1966 Midterm Elections

Published: 1966
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Thousands of people participated in Boston’s anti-violence march on April 23, 1976 that went from the Boston Common to City Hall. Here listening to speakers are, L-R, Joseph Kennedy III, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Sen. Edward Brooke. Behind Brooke is Theodore Man,, the mayor of Newton, MA. (UPI Photo/Files)

Duff Thomas: Senator Morse and others said Vietnam would KO the President and his party in the November congressional and gubernatorial elections. The GOP did gain 47 house seats, three in the senate and eight governorships. But political analysts said this was not conclusive because many republican winners supported the administration Vietnam policy. President Johnson didn’t interpreted that way either.

Lyndon B. Johnson: "As a good American, I think we are all glad to see a healthy and competent existence of two party system."

Duff Thomas: The elections produced some republican presidential chamber, California Governor Ronald Reagan, Illinois Senator Charles Percy and Michigan Governor George Romney. Reagan and Percy’s elections some said, we are due to a white backlash. Reagan said, it wasn’t so and he pointed across the country to the election of Massachusetts, Negro Edward Brooke as Senator.

Ronald Reagan: "I find it very difficult to assess the republican victory on the basis of white backlash when it’s the Republican Party that elected the first Negro to the United States Senate in almost a hundred years."

Duff Thomas: Brooke viewed his victory this way.

Edward Brooke: "The people of this great day have answered all of the George Rockwell, have answered all of the people who would divide up and who would cheat men from being brothers and I intend to say to the people of this State that I will do everything within my power to merit their confidence and their support and their faith in me as a man."

Duff Thomas: The other major issue in the 1966 campaign was inflation. Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen laid out the GOP position this way.

Everett Dirksen: "You can't have both guns and butter. You can't fight a war in Asia and win the war on the inflation at all unless and I emphasize it unless this government of ours, this administration is equally willing to do without and stop its will for reckless spending of the people’s money on non-essential thing."