Just 38 percent of Americans said that they would vote for a black presidential candidate back in 1958, which was the first time the Gallup Poll asked that question. Twenty years before that, only 33 percent said that they would vote for a woman; 46 percent for a Jew, and 60 percent for a Catholic.  By 1958, 54 percent would support a woman candidate, 63 percent a Jewish one, and 67 percent a Catholic. Just two years later, the Catholic Democrat Sen. John F. Kennedy defeated Protestant Republican Vice-President Richard Nixon by just over 100,000 votes, a mere 0.1 percent of the popular vote. A good case can be made that Kennedy didn't even win the popular vote.