President Richard M. Nixon (1960 - 1968)

Part I
The Election of 1960

The election was held on November 8, 1960.

While on the campaign trail in Massachusetts, Senator John F. Kennedy caught the flu. Although not bed-ridden, it left his usually handsome face colorless. Previously, a series of televised debates between the Democratic nominee, Senator Kennedy, and the Republican candidate, Vice President Richard Nixon, had been planned. However, campaigners for the Democratic Senator began urging that Kennedy back down from the televised debates in late June.

When the time for the televised debates came around, Kennedy did in fact back out, instead requesting that the debates be held over the radio. On radio, however, the experienced Vice President Nixon came across much better than most thought he would on television. The main economic issue during the election was the USSR's high economic growth rate in comparison to the United States'. According to analyses at the time, the Soviet economy was expected to overtake the American economy by 1984. A rather bland-looking, but nevertheless knowledgeable man, Vice President Nixon�s popularity rose in the weeks and months following the radio-broadcast debates. In the last month of the campaign season, Kennedy�s health improved, but it was too late.

The election results were announced on November 9, 1960. Richard M. Nixon and Henry C. Lodge, Jr., slipped by in the election, narrowly defeating the Democratic opposition.  Nixon won 34.3 million votes (about 49.8% of the total) and 275 electoral votes, as opposed to Kennedy�s 34.1 million votes (about 49.6% of the total) and 247 electoral votes. Independent candidate Harry F. Byrd received 15 electoral votes; 14 from unpledged Democratic electors and one from an elector pledged to Nixon.

     Victor:               Richard M. Nixon
(CA), Henry C. Lodge (MA)  -  Republican Party
                                   34,300,000 Votes  -  275 Electoral Votes
    
Opponent(s):    John F. Kennedy (MA), Lyndon B. Johnson (TX)  -  Democratic Party
                                   34,100,000 Votes  -  247 Electoral Votes
                               
Harry F. Byrd (VA), J. Strom Thurmond (SC)  -  Independent
                                   286,000 Votes  -  15 Electoral Votes
John F. Kennedy                                  Richard M. Nixon                                         Harry F. Byrd
Election of 1960
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