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Goldwater Deals Scranton Stunning Blow

June 30, 1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater dealt Governor William Scranton’s Presidential ambitions a stunning and probably fatal blow tonight by capturing 48 of Illinois’ 58 Republican delegates in a crucial pre-convention showdown.

Scranton, rebuffed in New Jersey last night and stymied in Ohio, desperately needed a big-state victory to get his lagging nomination campaign off the ground. But he went down to a thunderous defeat.

Goldwater not only held the 43 delegates he expected to get but cut deeply into the ranks of the previously uncommitted to rout the Pennsylvania Governor completely. In the final voting, the influential Senate Republican leader, Everett Dirksen, joined the other top Illinois GOP leaders to toss their hats into the ring with Goldwater.

Dirksen’s vote was regarded as an important bellwether of sentiment among the political pros of the party. If he had broken for Scranton, one of Goldwater’s aides said, it would have touched off defections in other state delegations. The fact that he came out for Goldwater raised a powerful bulwark against this trend.

One of Goldwater’s top campaign managers, Richard Kleindienst, declared that the delegation victory had “broken the back” of the stop-Goldwater drive. But Goldwater himself made it clear he intends to keep running scared right up to convention time on July 13.

Goldwater later flew to Lansing to get in a plug with the Michigan delegation. He got a warm welcome from Governor George Romney and mingled cheers and boos from a small airport crowd.

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