SAN FRANCISCO, July 17--Gloom prevailed here today as a few remaining Scranton workers supervised the reconversion of their convention headquarters into a floor of hotel rooms.
In many of the rooms groups sat in front of television sets and watched vice-presidential nominee William E. Miller, Richard M. Nixon, and Senator Barry M. Goldwater address the final session of the Republican National Convention. Very few Scranton supporters went to the Con-Palace today.
There was little doubt in anyone's mind that Goldwater would win the nomination on the first ballot last night, but there was a particular shock of disappointment and distress when the South Clarolina delegation cast the votes which made it official.
On the chartered buses from the Cow Palace to San Francisco last night, in the halls of the former campaign headquarters, and wherever they gathered. Scranton devotees were predicting a difficult and perhaps disastrous campaign.
A large number of them--most have been Republicans all their lives--will support President Johnson against the challenge of a philosophy they find alien to their progressive brand of Republicanism. They are outwardly offended by Goldwater's apparent appeal to the "white backlash" vote and to the extremist groups of the far right.
Despite the fact that their leader had thrown his support to Goldwater, his workers here are generally convinced that the "coronation" of the Arizona conservative spells certain defeat for the Republican party in November.
One common sentiment of these people is their total admiration for and commitment to Scranton, a man for whom many volunteered weeks of hard work with little return. They are gathering this evening at a party with the Scranton family in the Mark Hopkins Hotel for all workers. They know their candidate will not have an office from which to project himself into the presidential race in 1968, but they are nevertheless confident of a bright political future for him.
The feeling of the Scranton organization is perhaps best summed up by a sign on an elevator door on the 12th floor of the Mark Hopkins. It is a bumper sticker which has been changed to read, "SCRANTON--BILL WOULD HAVE WON IN '64."