Newsweek Presidential Election Covers: A 60-Year Review

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Newsweek Presidential Election Covers: A 60-Year Review Newsweek

1956 was an election year and a leap year. It was also the year that, for the first time since they were given the right to vote, women voters were expected to equal male voters in the presidential election. Accordingly, the November 5, 1956, issue of Newsweek featured a coterie of women on the cover, wearing buttons that reflected their candidates of choice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower won re-election over former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson that year by a landslide; experts agreed it was largely attributable to the women's vote.

Fast-forward 60 years and we're on the brink of another first when it comes to women and presidential elections, but this time, instead of women clad in pearls, white gloves and perfectly respectable hats supporting male candidates for president, it's one woman in particular, Hillary Clinton, who has been stealing the election spotlight on national print magazine covers as she vies for a title a long time coming: first woman president.

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2016: HILLARY CLINTON VS. DONALD TRUMP It's Hillary Clinton's election to lose. Newsweek

Newsweek has reported on a lot firsts—the first televised presidential debate in history (1960), the first sitting president to never be elected to national office (Gerald Ford, 1976), the first time in 112 years in which the eventual winner failed to win the popular vote (George W. Bush in 2000, after the elections of 1824, 1876 and 1888) and the first African-American elected to the White House (Barack Obama, 2008). In honor of Election Day 2016 on November 8, Newsweek presents 60 years' worth of election covers, from 1956 to 2016. Which is your favorite?

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1956: DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER VS. ADLAI E. STEVENSON The 1956 election was a win for re-elected President Dwight D. Eisenhower and marked the beginning of peace for the American public after the Korean War. Although Eisenhower was popular, the public had questioned if his health made him suitable for another four years in office. It was also expected that women voters, for the first time since they were granted suffrage, would equal, and possibly outnumber, male voters.Newsweek
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1960: JOHN F. KENNEDY VS. RICHARD M. NIXON The 1960 election included the first televised presidential debate in history and also marked the first time Alaska and Hawaii voters could participate. It was the closest presidential election since 1916, making Kennedy’s victory a close call by 84 electoral votes.Newsweek
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1964: LYNDON B. JOHNSON VS. BARRY GOLDWATER Lyndon B. Johnson, having succeeded John F. Kennedy less than a year before, maintained the public’s trust and won 44 of 50 states in a landslide. His opponent, Barry Goldwater, was painted as an extremist conservative who countered Johnson’s anti-poverty programs, the Great Society. Newsweek
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1968: RICHARD M. NIXON VS. HUBERT HUMPHREY VS. GEORGE WALLACE This was the election that “restored law and order,” as Nixon put it during his successful campaign. The 1968 election was largely centered on race riots and civil unrest, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and with increasing disapproval of the Vietnam War. Ironically, this was the first election after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting.Newsweek
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1972: RICHARD M. NIXON VS. GEORGE MCGOVERN Nixon’s popularity won him 60 percent of the popular vote, which was largely due to his promise to terminate American involvement in the Vietnam War. While the election was a win for the Republican nominee, it was a loss for Republicans in the Senate. As reported in Newsweek's November 13, 1972, issue, “The Senate had always been one of the Republicans’ chief targets this year. Yet, as it turned out, the Democrats not only held firm but picked up two seats to expand their margin to 57-43.” Newsweek
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1976: JIMMY CARTER VS. GERALD FORD The 1976 presidential election was an upset. Gerald Ford became the first sitting president to never be elected to national office, after succeeding Nixon in 1974 after the Watergate scandal. The winner, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, ran as a Washington outsider who was relatively unknown. Newsweek
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1980: RONALD REAGAN VS. JIMMY CARTER VS. JOHN B. ANDERSON This election marked the beginning of the “Reagan Era,” a return to a conservative approach to politics. The Republican nominee for president won, and the Republicans took back control of the Senate for the first time since 1955.Newsweek
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1984: RONALD REAGAN VS. WALTER MONDALE In the 1984 election, Reagan won an unprecedented 525 out of 538 electoral votes and carried 49 of 50 states. The U.S. had just recovered from a recession in 1982 and was prospering, so the American public maintained trust in Reagan’s administration. At 73, Ronald Reagan was and is the oldest president to ever hold office. Newsweek