Add to Google

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9, 1960: It's Kennedy By the Slimmest of Margins

The presidential vote count this evening gave Sen. John F. Kennedy 300 electoral votes, 31 more than the 269 needed to win. Vice President Richard Nixon had 185. Another 52 electoral votes had not yet been awarded.

In the popular vote, Kennedy was leading by about 300,000 out of 66 million votes cast, a plurality of less than one half of one percent, the smallest since 1880. Democrats retained their control of the House and Senate.

Illinois was one of the key states that went for Kennedy. Nixon was ahead in the state in late balloting until "a last batch of Chicago votes was produced for Mr. Kennedy," as the New York Times would report tomorrow.

Kennedy won by about 6,000 votes in Illinois, 22,000 in New Jersey, 60,000 in Texas and 65,000 in Michigan.

in the voting Kennedy took an early lead, which diminished as vote counting continued and at one point "it seemed as if concessions and claims of a victory for Senator John F. Kennedy might have to be withdrawn," The New York Times reports tomorrow.

"The basic problem was that a Kennedy tide that seemed to be funning strongly until about midnight began to trickle off as yesterday morning wore on. Added to this were too-optimistic Kennedy reports from the key states of Illinois and California.

In its second Late City Edition, which began to come off the presses shortly after 2 AM, the New York Times carried a headline reading: 'Kennedy Elected President.' ... At 7 AM the Times modified the headline it had been carrying since 2:30 AM. Now instead of calling Senator Kennedy 'elected,' the Times declared: 'Kennedy is Apparent Victor.'

By this time Mr. Kennedy's prospects had improved slightly. He needed only eleven electoral votes to win, and he could get these by holding California or Illinois or by winning Minnesota. Mr. Nixon had to win all three states and some others besides. Mr. Kennedy took Minnesota by about noon."

Nixon sent Kennedy a telegram about 12 hours after the polls closed conceding defeat.

The Ford Motor Company today named a 44-year-old former professor of accounting as its new chief executive. Robert S. McNamara has been a Ford Vice President and group executive in charge of the car and truck division since 1957.