1848 Election Results Polk VS Clay

In the aftermath of the the Mexican-American War it was questioned whether or not to extend slavery to the territory gained in the war. This issue framed the election of 1848.

As a war hero, Zachary Taylor was a clear favorite at the Whig convention in June 1848. He received the needed two-thirds of the votes on the fourth ballot. The Democrats nominated Lewis Cass as their presidential candidate.

Taylor said very little on the question of whether slavery should be extended or not. Taylor did, however, own 200 slaves. His views were inferred from his actions. Cass, on the other hand, supported the view that each territory should decide for itself whether to allow slavery. Van Buren ran as a third party candidate on the Free Soil ticket, in total opposition to the expansion of slavery.

This presidential campaign was characteristic of the campaigns of the times, with each side slinging mud at the other. Taylor was attacked as a military autocrat, the Democrats went on to call Taylor “semi-literate”. The Whigs responded by calling Cass a “vagabond of evil”.

The election was decided by Van Buren. Although the ex-President did not win any states, the 10% of the vote that he did receive was enough to ensure Taylor's victory.

Democratic Convention

 

State results in 1848

Popular Results in 1848

Alabama Zachary Taylor 30,482 49.4 Lewis Cass 31,173 50.6
Arkansas Zachary Taylor 7,587 44.9 Lewis Cass 9,301 55.1
Connecticut Zachary Taylor 30,318 48.6 Lewis Cass 27,051 43.4
Delaware Zachary Taylor 6,440 51.8 Lewis Cass 5,910 47.5
Florida Zachary Taylor 4,120 57.2 Lewis Cass 3,083 42.8
Georgia Zachary Taylor 47,532 51.5 Lewis Cass 44,785 48.5
Illinois Zachary Taylor 52,853 42.4 Lewis Cass 55,952 44.9
Indiana Zachary Taylor 69,668 45.7 Lewis Cass 74,695 49.0
Iowa Zachary Taylor 9,930 44.6 Lewis Cass 11,238 50.5
Maine Zachary Taylor 35,273 40.3 Lewis Cass 40,195 45.9
Maryland Zachary Taylor 37,702 52.1 Lewis Cass 34,528 47.7
Massachusetts Zachary Taylor 61,072 45.3 Lewis Cass 35,281 26.2
Michigan Zachary Taylor 23,947 36.8 Lewis Cass 30,742 47.2
Missouri Zachary Taylor 32,671 44.9 Lewis Cass 40,077 55.1
New Hampshire Zachary Taylor 14,781 29.5 Lewis Cass 27,763 55.4
New Jersey Zachary Taylor 40,015 51.5 Lewis Cass 36,901 47.5
New York Zachary Taylor 218,583 47.9 Lewis Cass 114,319 25.1
North Carolina Zachary Taylor 44,054 55.2 Lewis Cass 35,772 44.8
Ohio Zachary Taylor 138,656 42.1 Lewis Cass 154,782 47.0
Pennsylvania Zachary Taylor 185,730 50.3 Lewis Cass 172,186 46.7
Rhode Island Zachary Taylor 6,705 60.7 Lewis Cass 3,613 32.7
Tennessee Zachary Taylor 64,321 52.5 Lewis Cass 58,142 47.5
Texas Zachary Taylor 5,281 31.1 Lewis Cass 11,644 68.5
Vermont Zachary Taylor 23,117 48.3 Lewis Cass 10,943 22.8
Virginia Zachary Taylor 45,265 49.2 Lewis Cass 46,739 50.8
Wisconsin Zachary Taylor 13,747 35.1 Lewis Cass 15,001 38.3