The presidential election of 1960 essay

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The presidential election of 1960 essay

Scranton Technically in South Dakota and Florida, Goldwater finished in second to "Unpledged Delegates," but he finished before all other candidates.

The Republican Party GOP was badly divided in between its conservative and moderate- liberal factions. Former Vice-President Richard Nixonwho had been beaten by Kennedy in the extremely close presidential election, decided not to run.

Nixon, a moderate with ties to both wings of the GOP, had been able to unite the factions in ; in his absence the way was clear for the two factions to engage in an all-out political civil war for the nomination. Barry Goldwater, a Senator from Arizonawas the champion of the conservatives.

The presidential election of 1960 essay

The conservatives had historically been based in the American Midwestbut beginning in the s they had been gaining in power in the South and West.

The conservatives favored a low-tax, small federal government which supported individual rights and business interests and opposed social welfare programs.

The presidential election of 1960 essay

The conservatives also resented the dominance of the GOP's moderate wing, which was based in the Northeastern United States.

Sincethe Eastern moderates had successfully defeated conservative presidential candidates at the GOP's national conventions. The conservatives believed the Eastern moderates were little different from liberal Democrats in their philosophy and approach to government.

Goldwater's chief opponent for the Republican nomination was Nelson Rockefellerthe Governor of New York and the longtime leader of the GOP's liberal-moderate faction.


Initially, Rockefeller was considered the front-runner, ahead of Goldwater. However, intwo years after Rockefeller's divorce from his first wife, he married Margarita "Happy" Murphywho was nearly 18 years younger than he and had just divorced her husband and surrendered her four children to his custody.

This angered many social conservatives and female voters within the GOP, many of whom called Rockefeller a "wife stealer". Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bushwas among Rockefeller's critics on this issue: Lodge was a write-in candidate.

He went on to win the Massachusetts and New Jersey primaries before withdrawing his candidacy because he had finally decided he didn't want the Republican nomination. Goldwater also won a number of state caucuses and gathered even more delegates.

Both Rockefeller and Scranton also won several state caucusesmostly in the Northeast. The final showdown between Goldwater and Rockefeller was in the California primary.

In spite of the previous accusations regarding his marriage, Rockefeller led Goldwater in most opinion polls in California, and he appeared headed for victory when his new wife gave birth to a son, Nelson Rockefeller Jr.

With Rockefeller's elimination, the party's moderates and liberals turned to William Scrantonthe Governor of Pennsylvaniain the hopes that he could stop Goldwater. However, as the Republican Convention began Goldwater was seen as the heavy favorite to win the nomination.INTRODUCTION.

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