1964 Republican Party presidential primaries

← 1960 March 10 to June 2, 1964 1968 →

1,308 delegates to the 1964 Republican National Convention
655 votes needed to win
Candidate Barry Goldwater Nelson Rockefeller
Home state Arizona New York
Contests won 7 2
Popular vote 2,267,079 1,304,204
Percentage 38.3% 22.1%

Candidate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. William W. Scranton
Home state Massachusetts Pennsylvania
Contests won 3 1
Popular vote 386,661 245,401
Percentage 6.5% 4.2%

     Goldwater      Rockefeller      Lodge
     Scranton      Chase Smith      Various[a]

Previous Republican nominee

Richard Nixon

Republican nominee

Barry Goldwater

From March 10 to June 2, 1964, voters of the Republican Party elected 1,308 delegates to the 1964 Republican National Convention through a series of delegate selection primaries and caucuses, for the purpose of determining the party's nominee for president in the 1964 United States presidential election.

United States Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona was selected as the nominee at the 1964 Republican National Convention held from July 13 to July 16, 1964, in San Francisco, California.[1]


1952 nomination

See also: 1952 Republican Party presidential primaries

In 1952, Senator Robert A. Taft, a leading conservative, lost the nomination to Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower's candidacy was generated by a draft by the so-called "Eastern Establishment," led by Thomas E. Dewey and Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. The nomination was narrowly secured when Dewey and Lodge out-maneuvered Taft in pre-convention fights over delegate credentials. Eisenhower won the general election and was re-elected in 1956. The bitter 1952 convention, the presumption that Taft was too extreme to win the general election, and Eisenhower's re-election meant that conservative Republicans had not occupied the White House since at least 1929 or won the Republican nomination since at least 1936. The memory of 1952, the last contested Republican nomination, remained fresh in the minds of all parties as the 1964 primaries approached.

1960 election

Main article: 1960 United States presidential election

See also: Treaty of Fifth Avenue

In 1960, the nomination was easily secured for Vice President Richard Nixon. Nixon, who had made his name as an anti-communist Representative and Senator from California, was acceptable to all branches of the party. His only serious challenge came from Nelson Rockefeller, the free-spending Governor of New York and heir to the Rockefeller family fortune and Dewey's position as leader of the moderate party establishment. Though Rockefeller could not take the nomination himself, he could potentially marshal delegates to deny Nixon the nomination at the convention. On July 22, Nixon met Rockefeller at the latter's Fifth Avenue penthouse. After four hours of negotiations, they reached an agreement for fourteen points in the party platform, generally committing Nixon to greater spending on defense and education, opposition to racial segregation, and a flexible internationalist foreign policy. The so-called Compact of Fifth Avenue was reviled by conservatives,[2] who unsuccessfully attempted to draft Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, an occasional Eisenhower critic, as Nixon's running mate; at the convention, however, Goldwater declined to run.[3]

Nixon narrowly lost the election to Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic elected president and a supporter of federal enforcement of equal civil rights for African Americans, performed relatively poorly in the South. While the region had been a Democratic stronghold since the end of Reconstruction, Kennedy's only convincing majority was in the state of Georgia. He lost Tennessee and Florida to Nixon and only narrowly won North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. In four more states, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, dissident members of his own party fielded independent slates of electors which refused to pledge their votes to Kennedy.[b] Thus, despite Nixon's loss, the Republican Party entered the Kennedy administration with hopes of finding support in the South.

Draft Goldwater Committee

Main article: Draft Goldwater Committee

The earliest movements toward the 1964 nomination were made on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, against his express wishes, by a group composed mostly of Young Republicans and led by F. Clifton White, a longtime party activist from upstate New York. At a secret meeting in Chicago on October 8, 1961, White proposed that, partly thanks to the reallocation of delegates toward the conservative South and Midwest, a candidate could secure the nomination without the support of New York or New England. The group agreed to organize throughout the country and began fundraising.

