Barry Goldwater (January 1, 1909 - May 29, 1998) was a United States politician who was a founding figure in the modern American conservatism movement in the USA. Goldwater personified the shift in balance in American politics from the Northeast to the West. A five-term United States Senator from Arizona (1953-1965, 1969-87), he was the Republican Party's candidate for the President in the 1964 election, which he lost by a landslide to incumbent Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. His weak showing dragged to defeat many long-term Republican officeholders from Congress to the local level.
Goldwater rejected many of the key programs and viewpoints of the New Deal and fought inside the Conservative Coalition to defeat the New Deal coalition. He was criticized in 1964 as a radical reactionary, yet he energized a conservative grass roots movement which sixteen years later helped to nominate and elect Ronald Reagan. After 1981, however, he took libertarian positions and harshly criticized the influence of the Christian Right on the Republican Party.