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Rocky Takes Oregon in Upset

May 15, 1964 - New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller won a dramatic upset victory tonight in Oregon’s Republican Presidential preferential primary election.

His campaign to capture the state’s 18-vote delegation to the Republican National Convention carried him into first place over Henry Cabot Lodge, who was favored, and four other rivals in the incomplete ballot count.

A tabulation by CBS of 90% of the state’s total ballots gave Rockefeller 83,365 votes; Lodge, Ambassador to South Vietnam, 66,300; Richard M. Nixon, 47,430; Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, 45,859; Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, 6,353; and Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania, 4,171.

Paul Grindle of Cambridge, Mass., national campaign director of the “Draft Lodge” movement, conceded victory to Rockefeller an hour after the polls closed. He said of Rockefeller’s uphill battle: “There is not the slightest question that Oregon voters have seen one of the greatest finishes in political history. They have seen an incredible fighter with lots of guts, who has gone on slugging since New Hampshire. I think the Oregon voters have gone along with us in expressing their admiration for Nelson A. Rockefeller.”

Lodge’s backers will meet tomorrow to decide whether to throw their support to Rockefeller in the California Presidential primary. It is expected that they will back the Governor because they are convinced that this is the only way to keep Goldwater from winning in California on June 2.

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