Republicans: The He Could Phenomenon

Nationwide polls showed Barry Goldwater trailing Lyndon Johnson by nearly 2 to 1. Bitter Republican moderates continued to shy away from Goldwater's candidacy. Civil rights leaders denounced him and the Ku Klux Klan endorsed him. Reinhold Niebuhr's Protestant magazine, Christianity and Crisis, concluded that Barry's views were "diametrically opposed" to the stand of the three major U.S. faiths on questions of international relations, civil rights and economic policy. And Chicago's Second City satirists were breaking up audiences with the gag: "Question: What's the latest elephant joke? Answer: Barry Goldwater."

Despite all...

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