1964 Presidential Election Essay Research Paper The — страница 4

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Goldwater was taking one position on the issue of civil rights in the North and another position in the South (New York Times, 10A). Their main avenue of attack was a pamphlet sent out by Goldwater s campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C., and then withdrawn. The pamphlet, which portrayed Goldwater as a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, forced Goldwater to focus resources in the South (New York Times, 10A). With Goldwater s attention on the South, he eventually lost support in the West and Midwest regions. Goldwater had counted on having California s 40 electoral votes, as well as the Lincoln Republican states of the Northeast. As November 3 neared, Goldwater knew his chance at victory was fading, but could do nothing about it. The result of the election was that

Barry Goldwater received a woodshed beating like no man before or since has received. On a day when 61.7 percent of eligible voters turned out, Lyndon Johnson earned 43,126,584 (61.1%!) of their votes, to Goldwater s 27,178,188 votes. In the Electoral College, Johnson carried forty-four states (486 electoral votes), with huge wins in the electoral-vote hotbeds of New York, California, and Texas. Goldwater carried only six states (53 electoral votes); his home state of Arizona, and Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Although he only won six states, he did make an impressive showing in the South. In his failed presidential campaign, Goldwater not only lost but also took numerous house Republicans down with him. Prior to the 1964 election there were 258

house Democrats, and 177 house Republicans (Congressional Quarterly s Guide to Congress, 896). After the 1964 results were tallied, there was a net change of 37 house seats. The Democrats upped the majority to 295 members, while the Republicans were down to 140 seats (Congressional Quarterly s Guide to Congress, 896). Goldwater s disastrous bid not have the same effect on senate Republicans as it had on their house brethren, with the GOP only losing one seat (Congressional Quarterly s Guide to Congress). This is most likely because only one-third of the Senate is up for election every two years, and perhaps a result of the many Republican incumbents who occupied safe seats. Not surprisingly, the Republicans did gain some seats in the southern states. Alabama experienced the

biggest shift in power. The Yellowhammer State saw its number of house Republicans jump from zero to five, in becoming the state s majority delegation (Congressional Quarterly s Guide to U.S. Elections). Georgia and Mississippi witnessed one-seat gains by Republicans, while the GOP maintained its monopoly on South Carolina s two house seats (Congressional Quarterly s Guide to U.S. Elections). There are numerous historical significances of this election. African-American voters showed more support than ever for Democrats, perhaps because for the first time the major party candidates had different views on racial issues. It was also the first Presidential race to feature an African-American candidate, Clifton DeBerry of the Socialist Workers Party. There was also a shift in

geographical party allegiance. The Republicans began to draw heavily from White Southerners, while the Democrats took stranglehold of the Northeast as well as Black voters. Whenever someone proposes anything seen by others as unconventional, there is usually an adjustment period required before the idea becomes accepted. One can look anywhere for examples of this phenomenon: the world of politics, pop culture, or even in sports and athletics. I believe this is the case with Barry Goldwater. His ideas of staunch conservatism were seen as radical by both members of the opposition and his own party. Gradually, though, they became more widely embraced by American voters. The Republicans won the White House in 1968 behind Richard Nixon, and had it not been for the Watergate scandal

the line of succession between him and Reagan may have been unbroken. Nevertheless, the GOP did gain brief control of the Senate in 1980, and control of both the Senate and House in 1994. While Barry Goldwater may have taken an ass whooping in 1964, the Republicans can thank him for paving the way for the Republican Revolution in Presidential and Congressional elections in America, and particularly the South. Works Cited Black, Earl and Black, Merle. (1992). The Vital South: How Presidents Are Elected. Harvard University Press. Carmines, Edward and Stimson, James. (1990). Issue Evolution: Race and Transformation of American Politics. Princeton University Press. Congressional Quarterly s Guide to Congress. (1982). Third Edition. Washington D.C.: Congressional Quarterly.