Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports are created by recipients of research travel stipends and by many others who have conducted research at the RAC. The reports demonstrate the breadth of the RAC's archival holdings, particularly in the study of philanthropy and its effects. Read more about the history of philanthropy at Also, see the RAC Bibliography of Scholarship, a comprehensive online database of publications citing RAC archival collections.
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Governor Rockefeller for Governor: The 1966 New York Gubernatorial Campaign

January 1, 2012

On November 8, 1966, the Republican Party won impressive electoral gains across the nation -- forty-seven new seats in the House, three in the Senate, and eight gubernatorial wins. The G.O.P. continued its advances in the no-longer-solid South and maintained its presence in northern industrial centers, while continuing its traditional dominance in the Midwest. These victories were a great relief after Goldwater's staggering loss to Johnson two years before. Candidates who represented the party's right and left wings had impressive wins: Ronald Reagan defeated an incumbent to become the governor of California, Edward Brooke won a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, and Senator Clifford Case of New Jersey won reelection. RNC Chairman Ray Bliss downplayed the divisions between the party's moderates and conservatives by encouraging tolerance within the party. He also sought to rebuild the party on the foundation of sound financing, organization, and Republican rhetoric on fiscal responsibility, which, for him, meant blaming the Democratic Party for the nation's rising rate of inflation. Immediately after Goldwater's loss, Bliss told the public that the party was big enough to comprise men as different as Goldwater and Jacob Javits -- if the Democrats could "settle their differences," so too could the Republicans "develop a strong united front." While Democrats were able to win major gains in 1964, Republican victories in 1966 suggested that the era of Democrats settling their internal differences was nearing its conclusion. Republicans became the new champions of party

The Rockefeller Era: 1958-1966

January 1, 2010

During the spring and summer of 2010, I completed research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) for my dissertation with the support of the Grant-in-Aid program. My dissertation, ?Rockefeller's New York, Rockefeller's Republicans: A Study of the Republican Party from Albany, NY to Washington, D.C., 1958-1976? examines the moderate to liberal Republican tradition in a period most often associated with the ?conservative turn? in the Republican Party. Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was a controversial figure from his earliest years as governor of New York through his tenure as Vice President under Gerald Ford. This study seeks to put the voters of New York and the nation in conversation with a politician who tested the boundaries of his own party and diverse groups' conceptions of liberalism and the New Deal consensus. By focusing on the political choices of Rockefeller and the public's reception to various policies he forwarded, this project seeks to identify the fundamental commitments of moderate Republicanism in the wake of the social and economic upheaval of the 1960s and the subsequent realignment of American politics.

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