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U.S. presidential election, 1960

Presidential CandidateElectoral Vote Popular Vote Pct Party Running Mate
(Electoral Votes)
John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts(W) 303 34,227,096 Democrat Lyndon Johnson of Texas (303)
Richard M. Nixon of California 219 34,107,646 Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr of Massachusetts (219)
Harry F. Byrd of Virginia 15 independent Strom Thurmond of South Carolina (14), Barry Goldwater of Arizona (1)
Total 100.0%
Other elections: 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972
Source: U.S. Office of the Federal Register

The election was held on November 8, 1960.

Independent candidate Harry F. Byrd received 15 electoral votes; 14 from unpledged Democratic electors and one from an elector pledged to Nixon.

A crucial factor in this election was the first televised presidential debate. Nixon refused television makeup and was feeling sick, having injured his knee on the way to the studio. He expected to win voters with his foreign-policy expertise, but people only saw a sickly man sweating profusely and wearing a gray suit that blended into the scenery while his rival, Kennedy, looked great. Later research showed that those who had listened to the debate on radio thought the candidates evenly matched, but the television audience gave the win to Kennedy.

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.

Byrd received electoral votes for President from Alabama(6), Mississippi (8) and Oklahoma (1). Thurmond received electoral votes for Vice President from Alabama (6) and Mississippi (8). Goldwater received 1 electoral vote for Vice President from Oklahoma.

John F. Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963. He was succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson.

See also: President of the United States, U.S. presidential election, 1960, History of the United States (1945-1964)