In spring 1962, they leased a Manhattan office in the Chanin Building. Their address, Suite 3505, became the informal name of their campaign. Goldwater had a personal audience with White in January 1963 and urged him to drop the draft effort. Instead, the group went public as the "Draft Goldwater Committee." Headquarters were informally opened in critical states by mid-1963, and by the summer he led some opinion polls among Republicans. The New York Times reported on July 7 that a movement was underfoot in the northeast for "favorite sons" to run in state primaries to prevent a Goldwater nomination, since they feared major losses with Goldwater.

Nelson Rockefeller marriage

Though conservatives organized behind the unwilling Goldwater, the leading candidate for the nomination in early 1963 was Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller began to campaign around the country and was well received in on a spring tour of the Midwest, though he stopped Goodwin Knight from formally establishing a California campaign office. He led most polling over Goldwater through the spring.

However, Rockefeller's popularity plummeted when he remarried on May 4. Rockefeller had been divorced from Mary Todhunter Clark for about one year. His new wife, Margaretta Large "Happy" Filter, was eighteen years his junior, had worked as a member of his office staff, and had been married to Rockefeller's close friend, with four children, just one month prior. They left for a honeymoon in Venezuela and the Virgin Islands.[4]

The marriage was instantly the subject of scrutiny and criticism from the press, fellow Republicans, and even the United Presbyterian Church.[c] Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut, speaking at a prep school graduation, asked, "Have we come to the point in our life as a nation where the governor of a great state can desert a good wife, mother of his grown children, divorce her, then persuade a mother of youngsters to abandon her husband and their four children and marry the governor?"[4] When the newlyweds attended the convention of the National Federation of Republican Women convention later that year (by then a loyal Goldwater organization), they were received with silence, and several women staged a walk-out.[4] Others publicly criticizing the marriage included Reinhold Niebuhr and Nikita Khrushchev.[4]

In Gallup polling, Rockefeller lost a seventeen-point lead in polling and trailed Goldwater by five points.[4] Any conservative support was gone, as was much of his moderate base. The Republican Citizens Committee, a caucus of moderate Republicans, decided by July 16 not to support Rockefeller. Rockefeller plowed ahead with a New Hampshire campaign; on September 16, he announced that former Governor Hugh Gregg would lead his campaign. Rockefeller began campaigning in New Hampshire in October 1963 and formally entered the race on November 7.

Kennedy assassination

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

The Kennedy assassination rocked the Republican primary. Rockefeller, the only candidate actively in the race, paused his campaign for a month of mourning. Those candidates not already running declined to openly seek the nomination, either out of principle or fear of a career-ending loss. Newly inaugurated President Lyndon B. Johnson enjoyed a major groundswell of sympathy and support, leading all contenders by a large margin.

On December 7, Dwight Eisenhower called on Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. to enter the race as a compromise candidate.

Goldwater formally entered the race on January 3.

Schedule and results

(daily totals)
Total pledged
and total popular vote
Delegates won and popular vote[d]
Barry Goldwater Nelson Rockefeller Henry Cabot Lodge William Scranton Richard Nixon Margaret Chase Smith Other Unpledged Reference
March 10 ? New Hampshire

20,692 (23%)

19,504 (21%)

33,007 (35%)[e]


15,587 (17%)[e]

2,120 (3%)

[citation needed]
April 7 ? Wisconsin

[citation needed]
April 14 ? Illinois primary






[citation needed]
April 21 ? New Jersey primary





[citation needed]
April 28
? Massachusetts primary






[citation needed]
? Pennsylvania primary





[citation needed]
May 2 ? Texas primary






[citation needed]
May 5
? Indiana


[citation needed]
? Ohio

[citation needed]
May 12
? Nebraska







[citation needed]
? West Virginia


[citation needed]
May 15 ? Oregon







[citation needed]
May 19 ? Maryland

22,135 (22.59%)[k]

18,859 (19.24%)[l]

