Just 22,091 votes separated John F. Kennedy from Richard M. Nixon in the contest for New Jersey’s sixteen electoral votes in the 1960 presidential election.
Kennedy won 50% to Nixon’s 49%, but Nixon carried 14 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
The Kennedy victory came with pluralities of 60,782 in Hudson, 50,030 in Essex, 33,070 in Middlesex, 27,242 in Mercer, 18,017 in Camden, 10,097 in Passaic and 1,916 in Cumberland.
Nixon won Bergen County by a plurality of 68,804 votes.
In 1964, Lyndon Johnson carried New Jersey by 903,828 votes (66%-34%). He carried all 21 counties.
Nixon carried New Jersey by 61,261 votes (46%-44%) against Hubert Humphrey in 1968. George Wallace received 9% of the vote.
Humphrey’s won the six of the seven counties that Kennedy did, but with reduced margins. Essex gave him a plurality of 45,392 and Hudson’s was just 33,615. In Camden, Humphrey won by only 8,705 votes, and Middlesex gave him a narrow 6,824-vote win.
Nixon swept all 21 counties in his 1972 re-election bid, winning New Jersey by a 62%-37% margin against George McGovern.
He won Middlesex by 60,636, Hudson by 48,917 and Camden by 36,733. Nixon carried Bergen by 137,303 votes.
In 1976, Gerald Ford narrowly won New Jersey. His margin was 65,035 – 50%-48% against the winner, Jimmy Carter.
Ronald Regan beat Carter in New Jersey four years later by a 52%-39%. Independent John Anderson won 8%.
Reagan won everywhere but Hudson, Essex and Mercer counties.
In his 1984 re-election campaign, Reagan defeated Walter Mondale by 672,307 votes, 60%-39%.
Mondale won only Essex County.
New Jersey went for George H.W. Bush in 1988 by 422,840 votes over Michael Dukakis (56%-43%). Dukakis’ Hudson plurality was just 14,173 votes. Bush won Camden and Middlesex.
That was the last time Republicans won New Jersey’s electoral votes.
Bill Clinton won New Jersey by 69,341 votes against Bush in 1992 (43%-41%), with Ross Perot receiving 16%.
Clinton won 54% in his 1996 re-election campaign, beating Bob Dole by 549,251 votes. This time, Perot won 9%. Clinton won everywhere but Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren.
In 2000, Al Gore carried New Jersey by a 56%-409% margin against George W. Bush. John Kerry’s margin in 2004 was 53%-46%.
Barack Obama easily won New Jersey twice: with 57% in 2008 and 58% in 2012.
Hillary Clinton won New Jersey by 546,345 votes in 2016, defeating Donald Trump by a 55%-41% margin. In 2020, Joe Biden took New Jersey by a plurality of 725,087 votes, 57%-41%.