United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1960
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United States Presidential Election in Wisconsin, 1960
1960 United States presidential election in Wisconsin

← 1956 November 8, 1960 1964 →
  VP-Nixon.png Jfk2.jpg
Nominee Richard Nixon John F. Kennedy
Party Republican Democratic
Home state California Massachusetts
Running mate Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. Lyndon B. Johnson
Electoral vote 12 0
Popular vote 895,175 830,805
Percentage 51.77% 48.05%

Wisconsin Presidential Election Results 1960.svg
County Results

President before election

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican

Elected President

John F. Kennedy
Democratic

The 1960 United States presidential election in Wisconsin was held on November 8, 1960 as part of the 1960 United States presidential election. State voters chose twelve electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Background

Politics in Wisconsin since the Populist movement had been dominated by the Republican Party.[1] The Democratic Party became uncompetitive away from the Laue Michigan coast as the upper classes, along with the majority of workers who followed them, fled from William Jennings Bryan's agrarian and free silver sympathies.[2] Although the state did develop a strong Socialist Party to provide opposition to the GOP, Wisconsin developed the direct Republican primary in 1903 and this ultimately created competition between the "League" under Robert M. La Follette, and the conservative "Regular" faction.[3] This ultimately would develop into the Wisconsin Progressive Party in the late 1930s, which was opposed to the conservative German Democrats and to the national Republican Party, and allied with Franklin D. Roosevelt at the federal level.

During the two wartime elections, the formerly Democratic German counties in the east of the state - which had been powerfully opposed to the Civil War because they saw it as a "Yankee" war and opposed the military draft instituted during it[4] - viewed Communism as a much greater threat to America than Nazism and consequently opposed President Roosevelt's war effort.[5] Consequently, these historically Democratic counties became virtually the most Republican in the entire state, and became a major support base for populist conservative Senator Joe McCarthy, who became notorious for his investigations into Communists inside the American government. The state's populace's opposition to Communism and the Korean War turned Wisconsin strongly to Republican nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections.

The 1958 midterm elections, however, saw a major change in Wisconsin politics, as Gaylord A. Nelson became only the state's second Democratic Governor since 1895, and the state also elected Democrats to the position of treasurer and Senator, besides that party gaining a majority in the State Assembly for only the second time since the middle 1890s.

In the 1960 Democratic primaries, Wisconsin voted for Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy,[6] due to strong support from Catholics who had recently supported Republican candidates,[7] whilst Vice President Nixon was uncontested in the Republican primary.[6]

Vote

In the spring, despite anti-Catholic suspicion, polls showed that Kennedy would defeat Nixon in Wisconsin.[8]

During the fall campaign, polls at the end of September showed the Nixon had gained,[9] due to the religion issue and Eisenhower's success in achieving a level of peace with the Soviet Union. The state's Republican Party stressed achievements in peacemaking, whilst Kennedy's October visit to the state would stress failures in the farm sector during Eisenhower's administration.[10] In the November election, the state fluctuated before Nixon ultimately carried Wisconsin by a relatively comfortable 3.72 point margin.[11]

As of the 2020 presidential election, this was the last time a Democrat won the presidency without winning Wisconsin, along with the last time Wisconsin would back the overall losing candidate in a presidential election until 1988.

Results

1960 United States presidential election in Wisconsin[12]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican Richard Nixon 895,175 51.77% 12
Democratic John F. Kennedy 830,805 48.05% 0
Independent Farrell Dobbs 1,792 0.10% 0
Independent Eric Hass 1,310 0.08% 0
Totals 1,729,082 100.0% 12