57,004 (58.17%)
May 26 ? Florida


[citation needed]
June 2
86 California

82 New York
14 South Dakota


? pledged delegates
5,775,520 votes
2,267,079 (38.3%)
1,164,765 (22.0%)
386,661 (6.5%)
245,401 (4.1%)
197,212 (3.3%)
227,007 (3.8%)
173,652 (2.9%)
1,113,743 (19.28%)[n]
[citation needed]
  1. ^ Favorite sons received the support of Michigan (George Romney), Minnesota (Walter Judd), and Hawaii (Hiram Fong).
  2. ^ The electors in Alabama and Mississippi defeated Kennedy's slate. With the election decided for Kennedy, they safely cast their votes for Harry F. Byrd.
  3. ^ The minister who performed the ceremony was censured by his presbytery for violating the Church's one-year waiting period for remarriage, and expressed his "deep regret."[4][5]
  4. ^ Write-in candidates are in italics.
  5. ^ a b Write-in candidacy.
  6. ^ 1,373 votes for Harold Stassen.
  7. ^ Votes for Governor John Byrnes.
  8. ^ Votes for Harold Stassen.
  9. ^ 26.81% for Harold Stassen.
  10. ^ 100.00% for Governor Jim Rhodes.
  11. ^ Campaign surrogate John Steffy was listed in Goldwater's place.
  12. ^ 18,859 votes for perennial candidate Robert Ennis.
  13. ^ The slate included at least six Goldwater supporters.[8]
  14. ^ 615,754 votes for Jim Rhodes; 299,612 votes for John W. Byrnes; 114,083 votes for Harold Stassen; 23,406 votes for Lyndon B. Johnson; 1,955 votes for George W. Romney; and 58,933 votes for other candidates.


The following political leaders were candidates for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination:


Candidate Most recent office Home state Campaign

Withdrawal date

Popular vote Contests won Running mate
Barry Goldwater U.S. Senator
from Arizona

(1953–1965, 1969–1987)

Secured nomination: July 16, 1964
7 William E. Miller

Other major candidates

These candidates participated in multiple state primaries or were included in multiple major national polls.

Candidate Most recent office Home state Campaign

Withdrawal date

William Scranton Governor of Pennsylvania


Withdrew: April 10, 1964
Re-entered race: June 12, 1964
Withdrew at convention: July 16, 1964
Margaret Chase Smith U.S. Senator
from Maine



Announced campaign: January 27, 1964
Withdrew at convention: July 16, 1964
Nelson Rockefeller Governor of New York

New York

Announced campaign: November 7, 1963
Withdrew: June 14, 1964
(endorsed Scranton)
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Ambassador of the United States to South Vietnam

Renounced draft: January 4, 1964
Withdrew before convention
(endorsed Rockefeller, then Scranton)
Harold Stassen Governor
of Minnesota

Announced campaign: January 20, 1964

Favorite sons

The following candidates ran only in their state's own primary, for the purpose of controlling the delegate slate at the 1964 Convention:

Declined to run


National polling

Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
Graph of opinion polls conducted
Poll source Publication
Barry Goldwater
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Richard Nixon
Nelson Rockefeller
William Scranton II
Gallup[10] Feb. 1962 13% 46% 17%
Gallup[10] Apr. 1962 23% 33%
Gallup[10] May 1962 23% 42% 32%
Gallup[10] June 1962 21% 45% 31%
Gallup[10] Nov. 1962 11% 21% 41% 3%
Gallup[10] Dec. 1962 26% 1% 1% 46% 5%
Gallup[10] Feb. 1963 17% 49% 8%
Gallup[10] Mar. 1963 21% 44% 9%
Gallup[10] Apr. 1963 26% 43% 7%
Gallup[10] May 1963 35% 30%
Gallup[10] May 1963 38% 28%
Gallup[10] June 1963 39% 27%
Gallup[10] July 1963 39% 22% 4%
Gallup[10] Aug. 1963 38% 29% 4%
Gallup[10] Sep. 1963 42% 26% 4%
Gallup[10] Oct. 1963 45% 23% 5%
Gallup[10] Nov. 1963 23% 19% 29% 12% 4%
Gallup[10] Dec. 1963 27% 16% 29% 13% 2%
Gallup[10] Feb. 1964 20% 12% 31% 16% 7%
Gallup[10] Mar. 1964 14% 42% 26% 6% 4%
Gallup[10] Apr. 1964 14% 37% 28% 9% 4%
Gallup[10] Apr. 1964 15% 36% 27% 7% 5%
Gallup[10] June 1964 21% 26% 25% 10% 9%
Gallup[10] June 1964 22% 21% 22% 6% 20%


March 10: New Hampshire primary and Draft Lodge movement

The first test for the candidates came in New Hampshire, where any candidate's name could be submitted to the ballot without their affirmative consent.

