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The 1964 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United Statesmarker took place in the Cow Palacemarker, San Francisco, Californiamarker, on July 13 to July 16, 1964. Before 1964, there had only been one (1956) national Republican convention on the West Coast. Many believed that a convention at San Francisco indicated the rising power of the Republican party in the west.

Political context

The Republican primaries of 1964 featured liberal Nelson Rockefeller of New York and conservative Barry Goldwater of Arizona as the two leading candidates. Shortly before the California primary, Rockefeller's wife, whom he had just married the previous year soon after divorcing his previous wife, gave birth; this drew renewed attention to his family life which hurt his popularity among conservatives and led to Goldwater winning the primary. An anti-Goldwater organization called for the nomination of Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania, but the effort failed. Although former President Dwight Eisenhower only reluctantly supported Goldwater after he won the nomination, former President Herbert Hoover gave him enthusiastic endorsement. By the end of the primaries, Goldwater’s nomination was all but secure.

Senator Margaret Chase Smith's name was entered for nomination at the Convention, the first time a woman's name was entered for nomination at a major party convention.

The convention

The Republican National Convention of 1964 was a tension-filled contest. Goldwater's conservatives were openly clashing with Rockefeller's moderates. Goldwater was regarded as the "conservatives' leading spokesman." As a result, Goldwater was not as popular with the moderates and liberals of the Republican party. When Rockefeller attempted to deliver a speech, he was booed by the convention's conservative delegates, who regarded him as a member of the "eastern liberal establishment." Despite the infighting, Goldwater was easily nominated. He chose William E. Miller, a Congressman from New York, as his running mate. In his acceptance speech, he declared communism as a "principal disturber of the peace in the world today" and said, "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Some people, including those within his own campaign staff, believed this weakened Goldwater's chances, as he effectively severed ties with the moderates and liberals of the Republican Party.

Former GOP presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon introduced the Arizonan as "Mr. Conservative" and "Mr. Republican" and he continued that "he is the man who, after the greatest campaign in history will be Mr. President — Barry Goldwater".

The platform

The 1964 Republican Platform was dominated by Goldwater conservatives, which made the platform dominated by calls for limited government, condemnations of the Kennedy and Johnson foreign and domestic policy, calls for more open space for free enterprise, a hard-line against Communist North Vietnam, calls for reform of the United Nations, a staunch support of NATOmarker, calls for lower taxes and a hard-line against international Communism.

Candidates for the nomination

Image:Nelson_Rockefeller.jpg|Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New YorkmarkerImage:GeroRomney2.jpg|Governor George W. Romney of MichiganmarkerImage:MargaretChaseSmith.jpg|Senator Margaret Chase Smith of MainemarkerImage:BarryGoldwater.jpg|Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizonamarker

Image:Fong.jpg|Senator Hiram Fong of HawaiimarkerImage:HenryCabotLodgeJr.jpg|former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. of MassachusettsmarkerImage:William_Scranton.jpg|Governor William Scranton of PennsylvaniamarkerImage:Harold E. Stassen.jpg|former Governor Harold Stassen of Minnesotamarker

The balloting


Vice Presidential

William E. Miller was nominated unanimously on a roll call vote.


  1. Shadegg, Stephen, What Happened to Goldwater? The Inside Story of the 1964 Republican Campaign (New York: Holt, Rineheart and Winston, 1965) 134.
  2. The New York Times Election Handbook 1964 (New York: Mcgraw Hill, 1964) 65.
  3. Leon D. Epstein and Austin Ranney, "Who Voted for Goldwater: The Wisconsin Case," Political Science Quarterly 1966: 85.
  4. Mattar, Edward Paul, Barry Goldwater: A Political Indictment (Minneapolis: Century Twenty One Unlimited, 1964) 84-7.
  5. White, Clifton F., Suite 3505: The Story of the Draft Goldwater Movement (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1967) 15.

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