1960 United States presidential election in Alabama

The 1960 United States presidential election in Alabama was held on November 8, 1960 as part of that year's national presidential election. Eleven Democratic electors were elected, of whom six voted for Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia and five for Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.[1]

1960 United States presidential election in Alabama

← 1956 November 8, 1960 1964 →

All 11 Alabama votes to the Electoral College
  Harry F. Byrd headshot.jpg Jfk2.jpg VP-Nixon copy.jpg
Nominee Harry F. Byrd
(by unpledged electors)
John F. Kennedy Richard Nixon
Party Southern Democrat Democratic Republican
Home state Virginia Massachusetts California
Running mate Strom Thurmond Lyndon B. Johnson Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Electoral vote 6 5 0
Popular vote 324,050 318,303 237,981
Percentage 36.81% 36.16% 27.03%

Alabama Presidential Election Results 1960.svg
County Results

In Alabama, voters voted for electors individually instead of as a slate, as in the other 49 states. Twenty-two electors were on the ballot, 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats. Voters could vote for up to eleven candidates. As a result of a state primary, the Democratic Party had a mixed slate of electors, five being pledged to Kennedy and the remaining six being unpledged.[2][3] The highest vote for a presidential elector was 324,050 votes for Frank M. Dixon, who was unpledged; the highest vote for an elector pledged to Kennedy was 318,303 for C. G. Allen, and the highest vote for a Republican elector was 237,981 for Cecil Durham, which was fewer than the vote for any Democratic elector.[2] As a result, six unpledged electors and five electors pledged to Kennedy were elected. All six elected unpledged electors cast their vote for Byrd.[4]

Varying methods have been used to break down the vote into Kennedy and unpledged votes. One method is to take the 318,303 votes as Kennedy votes and the 324,050 votes as unpledged votes, giving a total much higher than the actual votes cast.[5] Another is to take the 318,303 votes as Kennedy votes and the remainder (5,747 votes) as unpledged votes.[6] A third is to split the 324,050 in the proportion of ​511 to ​611, following the proportion of electors, giving 147,295 votes for Kennedy and 176,755 for unpledged electors.[7] In all cases, Republican candidate Richard Nixon of California, then Vice President of the United States, has 237,981 votes. If the last method is used, it means that Nixon won the popular vote in Alabama; it also means that he won the popular vote nationally.[3][7] Congressional Quarterly calculated the popular vote in this manner at the time of the 1960 election.[3]


General election results
Party Nominee Popular vote Percentage Electoral vote
Democratic Unpledged Democratic electors** 324,050* 36.81% 6
Democratic John F. Kennedy 318,303* 36.16% 5
Republican Richard Nixon 237,981* 27.03% 0
Others 8,189 0.09% 0
Total 564,242 (Note)[8] 100%

*Presidential electors were elected as individuals rather than as a slate. The votes shown are for the highest unpledged elector, the highest elector pledged to Kennedy and the highest elector pledged to Nixon, respectively.
**All 6 unpledged electors voted for Harry F. Byrd

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Alabama". 270 to Win. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Alabama and the 1960 Popular Vote". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Trende, Sean. "Did JFK Lose the Popular Vote?". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  4. ^ "1960 Presidential General Election Results – Alabama". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Kennedy Wins 1960 Presidential Election in Closest Race of the 20th Century". CQ Almanac Online. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  6. ^ White, Theodore H. (1961). The Making of the President, 1960. p. 461.
  7. ^ a b Fund, John (November 20, 2003). "A Minority President". Opinion Journal. Archived from the original on November 23, 2003. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  8. ^ https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1960/12/16/99979440.html?pageNumber=28