United States elections, 1962

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The 1962 United States midterm elections were held on November 6, and elected the members of the 88th United States Congress. The election occurred in the middle of Democratic President John F. Kennedy's term in office. The Republican Party picked up a four seats in the House of Representatives, but the Democrats retained strong majorities in both houses of Congress. In the Senate, Democrats won a net gain of four seats from the Republicans, maintaining control of the Senate. In the gubernatorial elections, neither party won a net gain of seats. Notably, 1960 Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon lost the California gubernatorial election, and many analysts (wrongly) predicted the end of his political career.

After failing to pass his New Frontier programs in the face of the powerful conservative coalition, Kennedy's victory in this election helped bolster his presidency. Republicans campaigned on Kennedy's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the end of the crisis shortly before the election helped the Democrats avoid the typical midterm losses. The election also saw the Republicans pick up several House seats in the South for the first time in the Fifth Party System; the GOP would build on these inroads with Nixon's Southern strategy. The ranks of liberal Democrats were bolstered in this election, allowing for the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other liberal programs.[1]

See also


  1. Busch, Andrew (1999). Horses in Midstream. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 145–148. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>