This Day (Election Day Edition)

Published:November 6, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president with just 39.8 percent of the popular vote. For those keeping score at home, that’s not a majority, but it is a plurality—made possible by three other major candidates in the race. The Democrats ran Stephen Douglas, representing a northern faction of the party, and John C. Breckinridge, representing the pro-slavery wing. And the Constitutional Union Party put forth John Bell, who won 44 percent of the vote in Virginia, besting Breckinridge by a mere 156 votes.

In the category of cause and effect, a year later on this day Jefferson Davis was elected to one six-year term as president of the Confederate States of America. And sixty-seven years after that, Herbert Hoover, pride of West Branch, Iowa, was elected president with the help of Virginia, where he received support from the Ku Klux Klan.

IMAGE: Results from the 1860 presidential election (National Atlas of the United States)


1 Comment on “This Day (Election Day Edition)”

  1. Charles Miller, AB, AM

    It is interesting to note that both Maryland and Delaware, states which stayed in the Union during the Civil War, went for former Vice President John C. Breckenridge and the Southern Democrats. Some citizens in Delaware consider themselves northerners; however, history shows this is not true!

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