United States presidential election in Vermont, 1964
|Elections in Vermont|
The 1964 United States presidential election in Vermont took place on November 3, 1964, as part of the 1964 United States Presidential Election which was held throughout all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Voters chose three representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Vermont voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic nominee, incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, over the Republican nominee, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Johnson ran with Senator Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota, while Goldwater's running mate was Congressman William E. Miller of New York.
With this decisive win, Johnson became the first Democratic presidential candidate to ever win Vermont. Johnson's landslide margin of victory in this traditional Republican stronghold even made the state ten percentage points more Democratic than the national average in the 1964 election. Along with winning the state for the first time, Johnson was also the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Rutland, Orange, Orleans, Windham and Windsor Counties.
Vermont historically was a bastion of liberal Northeastern Republicanism, and by 1964 the Green Mountain State had gone Republican in every presidential election since the founding of the Republican Party. However, in 1964 this streak came to an end when the GOP nominated staunch conservative Barry Goldwater. Goldwater lost the 1964 election in a nationwide landslide, but the loss in Vermont was especially severe from a historical perspective. From 1856 to 1960, Vermont had the longest streak of voting Republican of any state, having never voted Democratic before, but in 1964 it rejected Goldwater's conservatism and went Democratic for the first time – and by a landslide 66-33 margin.
The staunch conservative Barry Goldwater was widely seen in the liberal Northeastern United States as a right-wing extremist; he had voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Johnson campaign portrayed him as a warmonger who as president would provoke a nuclear war. Thus Goldwater performed especially weakly in liberal northeastern states like Vermont, and for the first time in history, a Democratic presidential candidate swept every Northeastern state in 1964. Not only did Johnson win every Northeastern state, but he won all of them with landslides of over sixty percent of the vote, including Vermont, which weighed in as the ninth most Democratic state in the nation.
Johnson swept all fourteen counties in Vermont, breaking sixty percent of the vote in eleven of them. In the northwestern part of the state, Johnson broke seventy percent of the vote in two counties: Chittenden County, the most populous county, home to the state's largest city, Burlington, as well as Franklin County. The northwestern three counties of Vermont had long been Democratic enclaves in an otherwise Republican state, and remained the most Democratic region in 1964, even as the rest of the state finally joined them in voting Democratic.
After 1964, the state would revert to voting GOP again in 1968 and remain in the Republican column for another twenty-year streak through 1988, although the Republicans would never recover the overwhelming margins by which they once dominated Vermont. The results of 1964, with Goldwater dominating the Deep South while losing the Northeast, would foreshadow the future political trajectory of the nation, including Vermont. Like the rest of the Northeast, Vermont would finally flip to the Democrats for good in 1992, as the GOP became increasingly Southern and conservative.
Johnson's landslide win in Vermont would remain the strongest Democratic victory in the state until the elections of Barack Obama, who outperformed Johnson in Vermont in both 2008 and 2012. The only time there was a "red state" ever since in the Northeast was New Hampshire in 2000, when it narrowly voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore, until Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania in 2016, and took an electoral vote in Maine.
|United States presidential election in Vermont, 1964|
|Democratic||Lyndon B. Johnson||108,127||66.30%||3|
|Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered)||70%/78%|
Results by county
|County||Johnson#||Johnson%||Goldwater#||Goldwater%||Write-ins#||Write-ins%||Total votes cast|
- "1964 Presidential General Election Results - Vermont". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
- Counting the Votes; Vermont
- Donaldson, Gary; Liberalism's Last Hurrah: The Presidential Campaign of 1964; p. 190 ISBN 1510702369
- Edwards, Lee and Schlafly, Phyllis; Goldwater: The Man Who Made a Revolution; pp. 286-290 ISBN 162157458X