Portent of an "Emerging Republican Majority," 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced the South to desegregate its public accommodations (public transport, restaurants, etc.) and forbad racial discrimination in employment. When President Johnson signed the Act into law, he lamented that his action would end the dominance of the Democratic Party in the South. The first indication that he was right came in the Presidential election of 1964. Although the Civil Rights Act could not have been passed without the support of moderate Republicans, overcoming the steadfast opposition of Southern Democrats, the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, Sen. Barry Goldwater, opposed the Act. No racist himself, Goldwater nevertheless believed that the Act exceeded the Constitutional powers of Congress. His message made him popular in the Deep South, where he won the only states outside his home state of Arizona. (Va. and W. Va., missing data here, went for Johnson.) Althought the election was a disaster for the Republicans, Goldwater's sweep of the Deep South was the first indication that the Republican party could successfully bid for a majority in the South.