 1964, the Democratic Party had controlled the southern states. But now, with African-American support, many white southerners felt that their interests would not be taken care of by the Democrats. Goldwater hoped the perceived void left

by the Democratic Party, would be filled by the Republican Party in the hearts of white southerners. Many times Goldwater tried to get President Johnson to agree to a debate, but Johnson refused every Goldwater offer. Johnson took the intelligent route by not agreeing to a debate. As a very popular incumbent, Johnson had nothing to gain by agreeing to a debate and everything to lose. And, because the media did not hammer Johnson on his refusal to debate Goldwater (something that would not happen today!) there was no overriding public discontent against Johnson s refusal to debate. Though there were no debates, televised or otherwise, mass media still played a vital role in the 1964 Presidential election. Commercials were an integral part of the election. While the Johnson

campaign tried to paint Goldwater as an extremist who would use nuclear weapons on a whim, the Senator s campaign used famous Republicans who supported him in its television ads. One of the most famous political campaign commercials of all time, Daisy Girl , raised the public s fears that Goldwater would use nuclear weapons. The commercial opens with a young girl picking the petals off of a daisy, and counting aloud as she plucks off each one. Fifteen seconds into the commercial, a loud, booming voices begins a 10, 9, 8, 7, countdown. When the countdown reaches zero, a video of a nuclear-bomb explosion, complete with mushroom cloud, appears. Towards the end of the commercial another voice warns viewers of the dangers of nuclear warfare. The voice says, These are the stakes: to

make a world in which all God s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die. At the conclusion, yet another voice advises viewers to vote for President Johnson, saying vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay at home. Another of Johnson s commercials, Ice Cream Cone , also warned viewers of what would have happened had Goldwater been elected president. The entire commercial pictures a young girl happily licking an ice cream cone, while a woman s voice is heard in the background. She says, Do you know what people used to do? They used to explode atomic bombs in the air. Now children should have lots of vitamin A and calcium, but they shouldn t have any Stratium Nidae or Cessium-137. She goes on

to tell how those things can make you die, and that a treaty was passed to ban the testing of nuclear weapons, but that Senator Goldwater opposed that treaty. If Goldwater is elected president, she warns, the testing might resume. Like all of Johnson s ads a man s voice says, vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay at home. One of Goldwater s more popular commercials featured the Great Communicator himself, Ronald Reagan. Says Reagan, I asked to speak to you because I m mad. I ve known Barry Goldwater for a long time, and when I hear people say he s impulsive and such nonsense I boil over. Believe me, if it weren t for Barry keeping those boys in Washington on their toes, do you honestly think our national defense would be as strong as it

is? Reagan goes on to say that Goldwater does not favor sending troops into war. Do you think Barry honestly wants his sons and daughters involved in a war, asks Reagan. At the conclusion of the commercial another voice says, vote for Goldwater in you heart you know he s right. As the election grew near, Johnson started gaining back some of the support he had lost from the southern states, after late in the campaign when he took a tour of them. By this time the GOP was believed to be fading, and enthusiasm continued to grow for Johnson in the South. Johnson s wife, Lady Bird Johnson became an important ally for the President in his stretch campaign run through the southern states (New York Times, 10A). During his visit to the Deep South Johnson tried to create the impression that