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Richard M. Nixon

Political Offices

Why did Nixon lose the 1960 presidential election?

Nixon had an advantage as the vice president to a popular president. However, Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy possessed charisma, good looks, and a good debating presence. Nixon and Kennedy sparred in front of national audiences in four televised debates on September 26, October 7, October 14, and October 21. Television favored Kennedy; his air of confidence dispelled the notion that he was too inexperienced. Political commentators often cite Kennedy’s good looks and honed oratory skills as key to his winning favor with the voting public. Kennedy narrowly won the election.



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