TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 1964
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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MINIMAL TO GOOD:
Professors Rate Goldwatr 's Chances,
By JEFFREY GOODMAN
Three political science profes-
sors disagreed recently on Sen.
Barry Goldwater's chances for
election in November, but all pre-
dicted he will carry a large ap-
peal for the white "backlash"
against recent civil rights ad-
Prof. Norman Thomas termed
Goldwater's chances "minimal".
Prof. Henry L. Bretton said the
Arizona conservative "has a bet-
ter chance than he is generally
given credit for." He mentioned
possibly sufficient electoral vote
blocs in the West, South and Mid-
west. And Prof. Eugene Feingold
gave Goldwater a good chance,
"given the right combination of
While Thomas maintained that
Goldwater's hopes for presiden-
tial victory have been seriously
hurt by "writing off the East,"
both he and Feingold mentioned
the working-class, semi-skilled
whites who are strongly affected
by Negro demands for equality.
Feingold characterized that seg-
ment of the population as those
who have "not quite arrived and
still feel insecure, especially about
Negroes taking their jobs away."
He also contended that any
general increase in civil rights vio-
lence before the election-which
he considers likely-will be to
Goldwater's benefit, since the Ari-
zonian is "identified as the candi-
date of those opposed to racial
change. He has said he does not
believe in discrimination, but his
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symbolic value to integration op-i
ponents is most important."
Bretton spoke of backlash as
coming from the "economically
conservative." These are people
who are "almost by definition op-
posed to the kinds of social change
invited by the civil rights move-
ment, who want to mtaintain their
privileged position," he said.
All three thought that Goldwa-
ter's choice of Rep. William Miller
of New York as his running mate
would considerably help Gold-
water. Miller is not only an east-
erner, but also a Catholic, as are
a good many of the European im-
migrants who feel threatened by
Negro advances, Thomas and
The two held that Miller's can-
didacy will put pressure on the
Democrats torun Attorney Gen-'
eral Robert F. Kennedy beside
President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Feingold felt that this might cost
the Democrats votes in the South
because of Kennedy's role in en-
forcing civil rights legislation and
using federal powers. But Thomas
contended that Kennedy would
help "play down the \ civil rights
backlash' from the urban immi-
grant groups, who would identify
with him'as a Catholic.
"Johnson has already lost all
the Southern votes he ever will,
and running Kennedy for vice-
president won't make much differ-
ence," he said.
On the reasons for Goldwater's
nomination, Bretton said that
conservative forces had been suc-
cessful in rallying various groups
of people. These include economic
conservatives, middle-class anti-
labor elements, Western regional-
ists and people subscribing in
varying degrees to white suprem-
Feingold mentioned that Gold-
water has been able to exploit
various contradictions in current
American life, such as the many
disadvantages accompanying tech-
nological advance. These disad-
vantages -- big labor, big bureau-
cracy, over-organization, crowded
conditions in cities--"make people
wish for easy solutions.
"Goldwater also appeals to mid-
dle-class people who want to feel
that their success in life is a func-
tion of personal initiative and that
poorer people simply lacy such
initiative," Feingold said.
Thomas and Feingold pointed
out that Goldwater has been striv
ing for the GOP nomination since
1959. While extreme right groups
were moving into state Republican
organizations in the South and
West, Goldwater was touring the
country giving speeches and thus
putting many local party groups
in his debt, Thomas said.
He saw a movement of the
Democrats to the right in order to
fill the "center" political vacuum
vacated by Goldwater's nomina-
tion. This move-primarily one of
local organizational efforts and
policy formulation-will allow the
Democrats to pick up votes among
the moderate Republicans, Thom-
But Goldwater has a fair chance
in big-bloc states like Ohio, JIli-
nosi, Wisconsin:and California, he
Bretton termed Pennsylvania
Gov. William Scranton's request
for party unity a definite sign
that Scranton is trying to con-
solidate delegate votes for a presi-
dential bid in 1968.
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