Election of 1960

Kennedy & Johnson vs Nixon & Lodge

The Sixties

Since the sixties were a turbulent era, consisting of the Cold War, The Vietnam War, and Civil Rights, it made JFK's life during presidency a little stressful. He had a great reputation, but is compared with Lyndon B. Johnson on who was the better president.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

Elected as the 35th president of the U.S. in 1960. Known as the youngest president to enter office, Kennedy confronted mounting the Cold War tensions in Cuba, Vietnam, as well as other countries. He also provided federal support for the growing civil rights movement and led a renewed a drive for public service. Assassinated on November 22, 1963, he is still argued today as being one of the nation's most loved presidents.

Lyndon Baines Johson (1908-1973)

Became 36th president of the U.S. when JFK was assassinated. As he entered presidency he was a very progressive man, focusing on alleviating poverty and creating a "Great Society" for the American people. Introduced programs such as Medicare, still lasting today, and Head Start, leaving strong impacts in the health and education areas, as well as the urban renewal, conservation, and civil rights areas.

Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994)

Elected as the 37th president of the U.S., Richard Nixon is most commonly associated with as being the first president to resign from office. Serving as first the Vice President to former President Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon ran for president twice, once in the Election of 1960, and later in the Election of 1970, which he won. Among his achievements include, forging diplomatic ties with China and Soviet Union, and withdrawing federal troops from the increasingly unpopular war in Vietnam. However, due to his involvement in the infamous Watergate Scandal, Nixon had resigned before completing the second half of his second term in 1974.

Henry Cabot Lodge (1902-1985)

A United States Ambassador for the United Nations, whose appointment was fromo Eisenhower in 1953, Henry Cabot Lodge was sworn in as the Ambassador for Vietnam in 1965. He was running along with Richard M. Nixon during the Election of 1960 as his Vice President. Lodge was a firm believer in the domino theory. He left his UN ambassadorship in order to run alongside Nixon.

Election of 1960

Being a senator from Massachusetts, the Democratic Party chose JFK as their party nominee for the presidential election. Many people were doubtful of electing him due to him being a Catholic, which reminded them of Herbert Hoover beating Alfred E. Smith, in the late twenties. JFK was running against Republican Richard Nixon, who was Eisenhower's VP during his two terms. During the sixties, television was a new concept, so the presidential debates were televised across the nation for the first time ever, and the televised debates allowed JFK to soothe the religion matter and make Nixon seem a little less qualified for the role. Nixon didn't appear too well on television; looking as if he were extremely nervous, tense, tired, and unclean, while JFK was calmer, professional, and mature.

Results of the Election

Factors in the Election

  • JFK gained since there was an economic recession which in turn had hurt the incumbent GOP.
  • Many more Democrats registered than Republican.
  • The new votes that JFK gained among the Catholics practically nullified the new votes that Nixon had gained among the Protestants.
  • JFK's campaigning skills trumped Nixon's.
  • Although Nixon emphasized his experience, it ended up carrying little weight
  • Nixon wasted energy by campaigning in all 50 states, rather than focus primarily on the swing states.
  • Kennedy used his well-funded campaign organization to win the nomination, secure endorsements, and with the help of the last big-city bosses to get out the vote in the big cities.
  • JFK relied on Lyndon B. Johnson to hold the South.
  • JFK knew how to use television effectively