Incumbent President Eisenhower was popular, but had health conditions that became a quiet issue. Stevenson remained popular with a core of liberal Democrats but held no office and had no real base. He (and Eisenhower) largely ignored the civil rights issue. Eisenhower had ended the Korean War and the nation was prosperous, so a landslide for the charismatic Eisenhower was never in doubt.
This was the last presidential election prior to the statehood of Alaska and Hawaii, who would first take part as states in the 1960 presidential election. It was also the last election where either one of the major candidates was born in the 19th century.