One of the closest general election in modern history. In the popular vote, his margin over Nixon was 118,550 out of a total of nearly 69 million votes cast. Sputnik was in the air, ushering in the space race, and both candidates were born in the 20th Century for the 1st time ever. In fact, Kennedy would be the youngest President ever elected - though even Vice President Nixon was only 47 years old himself at the time. Nixon's campaign in 1960 pointed to the peace and prosperity of the Eisenhower administration and assured the voters that he would maintain American prestige, leadership, and military strength. He chose Henry Cabot Lodge, US ambassador to the United Nations, as his running mate. Nixon struck many voters as more mature and experienced than Kennedy and led in the polls after the national conventions. But this wasn't enough as JFK eked out the victory, ending the Eisenhower era.
The 1960 election also remains a source of debate among some historians as to whether vote theft in selected states aided Kennedy's victory.