The 89th Congress

The November 1964 election was an historic landslide for Democrats. President Lyndon Johnson won the biggest popular vote – 61 percent – since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936, defeating Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. Democrats won huge majorities in Congress, outnumbering Republicans 295-140 in the House of Representatives and 68-32 in the Senate. These numbers, along with strong leadership, set the stage for one of the most productive congresses in American history.  Congressional leaders and the White House embarked upon an ambitious legislative agenda that sought to reshape U.S. domestic policy on a scale not seen since Roosevelt’s New Deal.   Nonetheless, the Republican minority fought a skillful uphill battle that influenced to varying degrees the legislation that ultimately defined the Great Society.