With the support of the influential Manchester Union-Leader and Senator Norris Cotton, the Goldwater campaign was confident they would carry New Hampshire. However, after a disastrous, gaffe-filled appearance on Meet the Press and a trip to the state in January, in which he countered President Johnson's claim that Kennedy was "a victim of hate" and challenged the Pentagon to disclose the details of its long-range missile program, his momentum stalled.[11] In total, Goldwater would spend twenty-one days campaign continuously in New Hampshire before leaving on March 7, confidently predicting, "I've got it made."

Many sought an alternative to Goldwater and Rockefeller. Despite lobbying from liberal Republicans, William Scranton and George Romney both legally moved to remove themselves from consideration. Senator Margaret Chase Smith of neighboring Maine, the first woman to campaign for a major party nomination, visited only briefly, did not purchase television advertisements, and gained little traction in the state.[12] Another obvious option, Richard Nixon, held himself out as an elder statesman and potential candidate for a draft, but few steps were made on his behalf.[13]

Instead, moderates and liberals rallied behind Eisenhower's choice for the nomination, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Lodge was serving as United States Ambassador to South Vietnam, and through his son George C. Lodge had communicated a policy of non-interference with his campaign managers in New Hampshire.[14] Building off momentum from Eisenhower's rumored endorsement and working with the Robert Mullen Company, the leanly staffed Draft Lodge movement operated through an effective use of the press and advertising. The Draft Lodge men ran a commercial from the 1960 campaign, edited to imply that Eisenhower had publicly endorsed Lodge. When Goldwater pled with the former president to refute the ad, Eisenhower declined.[14]

Draft Lodge gained new momentum in February when Goldwater declared that Lodge had "kind of balled up" Vietnam.[14] Although the Lodge campaign expected that this would open the door for Rockefeller to seize momentum by defending Lodge's name, Rockefeller instead joined the attack with a statement on the "mess" in Vietnam before quickly reversing and publicly apologizing to Lodge. Thus, Lodge remained above the fray and a symbol of patriotic diplomacy, while Goldwater appeared unpatriotic and Rockefeller appeared to be both a bully and a wimp.[14] As the primary approached and Lodge appeared to be a viable candidate, his son and Robert Mullen personally visited the state.[14]

The primary itself was held under a foot of snow.[14] Lodge delegates swept, and he received 35 percent of the vote. He was followed by Goldwater with 23 percent, Rockefeller with 21 percent, Nixon with 17 percent, and Margaret Chase Smith with 3 percent. A handful of voters wrote in Bill Scranton, despite his refusal to stand as a candidate.[12]

Despite the victory, Lodge announced, "I do not plan to go to the United States. I do not plan to leave Saigon. I do not intend to resign."[12] Regardless, the primary was a major victory for liberals and moderates over the conservative Goldwater campaign. Scotty Reston predicted Scranton, Nixon, or Lodge would be nominated, and Nixon told reporters, "I feel that there is no man in this country who can make a case against Mr. Johnson more effectively than I can" before departing for a tour of Asia.[12] Goldwater admitted that he had "goofed up somewhere," but his campaign remained optimistic; Denison Kitchel said he was pleased that "a candidate from the Far West... could do so well in the New England state of New Hampshire,"[12]

Northeast primaries

In the four-week lull after New Hampshire, Goldwater and Rockefeller both worked on trying to win endorsements in various states. Both worked on a Republican volunteer organization in California, where the two were scheduled to appear on the ballot in the primary on June 2. The Field Research Associates released a poll showing Lodge in the lead in the state with 31% to 25% for Goldwater, 21% for Nixon, and just 12% for Rockefeller. Upon hearing the poll results, Goldwater said that Lodge would not do what was needed to win the nomination, and if chosen he would not work hard enough to win the election. Soon thereafter, both Gallup and Harris released polls showing Lodge as the front-runner with Nixon second and Goldwater a poor third. Scranton stated on April 10 that he was not a candidate, thus reducing the field.