Results by county

County Richard Milhous Nixon
Republican
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Democratic
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast[13]
# % # % # % # %
Adams 2,109 57.40% 1,551 42.22% 14 0.38% 558 15.19% 3,674
Ashland 3,470 42.70% 4,644 57.14% 13 0.16% -1,174 -14.45% 8,127
Barron 8,640 57.05% 6,464 42.68% 41 0.27% 2,176 14.37% 15,145
Bayfield 2,841 46.88% 3,196 52.74% 23 0.38% -355 -5.86% 6,060
Brown 26,329 49.72% 26,577 50.19% 46 0.09% -248 -0.47% 52,952
Buffalo 3,464 55.37% 2,790 44.60% 2 0.03% 674 10.77% 6,256
Burnett 2,483 54.03% 2,095 45.58% 18 0.39% 388 8.44% 4,596
Calumet 5,166 54.46% 4,312 45.46% 8 0.08% 854 9.00% 9,486
Chippewa 8,690 46.95% 9,793 52.90% 28 0.15% -1,103 -5.96% 18,511
Clark 7,368 55.22% 5,934 44.47% 41 0.31% 1,434 10.75% 13,343
Columbia 10,282 60.94% 6,576 38.97% 15 0.09% 3,706 21.96% 16,873
Crawford 3,719 52.60% 3,342 47.26% 10 0.14% 377 5.33% 7,071
Dane 43,245 47.78% 47,045 51.98% 212 0.23% -3,800 -4.20% 90,502
Dodge 17,152 62.84% 10,113 37.05% 30 0.11% 7,039 25.79% 27,295
Door 5,790 61.50% 3,610 38.35% 14 0.15% 2,180 23.16% 9,414
Douglas 8,307 39.06% 12,910 60.70% 53 0.25% -4,603 -21.64% 21,270
Dunn 6,723 59.82% 4,487 39.92% 29 0.26% 2,236 19.90% 11,239
Eau Claire 14,427 56.13% 11,240 43.73% 37 0.14% 3,187 12.40% 25,704
Florence 928 51.81% 858 47.91% 5 0.28% 70 3.91% 1,791
Fond du Lac 19,498 59.65% 13,132 40.17% 58 0.18% 6,366 19.48% 32,688
Forest 1,653 47.04% 1,851 52.68% 10 0.28% -198 -5.63% 3,514
Grant 11,564 60.05% 7,678 39.87% 16 0.08% 3,886 20.18% 19,258
Green 7,939 67.79% 3,766 32.16% 6 0.05% 4,173 35.63% 11,711
Green Lake 5,110 64.74% 2,776 35.17% 7 0.09% 2,334 29.57% 7,893
Iowa 5,143 59.16% 3,547 40.80% 4 0.05% 1,596 18.36% 8,694
Iron 1,290 30.94% 2,873 68.90% 7 0.17% -1,583 -37.96% 4,170
Jackson 3,950 57.98% 2,849 41.82% 14 0.21% 1,101 16.16% 6,813
Jefferson 14,133 61.64% 8,757 38.19% 39 0.17% 5,376 23.45% 22,929
Juneau 4,997 60.60% 3,238 39.27% 11 0.13% 1,759 21.33% 8,246
Kenosha 19,969 46.43% 22,956 53.37% 86 0.20% -2,987 -6.94% 43,011
Kewaunee 3,950 48.09% 4,256 51.82% 7 0.09% -306 -3.73% 8,213
La Crosse 18,319 56.08% 14,310 43.81% 36 0.11% 4,009 12.27% 32,665
Lafayette 4,715 56.60% 3,607 43.30% 8 0.10% 1,108 13.30% 8,330
Langlade 4,614 53.31% 4,025 46.50% 16 0.18% 589 6.81% 8,655
Lincoln 6,147 60.93% 3,909 38.75% 33 0.33% 2,238 22.18% 10,089
Manitowoc 14,622 45.58% 17,423 54.31% 35 0.11% -2,801 -8.73% 32,080
Marathon 21,880 54.67% 18,145 45.33% 0 0.00% 3,735 9.33% 40,025
Marinette 8,205 52.50% 7,408 47.40% 17 0.11% 797 5.10% 15,630
Marquette 2,947 70.12% 1,249 29.72% 7 0.17% 1,698 40.40% 4,203
Milwaukee 187,067 41.96% 257,707 57.81% 1,033 0.23% -70,640 -15.85% 445,807
Monroe 7,410 58.87% 5,161 41.00% 16 0.13% 2,249 17.87% 12,587
Oconto 6,223 55.15% 5,045 44.71% 15 0.13% 1,178 10.44% 11,283
Oneida 5,676 53.22% 4,974 46.63% 16 0.15% 702 6.58% 10,666
Outagamie 24,146 58.15% 17,287 41.63% 89 0.21% 6,859 16.52% 41,522
Ozaukee 10,401 58.91% 7,228 40.94% 28 0.16% 3,173 17.97% 17,657
Pepin 1,612 47.69% 1,763 52.16% 5 0.15% -151 -4.47% 3,380
Pierce 5,632 56.56% 4,317 43.35% 9 0.09% 1,315 13.21% 9,958
Polk 6,387 55.23% 5,148 44.51% 30 0.26% 1,239 10.71% 11,565
Portage 6,436 37.92% 10,516 61.96% 20 0.12% -4,080 -24.04% 16,972
Price 3,555 51.10% 3,382 48.61% 20 0.29% 173 2.49% 6,957
Racine 29,562 49.03% 30,596 50.74% 136 0.23% -1,034 -1.71% 60,294
Richland 5,253 63.84% 2,965 36.03% 11 0.13% 2,288 27.80% 8,229
Rock 29,675 60.63% 19,194 39.22% 76 0.16% 10,481 21.41% 48,945
Rusk 3,094 45.48% 3,692 54.27% 17 0.25% -598 -8.79% 6,803
Sauk 10,403 61.68% 6,441 38.19% 23 0.14% 3,962 23.49% 16,867
Sawyer 2,699 53.59% 2,325 46.17% 12 0.24% 374 7.43% 5,036
Shawano 9,734 67.18% 4,734 32.67% 21 0.14% 5,000 34.51% 14,489
Sheboygan 21,676 53.89% 18,425 45.81% 120 0.30% 3,251 8.08% 40,221
St. Croix 7,113 52.77% 6,341 47.05% 24 0.18% 772 5.73% 13,478
Taylor 3,447 47.63% 3,768 52.07% 22 0.30% -321 -4.44% 7,237
Trempealeau 5,539 51.38% 5,223 48.45% 19 0.18% 316 2.93% 10,781
Vernon 6,909 58.75% 4,836 41.12% 15 0.13% 2,073 17.63% 11,760
Vilas 3,508 64.25% 1,942 35.57% 10 0.18% 1,566 28.68% 5,460
Walworth 16,395 67.19% 7,986 32.73% 20 0.08% 8,409 34.46% 24,401
Washburn 2,848 54.13% 2,398 45.58% 15 0.29% 450 8.55% 5,261
Washington 11,452 57.29% 8,523 42.63% 16 0.08% 2,929 14.65% 19,991
Waukesha 39,380 57.56% 28,963 42.33% 76 0.11% 10,417 15.23% 68,419
Waupaca 12,247 72.61% 4,606 27.31% 14 0.08% 7,641 45.30% 16,867
Waushara 4,906 72.16% 1,888 27.77% 5 0.07% 3,018 44.39% 6,799
Winnebago 28,598 61.72% 17,656 38.11% 80 0.17% 10,942 23.62% 46,334
Wood 14,414 57.82% 10,483 42.05% 33 0.13% 3,931 15.77% 24,930
Totals 895,175 51.77% 830,805 48.05% 3,102 0.18% 64,370 3.72% 1,729,082

