United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1960

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United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1960

← 1956 November 8, 1960 1964 →

  John F. Kennedy, White House color photo portrait.jpg VP-Nixon.png
Nominee John F. Kennedy Richard Nixon
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Massachusetts California
Running mate Lyndon B. Johnson Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Electoral vote 16 0
Popular vote 1,385,415 1,363,324
Percentage 50.0% 49.2%

New Jersey Presidential Election Results by County, 1960.svg
County Results
  Kennedy—60-70%
  Kennedy—50-60%
  Nixon—50-60%
  Nixon—60-70%

President before election

Dwight Eisenhower
Republican

Elected President

John F. Kennedy
Democratic

The 1960 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 8, 1960. All 50 states were part of the 1960 United States presidential election. New Jersey voters chose 16 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

New Jersey was won by the Democratic nominees, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts and his running mate Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. Kennedy and Johnson defeated the Republican nominees, Vice President Richard Nixon of California and his running mate Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. of Massachusetts.

Kennedy carried New Jersey with 49.96 percent of the vote to Nixon’s 49.16 percent, a margin of 0.80 percent.[1]

Kennedy managed to narrowly win the state despite winning only seven counties to Nixon’s fourteen. However Kennedy managed to rack up large margins decisively winning some of the most heavily populated counties in the state, while keeping the results very close in those heavily populated counties that he lost.

As the first Roman Catholic nominee, from an urban Irish immigrant background, John Kennedy appealed strongly to working-class Catholics and other urban ethnic immigrant groups,[2] who turned out in record numbers to support him. Thus Kennedy's support base was condensed into mostly heavily populated urban areas.

In urban Hudson County, home to Bayonne, Jersey City, and Hoboken, and part of the New York City area where Kennedy did very well, Kennedy won countywide by a decisive 60–39 margin. This represented a major shift from 1956, when Republican Dwight Eisenhower had won Hudson County by 20 points.

In Mercer County, home to the state capital of Trenton, Kennedy did even better, winning 61–39.

Essex County, home to Newark, had long been Republican-leaning, voting not only for Eisenhower twice in the 1950s, but also voting GOP three times before that for Thomas E. Dewey and Wendell Willkie against Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman in the 1940s. However Kennedy won the heavily populated county by a decisive 55–42 margin, the start of a re-alignment of the county; by the end of the 1960s, Essex County would be the most Democratic county in New Jersey.

Kennedy also won heavily populated Middlesex County by a 58–41 margin. In equally heavily populated Union County, Nixon won, but only by a razor-thin 50–49 margin. In Passaic County, Kennedy won by a 51–45 margin. In Camden County, Kennedy won 55–45.

Nixon was able to keep the race close statewide by winning several fairly populated suburban counties, like Monmouth County and Morris County, along with many rural counties; overall his biggest prize was heavily populated Bergen County, which went to Nixon by a 59–41 margin. Nixon's strongest county by vote share was rural Sussex County, where he received 69% of the vote to Kennedy's 31%. Kennedy's strongest county by vote share was urban Mercer County, where he received 61% of the vote to Nixon’s 39%.

New Jersey in this era was usually a swing state with a slight Republican lean. But in 1960, excitement among the many Catholic and other ethnic immigrant communities that populated New Jersey’s cities for the historic candidacy of John F. Kennedy led to turnout in record numbers to elect the first Catholic president, thus narrowly delivering the state to Kennedy.[3] The Great Migration also helped Kennedy, who clearly won the state’s African-American voters.[4] As Kennedy eked out a razor-thin victory nationally to win the presidency, New Jersey voted basically how the nation voted. But under the unique circumstances that made Kennedy popular in Northeastern states, New Jersey's results in 1960 made it about .18% more Democratic than the national average.

General Election

Results

United States presidential election in New Jersey, 1960
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic John F. Kennedy 1,385,415 49.96% 16
Republican Richard Nixon 1,363,324 49.16% 0
Socialist Workers Farrell Dobbs 11,402 0.41% 0
Conservative J. Bracken Lee 8,708 0.31% 0
Socialist Labor Eric Hass 4,262 0.15% 0
Totals 2,773,111 100.0% 16
Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered) 71%/90%


Results by county

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Democratic
Richard Milhous Nixon
Republican
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast
County # % # % # % # % #
Atlantic 36,129 46.94% 39,158 50.88% 1,682 2.19% -3,029 -3.94% 76,969
Bergen 156,165 40.90% 224,969 58.92% 674 0.18% -68,804 -18.02% 381,808
Burlington 39,321 48.22% 42,112 51.65% 106 0.13% -2,791 -3.42% 81,539
Camden 102,083 54.73% 84,066 45.07% 366 0.20% 18,017 9.66% 186,515
Cape May 10,137 38.66% 16,076 61.31% 9 0.03% -5,939 -22.65% 26,222
Cumberland 23,199 52.12% 21,283 47.81% 30 0.07% 1,916 4.30% 44,512
Essex 217,878 55.35% 167,848 42.64% 7,897 2.01% 50,030 12.71% 393,623
Gloucester 29,752 47.79% 32,474 52.16% 33 0.05% -2,722 -4.37% 62,259
Hudson 174,754 59.99% 113,972 39.13% 2,566 0.88% 60,782 20.87% 291,292
Hunterdon 8,863 35.84% 15,842 64.06% 26 0.11% -6,979 -28.22% 24,731
Mercer 74,166 61.16% 46,924 38.69% 179 0.15% 27,242 22.46% 121,269
Middlesex 116,095 58.18% 83,025 41.60% 436 0.22% 33,070 16.57% 199,556
Monmouth 62,434 43.34% 81,382 56.49% 244 0.17% -18,948 -13.15% 144,060
Morris 42,698 36.22% 75,039 63.66% 146 0.12% -32,341 -27.43% 117,883
Ocean 20,113 38.75% 31,430 60.56% 355 0.68% -11,317 -21.81% 51,898
Passaic 90,950 50.70% 80,853 45.07% 7,599 4.24% 10,097 5.63% 179,402
Salem 12,394 46.58% 14,192 53.34% 21 0.08% -1,798 -6.76% 26,607
Somerset 28,489 43.92% 36,200 55.81% 174 0.27% -7,711 -11.89% 64,863
Sussex 7,269 30.75% 16,362 69.21% 11 0.05% -9,093 -38.46% 23,642
Union 119,986 48.97% 123,224 50.29% 1,798 0.73% -3,238 -1.32% 245,008
Warren 12,540 42.58% 16,893 57.36% 20 0.07% -4,353 -14.78% 29,453
Totals 1,385,415 49.96% 1,363,324 49.16% 24,372 0.88% 22,091 0.80% 2,773,111

See also

References

  1. ^ "1960 Presidential General Election Results - New Jersey". Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Donaldson, Gary; The First Modern Campaign: Kennedy, Nixon, and the Election of 1960, p. 81 ISBN 0742548007
  3. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Religious Factor in the 1960 Presidential Election: An Analysis of the Kennedy Victory over Anti-Catholic Prejudice, p. 103 ISBN 0786484934
  4. ^ McAdam, Doug; Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970, p. 158 ISBN 0226555534
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