Illinois held its primary on April 14. With the state Republican leadership almost solidly behind Goldwater, only Margaret C. Smith chose to file for the primary against Goldwater. During the campaign, Nixon and Lodge asked followers not to mount a campaign there. Goldwater defeated Smith 62-25%, which was far and away Smith's best primary performance. Lodge placed third on write-ins and Nixon fourth. The delegate count: Goldwater 159, Rockefeller 90, Lodge 14.

New Jersey

New Jersey voted on April 21. No candidates filed, so all votes were write-ins. Lodge again placed first with 42% to Goldwater 28%, Nixon 22%, and only 8% for all others. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania voted on April 28. No candidate appeared on the ballot in either. On the day before the two primaries, Rockefeller took the controversial stand of calling for US air strikes into Laos and Cambodia to help the government of South Vietnam. Lodge won Massachusetts with 77% of the vote to 10% for Goldwater and only 6% for Nixon. Scranton won his home state with 52% to Lodge 21%, Nixon 10%, and Goldwater 9%. It was clear that the Republican voters were not lining up behind either Goldwater or Rockefeller, who at this point had won together just 35% of the primary vote. In fact, if Illinois is taken out of the numbers, Lodge had received three write-in votes for every Goldwater vote at this stage of the campaign, with Nixon's write-ins very close behind Goldwater.

Texas to Florida

Another large chunk of delegates was chosen in the month following the Pennsylvania primary. During this time, eight states held primaries. Rockefeller recognized that the stakes were higher than ever; he was only mounting a serious campaign in two. He attacked Goldwater as irresponsible and extreme, a candidate who would ruin the Republican Party. Rockefeller also publicly chastised the supporters of Lodge. Since moderate Republicans were dividing their primary votes among Rockefeller, Lodge, and Scranton, they were allowing Goldwater to win many delegates he otherwise would not win. Campaigning in West Virginia, Rockefeller said that Lodge was "a person who isn't there, who says nothing on any issues".

Goldwater spent the early part of the month in the South. He won 75% of the vote in the first Republican presidential primary in Texas. That same day, his supporters pushed the small cadre of black voters out of the Georgia Republican Party, taking 22 out of the 24 national delegates. Goldwater supporters the following day forced through Tennessee's first all-white delegation to the Republican National Convention in half a century. With these delegate appointments, the AP estimated that Goldwater had 209 delegates; uncommitted was second with 143 to Scranton 63, Lodge 43, and 55 for others. Rockefeller had not won a single delegate at the time. Four states held mostly uncontested primaries in the following two weeks; Goldwater won Indiana and Nebraska, Rockefeller won West Virginia, and Governor Rhodes won his home state of Ohio.

The Oregon primary was held on May 15. As one of the most important primaries of the year, all candidates spent time trying to win the state. Lodge took the lead in Oregon opinion polls soon after the New Hampshire primary, but Rockefeller pressed on Lodge's supporters to abandon him for not taking a stand against Goldwater. The primary was widely seen as a precursor to the California primary, which Goldwater needed to win in order to have a majority of convention delegates. Two days before Oregon voted, a California poll showed Goldwater leading Rockefeller there by 43-27%. The poll precipitated a critical Rockefeller win in the Oregon primary. Rockefeller placed first with 33%, followed by Lodge with 28%, Goldwater with 18%, and Nixon with 17%.

In the latter half of the month, Goldwater continued to move towards the nomination. The only contested primary was in Florida, where a slate of uncommitted delegates unexpectedly defeated a Goldwater slate. However, AP estimated on May 24 that Goldwater led with 304 delegates. Scranton was second with 70, followed by Rhodes with 58. Lodge had 44, and Rockefeller had 39; the uncommitted total was 224. The estimate was published the same day that Goldwater supporters were easily defeated in Alaska.

