Massachusetts senator and Roman Catholic John F. Kennedy, with Lyndon B. Johnson for vice president, were the Democratic candidates running against Republican Richard Nixon and his strong running-mate Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. The Democrats focussed on civil rights, and the expansion of defence and foreign aid. The Republicans were keen to utilize the popularity of the previous administration, pledging to continue the successes and promises of the Eisenhower presidency. 1960 saw an intense and relentless presidential battle, with Kennedy and Nixon campaigning countrywide. The race culminated in four television debates, the first of their kind. While the politically astute Nixon was a skilled debater, the relaxed, good-looking and more youthful Kennedy came across better on screen and appealed to viewers. The results were extremely close – so close that voting irregularities were suggested in some states – but Kennedy managed to win, despite failing to secure the majority of the popular vote.
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