References

  1. ^ Burnham, Walter Dean; 'The System of 1896: An Analysis'; in The Evolution of American Electoral Systems, pp. 178-179 ISBN 0313213798
  2. ^ Sundquist, James; Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years, p. 526 ISBN 0815719094
  3. ^ Hansen, John Mark; Shigeo Hirano, and Snyder, James M. Jr.; 'Parties within Parties: Parties, Factions, and Coordinated Politics, 1900-1980'; in Gerber, Alan S. and Schickler, Eric; Governing in a Polarized Age: Elections, Parties, and Political Representation in America, pp. 165-168 ISBN 978-1-107-09509-0
  4. ^ Phillips, Kevin P.; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 381-382, 414 ISBN 978-0-691-16324-6
  5. ^ Phillips; The Emerging Republican Majority, pp. 387-388
  6. ^ a b Lawrence W.H.; 'Wisconsin Buoys Kennedy's Drive but Poses Perils: Senator's Feat in Outpolling Humphrey and Nixon Aids His Presidential Fight'; Special to The New York Times , April 7, 1960, p. 1
  7. ^ Janson, Donald; 'Religion Big Factor In Kennedy Victory', Special to The New York Times', April 6, 1960, p. 1
  8. ^ Otten, Alan L. and Novak Robert D.; 'Nixon's Chances: He Faces Uphill Fight For Presidency, a Poll In Wisconsin Indicates - Vice President Loses Many Independent Ike Backers'; The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 1960, p. 1
  9. ^ Blair, William M.; 'Nixon Ahead as Wisconsin Area Switches Votes: District Has Reputation for Switches and Trends Religion and Peace Appear to Be Major Issues'; Special to The New York Times', September 29, 1960, p. 24
  10. ^ Wehrwein, Austin C.; 'G.O.P. in Wisconsin Stressing "Peace": But Democrats Call Farmer Discontent Main Issue - Religion Is a Factor'
  11. ^ 'Nixon Regains Lead In Wisconsin Fight; Spurs State Ticket'; The New York Times, November 9, 1960, p. 25
  12. ^ David Leip (2012). "1960 Presidential General Election Results - Wisconsin". Dave Leip's Atlas of U. S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Scammon, Richard M. (compiler); America at the Polls: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics 1920-1964; p. 399 ISBN 0405077114

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