1964 United States presidential election in Alabama: Difference between revisions

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{{Main|1964 United States presidential election, 1964}}
{{Infobox Election
| election_name = United States presidential election in Alabama, 1964
}}
{{ElectionsAL}}
The '''1964 United States presidential election in Alabama''' was held on November 3, 1964. [[United States presidential elections in Alabama|Alabama]] voters chose ten representatives, or electors to [[Electoral College (United States) Electoral College|the Electoral College]], who voted for [[President of the United States|President]] and [[Vice President of the United States|Vice-President]].
 
==Background==
The early 1960s had seen Alabama as the epicenter of the [[Civil rights movement|Civil Rights Movement]], highlighted by numerous black church bombings by the Ku Klux Klan in "[[Bombingham]]" (the city of [[Birmingham, Alabama|Birmingham)]],<ref>Bullock, Charles S. and Gaddie, Ronald Keith; ''The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South'', pp. 41-42 {{ISBN|0806185309}}</ref> Birmingham city official [[Bull Connor|Eugene "Bull" Connor]]'s use of [[attack dog]]s against protesters opposed to racial discrimination in residential land use, and first-term Governor [[George Wallace]]'s "stand in the door" against the desegregation of the [[University of Alabama]]. During the primaries for selecting Democratic presidential electors, there was bitter fighting in all five [[Deep South]] states; however, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina all chose electors pledged to [[President of the United States|President]] [[Lyndon B. Johnson]].<ref name="CQ">Congressional Quarterly, Incorporated; ''CQ Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report'', vol. 25 (1967), p. 1121</ref>
 
However, in Alabama, the May 5, 1964 primary chose a set of unpledged Democratic electors,<ref name="CQ"/> by a margin of five-to-one,<ref>McDannald, Alexander Hopkins; ''Yearbook of the Encyclopedia Americana'' (1965), p. 63</ref> whilst Governor [[George Wallace]] refused totally President Johnson's civil rights and [[racial segregation in the United States|desegregation]] legislation via the [[Civil Rights Act of 1964]].<ref>Frederick, Jeff; ''Stand Up for Alabama: Governor George Wallace''; pp. 96-99 {{ISBN|0817315748}}</ref> Unlike in Mississippi with the [[Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party|MFDP]], no effort to challenge this Wallace-sponsored slate with one loyal to the national party was attempted.<ref>Cleghorn, Reece; 'Who Speaks for Mississippi' ''The Reporter'', August 13, 1944, pp. 31-33</ref> Consequently, Johnson would become the third winning president-elect to not appear on the ballot in Alabama, following on from [[Abraham Lincoln]] in [[1860 United States presidential election in Alabama, 1860|1860]] and [[Harry S. Truman]] in [[1948 United States presidential election in Alabama, 1948|1948]].
 
Under Wallace's guidance, the Alabama [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party]] placed this slate of unpledged Democratic electors on the ballot,<ref name="Alabama">{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1964/05/03/alabama-expected-to-choose-electors-backed-by-wallace.html|title=Alabama Expected To Choose Electors Backed by Wallace|date=1964-05-03|work=The New York Times|access-date=2017-12-09|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1964/10/21/flowers-attacks-wallace-democrats-prichmond-flowers/|title=Flowers Attacks Wallace Democrats|last=Denton|first=Herbert H.|date=October 21, 1964|website=The Harvard Crimson|language=en|access-date=2017-12-09}}</ref> against the advice of some legal scholars,<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1964/06/14/unpledged-votes-are-held-illegal.html|title=Unpledged Votes Are Held Illegal|date=1964-06-14|work=The New York Times|access-date=2017-12-09|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> but after planning to run for president himself (as he would do in [[1968 United States presidential election|1968]]), decided against this in July.
 
=== Popularity of Goldwater among white voters ===
Republican Barry Goldwater, viewed as a dangerous right-wing extremist in the older Northeastern heartland of the Republican Party,<ref>Leopold, Les; ''The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labour''; {{ISBN|1933392630}}</ref> was thrashed there as had been uniformly predicted before the poll, with [[Governor of Texas|Texas Governor]] [[John Connally]] saying Goldwater would win only Alabama and Mississippi.<ref>'At Southern Governors' Meet: Approval of Wallace Proposal Is Unlikely'; ''[[The Dispatch (Lexington)|The Dispatch]]'', October 14, 1964, p. 1</ref>
 
Nevertheless, his opposition to the pending [[Civil Rights Act of 1964|Civil Rights Act]] and [[Medicare (United States)|Medicare]]<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1144&dat=19641013&id=xWocAAAAIBAJ&sjid=L08EAAAAIBAJ&pg=7056,4910656|title=Medicare Vote Hurt Goldwater|last=Lubell|first=Samuel|date=October 13, 1964|work=The Pittsburgh Press|access-date=December 9, 2017}}</ref> plus his ability to unite white Alabamians of different classes meant Goldwater could capture the "[[Black Belt (region of Alabama)|black belt]]" counties<ref name="Changing">Havard, William C. (editor); ''The Changing Politics of the South''; pp. 440-441 {{ISBN|0807100463}}</ref> that were historically the basis of Alabama's limited-suffrage single-party politics, at a time when 77 percent of blacks still had not registered to vote.<ref>Havard (editor); ''The Changing Politics of the South''; p. 21</ref>
{{As of|2016|11|alt=As of the [[United States presidential election in Alabama, 2016|2016 presidential election]]}}, this is the last election in which [[Sumter County, Alabama|Sumter County]], [[Greene County, Alabama|Greene County]], [[Wilcox County, Alabama|Wilcox County]], [[Lowndes County, Alabama|Lowndes County]], and [[Bullock County, Alabama|Bullock County]] voted for the Republican candidate, as well as the last time that Macon County did not vote for the national Democratic candidate.
 
This was the third occasion when a [[Republican Party (United States)|Republican]] nominee carried Alabama, but the first outside of [[Reconstruction era of the United States|Reconstruction]] elections in [[1868 United States presidential election in Alabama, 1868|1868]] and [[1872 United States presidential election in Alabama, 1872|1872]], when [[Ulysses S. Grant]] carried the state. Despite Johnson's landslide victory that year, winning 61.1 percent% of the popular vote, the highest percentage to date, he also lost to Goldwater in four other previously solidly Democratic [[Southern United States|Southern states]] – [[1964 United States presidential election in Louisiana, 1964|Louisiana]], [[1964 United States presidential election in Mississippi, 1964|Mississippi]], [[1964 United States presidential election in South Carolina, 1964|South Carolina]] and [[1964 United States presidential election in Georgia, 1964|Georgia]].
 
With 69.45% of the popular vote, Alabama would prove to be Goldwater's second strongest state in the 1964 election after neighboring Mississippi.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/stats.php?year=1964&f=0&off=0&elect=0|title=1964 Presidential Election Statistics|publisher=Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections|date= |accessdate=2018-03-05}}</ref>