SAT Subject US History Practice Question 809: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 809

70. Which of the following was the most important factor in John F. Kennedy's victory over Richard Nixon in 1960?

A. Americans' disappointment with the results of the Korean War
B. Kennedy's superior showing in a televised debate
C. Nixon's World War II record
D. The Watergate investigation
E. Kennedy's record as governor of Massachusetts

Correct Answer: B


In the first televised presidential debate, Kennedy's appearance and charisma outshown Nixon's. This was judged a key factor in the presidential race. A truce had ended the fighting in the Korean War (A) in 1953. Nixon had no significant war record (C). The Watergate investigation (D) occurred more than a decade after the 1960 election. Kennedy was a Massachusetts senator, not a governor (E).

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