California and South Dakota

Senator Goldwater's overall strategy was to lock up the delegate votes from the South and the West. If he could win California, he would be able to win the presidential nomination on the first ballot. His support in California public opinion polls remained a steady 43% throughout the spring, not deterred by his under-performance in primary after primary. Even when Lodge's supporters agreed to join Rockefeller in California in a "stop Goldwater" move, the polls only showed a minimal gain for Rocky. With both candidates campaigning full-time, both drawing large crowds of interested Republicans, the division in the party was quite apparent. Another thing became clear: the California voters finally began shifting to Rocky, who took the lead in opinion polls in the week preceding the primary. As often happens in politics, a mostly unrelated event took place that changed everything. On May 30, Margaretta Rockefeller had a baby son. Newspaper coverage included the information that Margaretta had worked on Rockefeller's staff before the two of them divorced their long-time spouses to marry each other. This was not new information, but it had been mostly forgotten by the voters.

Just over two million people voted in California's Republican primary, approximately one third of all nationwide votes in the Republican primaries of 1964. CBS used computers to sample the data collected from various polling places to announce at 7:22 p.m. Pacific time that Goldwater would win the race. Other news organizations were slower to make that prediction, and at one point Rockefeller took the lead temporarily. In the end, Goldwater won the California primary by 3%. Goldwater addressed supporters as the networks showed him in the lead; he said "This is a victory not for Barry Goldwater, but for the mainstream of Republican thinking". By gaining the 86 delegates from California, he was just 30 delegates short of a majority. South Dakota chose 14 delegates on the same day as California, but an uncommitted slate easily defeated a Goldwater slate by a 2:1 margin.


List of Nelson Rockefeller endorsements
List of William Scranton endorsements
State legislators
List of Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. endorsements
List of Margaret Chase Smith endorsements

National Convention

Main article: 1964 Republican National Convention

Post-primary maneuvering

Moderate Republicans moved into action as it appeared more and more likely that Goldwater was headed for a first ballot victory. Senator Hugh Scott started a movement to draft Governor Scranton on June 6, hoping that Scranton could pull together all the liberal and moderate Republicans. The following day, Scranton stopped to visit former President Eisenhower while on his way to the National Governors Conference in Cleveland; Ike encouraged Scranton to officially enter the race. Scranton finally joined the race on June 12. Rockefeller dropped out on June 15 and endorsed Scranton.

In the background, local Republicans continued to choose their national convention delegates. In the week between June 7 and June 13, 13 states chose 225 delegates. The many uncommitted delegates began to slowly announce their intentions; on June 9, 16 from Florida announced for Goldwater.

Scranton made a swing throughout the nation to speak with as many delegates as possible. Scranton gradually worked the moderate delegates who preferred Goldwater to Rockefeller and won endorsements in Ohio and Maryland. Michigan's Governor Romney announced that the state's delegation would meet separately with Goldwater and Scranton before deciding how to vote. Romney hoped the delegation would remain uncommitted. A staunch supporter of the Civil Rights Bill, Romney claimed that Goldwater's nomination would lead to the "suicidal destruction of the Republican Party".

On occasion, Goldwater returned to the Senate for votes. He gave a speech on June 18 in which he stated that he would vote against the Civil Rights bill. Senator Keating said that Goldwater's position was a repudiation of Abraham Lincoln and founding principles of the Republican Party. Governor Scranton held large rallies in eastern states while visiting with the delegates; he decried Goldwater's position on civil rights and challenged Goldwater to a debate, which Goldwater dismissed as "ridiculous". With time slipping away, and with Scranton failing to gain ground, he purchased a 30-minute time segment on NBC that aired on July 7 (replacing an episode of "Moment of Fear," a program starring Ronald Reagan). When the program aired, Scranton was unable to set forth his policy differences with Goldwater and spent too much time discussing smears from the Goldwater forces.

The Cow Palace

The 28th Republican National Convention was held in the Cow Palace, Daly City CA, from July 13 to July 16. The Cow Palace had been constructed in 1941, and the 1956 Republican National Convention had been held there. Following a $3 million improvement project in 1963, the Cow Palace applied to host the national convention and was chosen by Republican leaders over Chicago, Miami Beach, and four other cities.

