The Religious Factor in the 1960 Presidential Election

An Analysis of the Kennedy Victory Over Anti-Catholic Prejudice


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About the Book

The candidacy of John F. Kennedy provoked widespread discussion of issues relating to church and state and to the role of Catholics in American politics. This text is the inside story of that dramatic campaign and is the first scholarly examination based on actual voting returns. It includes a detailed analysis of the vote in every state, revealing that religion affected the outcome of the election far more than previously thought. Kennedy lost more votes than he gained due to his religious affiliation, but by crafting a strong coalition, he prevailed in one of the closest races in presidential history.

About the Author(s)

Albert J. Menendez, an independent scholar and author of numerous books, has worked as a news consultant with major networks during presidential elections. He is research director for Americans for Religious Liberty and editor of the quarterly journal, Voice of Reason.

Bibliographic Details

Albert J. Menendez
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: 17 photos, tables, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6037-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8493-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1

1. Before Kennedy      5
2. The Kennedy Campaign and the Issue of Religion      21
3. The Propaganda War: An Analysis      44
4. The National Vote      82
5. The Election by Region      97
6. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Case Studies      187
7. Epilogue and Summing Up      211

Appendix: Two Kennedy Campaign Addresses on the Issue of Religion      227
Chapter Notes      239
Bibliography      247
Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“the definitive book on the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon White House contest…an important contribution to historical research”—Voice of Reason.