The Election of 1964
Vice president Lyndon Johnson gained the presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In 1964, Johnson sought from the American people a clear mandate that they saw him as a leader in his own right, not just the keeper of JFK's legacy. A divided Republican party presented conservative Barry Goldwater as Johnson's opponent.

Here are some of the hot issues in the 1964 election. Shortly after the site launched in 2002, we asked our viewers to vote on these positions. Below are the results from the poll. 

Dealing with Communism

Cold War tensions continued during the mid-1960s. The candidates held differing opinions as to how to contend with the threat of communist expansion.
Candidate/Party 1 -- Argues that a tough, but flexible, approach to the Soviet Union is the best way of controlling the spread of Communism.
Candidate/Party 2 -- Declares that negotiation with the Soviet Union weakens the U.S., and contends that the U.S. should act without regard to the opinions of our nations. 





Civil Rights

As protests and demonstrations increased throughout the South, opinions varied as to what role the federal government should play in guaranteeing the rights of African Americans.
Candidate/Party 1 -- Believes that the federal government should play a role in securing, and enforcing, the civil rights of all its citizens.
Candidate/Party 2 -- Feels that civil rights matters should be left to the discretion of individual states.





Government Activism

What role should the federal government play in the conduct and welfare of individuals and businesses?
Candidate/Party 1 -- Feels that the federal government should play an expanded role in addressing the needs of its citizens.
Candidate/Party 2 -- Opposes the growth of federal power, believing it threatens personal freedom.





Here are the actual results of the election of 1964:

  Popular Votes % Electoral Votes
Goldwater [R] 27,200,000 38.5 52
Johnson [D] 43,100,000 61.1 486

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