John Kennedy won the 1960 election with 303 electoral votes to Nixon’s 219. The popular vote was much closer. Kenney got 34,227,096 and Nixon got 34,107,646; a difference of 119,450.
Or so we were led to believe…..
There is a very pursuasive argumen I’ve heard as to why Nixon actually won the popular vote in 1960, and it has nothing to do with fraud in Texas or Chicago.
The problem is Nixon and Kennedy weren’t the only ones who got electoral votes. Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia got 15 electoral votes. He won Mississippi straight out and got their 8 electoral votes. One elector from Oklahoma broke rank and voted for him…..and he got 6 of the 11 electoral votes from Alabama. How did he get 6 of 11? (the other 5 went to Kennedy)
Alabama’s system had individual electors in the primary, of which Harry Byrd won 6 of the 11 slots for the Democrats. Nixon had no opposition. The vote in Alabama in 1960 broke down as follows:
Kenney is given credit for all 324,050 votes in his popular vote total, yet he only got 5/11 of the electoral vote from Alabama….not even a majority. If you credit him with only the percentage of the popular vote that corresponds to the electoral vote he would only be credited with 147,295. That’s a difference of 176,755 which should be taken off his national popular vote total. (and if you dont’ take it off, it means the majority of the electoral votes in Alabama went to someone with zero votes)
If you do that, then the margin of victory in the popular vote for Kennedy turns into a 57,305 vote margin of victory for Nixon. That wouldn’t have done a bit of good for Nixon because he still lost the election by a wide margin in the electoral college, but its neat nonetheless.