United States presidential election, 1964

United States presidential election, 1964

November 3, 1964

All 538 electoral votes of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout 61.9%[1]
Nominee Lyndon B. Johnson Barry Goldwater
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Texas Arizona
Running mate Hubert Humphrey William E. Miller
Electoral vote 486 52
States carried 44 + DC 6
Popular vote 43,127,041 27,175,754
Percentage 61.1% 38.5%

Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Goldwater/Miller, Blue denotes those won by Johnson/Humphrey. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Lyndon B. Johnson

Elected President

Lyndon B. Johnson

The United States presidential election of 1964 was the 45th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 3, 1964. Democratic candidate and incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's popularity, won 61.1% of the popular vote, the highest won by a candidate since James Monroe's re-election in 1820. It was the sixth-most lopsided presidential election in the history of the United States[2] in terms of electoral votes; in terms of popular vote, it is first. No candidate for president since has equaled or surpassed Johnson's percentage of the popular vote, and only Richard Nixon in 1972 has won by a greater popular vote margin.

The Republican candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, suffered from a lack of support from his own party and his deeply unpopular conservative political positions. Johnson's campaign advocated social programs and further federal efforts to curb racial segregation, collectively known as the Great Society, and successfully portrayed Goldwater as being a dangerous extremist. Johnson easily won the Presidency, carrying 44 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Goldwater's unsuccessful bid influenced the Alaska for the Democrats for the first (and only) time, as well as Maine (for the first time since 1912) and Vermont (for the first time since the Democratic Party was founded). Since the 1990s, Vermont and Maine have rested solidly in the Democratic column and Georgia in the Republican fold for presidential elections.

No post-1964 Democratic presidential candidate has been able to match or better Johnson's performance in the electoral college (The only Republicans to do so since have been Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984), or Johnson’s performance in the Mountain and Midwestern regions of the United States.


  • Assassination of President John F. Kennedy 1
  • Nominations 2
    • Democratic Party 2.1
      • Candidates gallery 2.1.1
    • Republican Party 2.2
      • Candidates gallery 2.2.1
      • The primaries 2.2.2
      • Convention 2.2.3
  • General election 3
    • Campaign 3.1
    • Results 3.2
      • Results by state 3.2.1
      • Close states 3.2.2
  • Consequences 4
  • Electoral records 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • Bibliography 8
    • Books 8.1
  • External links 9

Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Supporters were shocked and saddened by the loss of the charismatic Kennedy, while opposition candidates were put in the awkward position of running against the policies of a slain president.[3]

During the following period of mourning, Republican leaders called for a political moratorium, so as not to appear disrespectful.[4] As such, little politicking was done by the candidates of either major party until January 1964, when the primary season officially began. At the time, most political pundits saw Kennedy's assassination as leaving the nation politically unsettled.[3]