As the convention opened, the delegates ignored the turmoil among Republican ranks elsewhere in the nation. AP polled all delegates and found that Goldwater had a comfortable majority of them, even as a Gallup poll showed Scranton leading Goldwater among nationwide Republicans by a 60-34% margin. Goldwater rejected a last offer by Scranton to debate, and Senator Margaret C. Smith arrived at the convention still campaigning for delegate support.

The convention was organized at the first session. RNC Chairman William E. Miller called the convention to order at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on 7/13. The delegates were greeted by various party officials with short speeches. Delegate Newton I. Steers of Maryland introduced a resolution that would ban any delegate or alternate chosen with racially discriminatory procedures, but it was voted down.

The evening session was devoted to speeches. RNC Chairman Miller prophesied that Republicans would have a "fair" convention and would win the fall election. Senator Everett Dirksen read a letter from former President Hoover, who was in failing health. Two actors read patriotic statements from earlier politicians while "America the Beautiful" played in the background. Oregon Governor Mark Hatfield then delivered the keynote address. He set forth the party's case for defeating LBJ and spoke out against extremism and the "bigots in this nation who spew forth their venom of hate."

The second day was consumed with speeches and the platform vote. The convention was formally organized in the morning, with Senator Morton giving a speech "laying" the "dirty linen" of the Johnson administration on the line. President Eisenhower encouraged stronger local government and discouraged extremism. That evening, the entire platform was read during prime time. When finished, Senator Hugh Scott offered the first amendment at 10:00 p.m., condemning the Ku Klux Klan, the Communist Party, and the John Birch Society. Governor Rockefeller sought to address the convention on this amendment, and this is when the Goldwater delegates issued their loud "boos" to drown him out. The convention took a standing vote to defeat the measure. Scott then offered a stronger civil rights plank, which was defeated 897–409. Goldwater supporters voted down several other minor amendments, and at 12:36 a.m., the proposed platform was approved.

The presidential nomination

On the third day of the convention, the presidential nominations and balloting took place. Senator Dirksen placed Goldwater in nomination. Goldwater delegates held a 30-minute demonstration at the end of his speech. Senator Kenneth B. Keating nominated Gov. Rockefeller, and a state senator nominated Senator Hiram Fong. Senator George D. Aiken placed Margaret C. Smith in nomination, saying that she was "the best qualified person you ever voted for" as he made history by being the first person to place the name of a woman into the presidential nomination by a major party. Ike's brother Milton Eisenhower placed Governor Scranton in nomination, hoping that "these perilous days" would not grant the Republican Party the same fate as the Whig Party of the preceding century. Representative Gerald R. Ford placed Governor Romney in nomination, calling him "Michigan's leading citizen." Judd and Lodge were then placed in nomination, though Morton read a letter from Lodge, who wished for his name to be withdrawn.

The roll call followed. Goldwater took the lead with Alabama and never lost it. When South Carolina was called, the chairman realized that his state would put Goldwater over the top. The chairman said "we are humbly grateful that we can do this for America." At the end of the ballot, Goldwater had 883 votes to just 214 for Scranton, 114 for Rockefeller, and 97 for all others. Most delegates switched their votes to Goldwater. Then Governor Scranton took the stage. He called for the nomination to be made unanimous, calling on his supporters "not to desert our party but to strengthen it."

The presidential tally was as follows:

Presidential balloting, RNC 1964
Ballot 1st Before Shifts 1st After Shifts
Barry Goldwater 883 1,220
William Scranton 214 50
Nelson Rockefeller 114 6
George Romney 41 1
Margaret Chase Smith 27 22
Walter Judd 22 1
Hiram Fong 5 5
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. 2 3

Vice presidential nomination and close


The last day of the convention wrapped up the business. First was the vice presidential ballot. Charles H. Percy, candidate for governor of Illinois, placed RNC Chairman William E. Miller into nomination for vice president. Miller was well known for his debating skills in the U.S. House, where he had been one of LBJ's harshest critics. He also came from New York State, an attempt by Goldwater to show support for his policies in the northeast. Miller was nominated with 1,305 votes to three abstentions from Tennessee from delegates who believed that the convention should have had the ability to nominate whomever they wanted. Miller gave a short speech accepting "the greatest challenge of my lifetime."

