TIME politics

How Lyndon B. Johnson Spent Election Day 1964

LIFE Magazine caught up with the incumbent President in the hours before and after his epic landslide victory

Lyndon B. Johnson’s first year as president was one for the history books: it began with President Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, and ended almost exactly a year later with Johnson’s reelection to the White House, in a major victory over controversial Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.

That year is the subject of All the Way, premiering on Saturday night on HBO and starring Bryan Cranston as LBJ. LIFE Magazine was tracking the real thing as it was happening; that reelection was the subject of a Nov. 13, 1964 cover story about the “Mighty Landslide.” And, though the published issue would only include a couple of shots of the President and his family at their Texas ranch, LIFE’s photographer John Dominis captured the whole run-up to Johnson’s learning that he had won handily—and how he celebrated.

Despite the eventual results and Johnson’s well-founded confidence, it was clear that the President wouldn’t consider the victory his until the results were official. And even then, one of American history’s biggest landslides wasn’t entirely satisfying.

“He wants,” a friend told LIFE before the results came in, “to make it unanimous.”

Cover of LIFE magazine, November 13, 1964.
John Dominis—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesLIFE magazine, November 13, 1964.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team