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What if Barry Goldwater won in '64?


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I just had this idea for trying to figure out a way for Barry Goldwater to win in 1964. I don't really like Goldwater overall, but I just wanted to see if I could get him to win, as he had almost no chance to win. I do like LBJ in real life though. Here are my thoughts.

 

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy is shot in Dallas and LBJ is sworn in as President. Public opinion turns against Johnson quickly, as Robert Kennedy airs his believe that Johnson played a part in his brother's death. Kennedy launches a primary campaign against Johnson and almost wins, but he is defeated because many states do not use the primary system. Johnson refuses to sit the MFDP at the convention, which derails Johnson's popularity with African-Americans. Johnson is also forced to pick Kennedy as VP, but their differences and arguments are aired in public and this damages Johnson's public persona. 

 

Meanwhile in the Republican primaries, Barry Goldwater soundly defeats Nelson Rockefeller in the primaries, and because of this, William Scranton never arises as a convention candidate. Goldwater is seen as the most favorable candidate, as the RNC Chair William Miller swings moderate Eastern delegations to Goldwater, says he is the only candidate who can beat Johnson/Kennedy. Goldwater picks Scranton as his VP, which boosts him among voters on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

Johnson then tries to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which fails in the House before it even makes it into the Senate. Goldwater's opinion among blacks is still low, but black's opinions of Johnson is worse, and they turn out in record low numbers. Johnson is weakened by this failure, but one more problem strikes the Johnson campaign. The Pentagon Papers are leaked early in September 1964, and this is the last fatal blow to the Johnson campaign. Daisy is aired, but it is seen as a weak attack by a desperate man. 

 

The Goldwater/Scranton ticket defeats the Johnson/Kennedy ticket on Election Day, with the Goldwater/Scranton ticket capturing 346 electoral votes to the Johnson/Kennedy tickets 192. Barry M. Goldwater is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States and William Scranton as the 38th Vice President of the United States. 

image.thumb.png.21efbc20082c960f6b17172189835658.png

 

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34 minutes ago, buenoboss said:

I just had this idea for trying to figure out a way for Barry Goldwater to win in 1964. I don't really like Goldwater overall, but I just wanted to see if I could get him to win, as he had almost no chance to win. I do like LBJ in real life though. Here are my thoughts.

 

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy is shot in Dallas and LBJ is sworn in as President. Public opinion turns against Johnson quickly, as Robert Kennedy airs his believe that Johnson played a part in his brother's death. Kennedy launches a primary campaign against Johnson and almost wins, but he is defeated because many states do not use the primary system. Johnson refuses to sit the MFDP at the convention, which derails Johnson's popularity with African-Americans. Johnson is also forced to pick Kennedy as VP, but their differences and arguments are aired in public and this damages Johnson's public persona. 

 

Meanwhile in the Republican primaries, Barry Goldwater soundly defeats Nelson Rockefeller in the primaries, and because of this, William Scranton never arises as a convention candidate. Goldwater is seen as the most favorable candidate, as the RNC Chair William Miller swings moderate Eastern delegations to Goldwater, says he is the only candidate who can beat Johnson/Kennedy. Goldwater picks Scranton as his VP, which boosts him among voters on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

Johnson then tries to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which fails in the House before it even makes it into the Senate. Goldwater's opinion among blacks is still low, but black's opinions of Johnson is worse, and they turn out in record low numbers. Johnson is weakened by this failure, but one more problem strikes the Johnson campaign. The Pentagon Papers are leaked early in September 1964, and this is the last fatal blow to the Johnson campaign. Daisy is aired, but it is seen as a weak attack by a desperate man. 

 

The Goldwater/Scranton ticket defeats the Johnson/Kennedy ticket on Election Day, with the Goldwater/Scranton ticket capturing 346 electoral votes to the Johnson/Kennedy tickets 192. Barry M. Goldwater is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States and William Scranton as the 38th Vice President of the United States. 

image.thumb.png.21efbc20082c960f6b17172189835658.png

 

This is so outside the realm of possibility. You’d have to have McCarthy still alive and never shunned and Henry A. Wallace having been president and been extremely unpopular. 

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

This is so outside the realm of possibility. You’d have to have McCarthy still alive and never shunned and Henry A. Wallace having been president and been extremely unpopular. 

I'd argue this is the only re-election besides Washington's, where the favored candidate had a more than 99% chance to win. But obviously i'm saying this in hindsight.

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11 minutes ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

I'd argue this is the only re-election besides Washington's, where the favored candidate had a more than 99% chance to win. But obviously i'm saying this in hindsight.

Monroe, Grant, FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan, Nixon are candidates for this as well. 

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

Monroe, Grant, FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan, Nixon are candidates for this as well. 

FDR definitely (forgot to mention him because I forgot which election was his best). Not sure about the other four (high 90s), maybe Nixon.

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3 minutes ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

FDR definitely (forgot to mention him because I forgot which election was his best). Not sure about the other four (high 90s), maybe Nixon.

1936. He won all but two states. Nixon in 1972 had a map comparable to FDR '36, LBJ '64, and Reagan '84.

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I think this might have been more believable if LBJ died earlier than our timeline. Hubert Humphrey was an uninspiring candidate (even compared to Johnson) and would have faced serious opposition within the party.

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