1964 Lyndon B. Johnson vs. Barry Goldwater
Lyndon B. Johnson • He served in all four federal elected offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President. • Succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Views • Johnson positioned himself as a moderate, and succeeded in portraying Goldwater as an extremist. • The Johnson campaign targeted Goldwater often as a racist and extremist (as seen in the KKK commercial). Whereas Johnson positioned himself as a moderate. • Also, Johnson supported Civil Rights.
Worries • Johnson put many worries into the minds of the American people as he ran. • Nobody wanted a nuclear war and Johnson played off of that. • Two slogans he used were: “In your guts, you know he's nuts", or "In your heart, you know he might" (as in push the nuclear button). • Johnson also played out that Goldwater was pro-nuclear as seen in the Daisy Girl commercial.
Barry M. Goldwater • Goldwater beat incumbent Democratic senator Ernest McFarlan in a heavily liberal state • He served as a U.S. Senator of Arizona for five terms • He was a pilot for the U.S. Air Force in WWII • Also served as Major General of the U.S. Air Force Reserve • Known as the consummate conservative • Some saw him as too far right to truly contest LBJ • Strong proponent of nuclear weapons against enemies of the U.S., mainly the Soviet Union
Views • Goldwater was nicknamed Mr. Conservative for good reason • He believed in almost all Republican ideals like fiscal conservatism, which led to his opposition of societal welfare programs like the New Deal • Strong Anti-communist…he voted against the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy • Militaristic approach to foreign policy • Support for Nuclear weapon use was detrimental to his candidacy • Proponent of labor union reform in the U.S.
Commercials • http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964 • The political commercials of the 1964 election were known for mudslinging and overall negativity • LBJ was successful in painting Goldwater as a nuke-happy danger to America
Third Party Candidates • There were no third party candidates that had an impact on the election • Eric Hass of the Socialist Labor Party ran for the Presidency • E. Harold Munn of the Prohibition Party also ran, but neither garnered significant votes to affect the outcome
Results • LBJ wins! • Johnson crushed Goldwater in the general election, winning over 61 percent of the popular vote, the largest percentage since the popular vote first became widespread in 1824. • Goldwater only won his home state of Arizona and the deep south who did not want the civil rights issues passed. • Just a little fun fact in case you were wondering…this was the first election to have participation of the District of Columbia under the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution.