The Landslide Election of 1964

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1964 Johnson-Humphrey campaign poster.

1964 Johnson-Humphrey campaign poster. Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Corbis
William Miller and Barry Goldwater.

Left to right, William Miller and Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican nominees for Vice President and President. Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Corbis

Forty years ago, incumbent Democrat Lyndon Johnson defeated Republican Barry Goldwater in a presidential election that reshaped America's electoral landscape. It was a strange campaign of polar opposites. The Republican Party fought its last rear-guard battle against FDR's New Deal of the 1930s, while the Democrats promised a "Great Society" and a new health program to be called Medicare. The national mood was liberal and the outcome was never in doubt.

But what made the election so unprecedented — and so prophetic — was a party switch that would have seemed unimaginable just four years earlier. As part of his series of essays for All Things Considered, commentator and former CBS-TV news anchor Walter Cronkite recalls the presidential election of 1964.

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