Losing the 1960 United States presidential election
In 1960 Nixon launched his first campaign for President of the United States. He faced little opposition in the Republican primaries and chose former Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. as his running mate. His Democratic opponent was John F. Kennedy and the race remained close for the duration. Then a new political medium was introduced in the campaign: televised presidential debates. In the first of four such debates Nixon appeared pale, with a five o'clock shadow, in contrast to the photogenic Kennedy. Nixon's performance in the debate was perceived to be mediocre in the visual medium of television, though many people listening on the radio thought that Nixon had won. Nixon narrowly lost the election; Kennedy won the popular vote by only 112,827 votes (0.2 percent).