Richard Nixon then introduced Goldwater for his acceptance speech. He said "Before this convention, we were Goldwater Republicans, Rockefeller Republicans, Scranton Republicans, Lodge Republicans, but now that this convention has met and made its decision, we are Republicans, period, working for Barry Goldwater for President of the United States."

In his acceptance speech, Goldwater set forth the "cause of Republicanism." His most famous passage was "Today ... the task of preserving and enlarging freedom at home and of safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny abroad is great enough to challenge all our resources and to re-fire all our strength. Anyone who wants to join us in all sincerity, we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause, we don't expect to enter our ranks in any case. And let our Republicanism, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by un-thinking and stupid labels. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." For many GOP moderates, Goldwater's speech was seen as a deliberate insult, and many of these moderates would defect to the Democrats in the fall election.

See also


  1. ^ Kalb, Deborah (2016-02-19). Guide to U.S. Elections - Google Books. CQ Press. ISBN 9781483380353. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  2. ^ Perlstein 2009, pp. 84–85.
  3. ^ Perlstein 2009, pp. 94–95.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Perlstein 2009, pp. 195–97.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Franklin, Ben (20 May 1964). "Rivals in Maryland Primary Election". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Barry Too Close to Stop? Rocky KO'd, Still is Power". Scranton Times-Tribune. San Francisco. Associated Press. 3 Jun 1964. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  8. ^ a b c "Primaries at a Glance". Scranton Times-Tribune. Washington. Associated Press. 3 Jun 1964. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  9. ^ Foran, Christopher. "Our Back Pages: At 1964 political conventions, Wisconsin 'candidates' played a role". jsonline.com. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "US President - R Primaries (Polling)". OurCampaigns.com. 2 Jan 2012. Retrieved 12 Apr 2020.
  11. ^ Perlstein 2009, pp. 270–74.
  12. ^ a b c d e Perlstein 2009, p. 298.
  13. ^ Perlstein 2009, pp. 288–290.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Perlstein 2009, pp. 290–98.
  15. ^ a b c d "GOLDWATER CALLS RIVAL 'EXTREMIST'; Asserts He, Not Rockefeller, Is in G.O.P. Mainstream". The New York Times. March 15, 1964. Archived from the original on 2024-01-25.
  16. ^ "Sen. Cooper Seeks Cuba Blockade If Talks Fail to Remove Russians". February 13, 1963.
  17. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (5 May 2024). "Mark Andrews, North Dakota Farmer-Politician, Dies at 94". The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Interview with Paul Findley" (PDF). 15 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Goldwater Calls Scranton's Bid For Chicago Debate Ridiculous". The New York Times. June 30, 1964.
  20. ^ "man in tHe middle: The Career of Senator James B. Pearson" (PDF).
  21. ^ a b "SCRANTON INSISTS HE'S NO CANDIDATE BUT OPEN TO DRAFT; Declares He Will Answer Genuine Convention Call—Supporters Encouraged". The New York Times. April 10, 1964.
  22. ^ a b c "Scranton Beaten on Rights Move as Republican Convention Opens; Extremists Scored by Keynoter". July 14, 1964.
  23. ^ "Chafee Backs Scranton". The New York Times. June 5, 1964.
  24. ^ "Snodgrass Supporting Democrat Over Pickett". Ledger-Enquirer. October 21, 1964.
  25. ^ "Scranton Hoping For 40 from Dixie (cont.)". The Atlanta Constitution. June 13, 1964.
  26. ^ "The Faith of George W. Bush". 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26.
  27. ^ "GOLDWATER GAINS IN MODERATE WING; Some Middle-Road G.O.P. Congressmen Now Give Him Nominal Support". The New York Times. July 26, 1964.


Further reading