The Eisenhower EraSOURCE: www.socastee.com
In 1952 the Republican national convention nominated Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to head its ticket. Although the party was split over the defeat of conservative senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio for that nomination, its ticket went on to win a landslide victory, carrying 39 states. The 1956 ticket of Eisenhower and Nixon won another decisive victory, due in part to Eisenhower's moderate course in foreign policy, his successful ending of the Korean War, and his great personal popularity. Democratic control of both houses, however, won in 1954, was continued.
In 1960, Vice-President Nixon won an easy victory for nomination but lost the election to John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts by the smallest popular margin in the 20th century-a difference of only about 113,000 votes out of more than 68 million cast. After a bitter internal party struggle prior to the 1964 Republican convention, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona wrested the presidential nomination and control of the Republican party away from the Eastern moderates and began an attempt to convert the party into an ideologically pure conservative party. His landslide defeat by Lyndon B. Johnson, however, left the party organization in shambles.