1860 Election Results A Four War Race

The Democratic party met in April 1860, in Charleston, South Carolina. The convention body was split between Northerners, who supported popular sovereignty (the ability of a state to decide itself whether to allow slavery or not,) and Southerners, who wanted the Democratic party to defend the right to hold slaves. The convention refused the Southern demand and the Southern delegates walked out. The Northern members then tried to nominate Stephen Douglas as their nominee. However, with the Southern delegate no longer present they did not have the 2/3 votes needed to select a party nominee. The Democrats met again in Baltimore. Once again the convention deadlocked, and the Southern delegates walked out. The Northerners went ahead and nominated Douglas. The Southerners returned to Charleston and nominated Vice President John Breckinridge to represent the party they now called the “National Democrats”.

When the Republicans met in Chicago in May of 1860, William Seward was their front runner to receive their presidential nomination. Seward was the most respected Republican in the country. Delegates, however, were afraid that Sewards' outspoken views against slavery, as well as his attacks against the “Know Nothing Party” could limit the support the party would gain in the election. So the party turned to Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. Lincoln won the nomination on the third ballot. The Republican platform opposed slavery in the territories, but upheld the right of slavery in the South. It also opposed the Dredd-Scott decision. Furthermore, in order to gain support from the former Whigs the Republicans came out in favor of Federal support for national improvements. This included support for the building of the Trans Continental Railroad.

A fourth political party was established by those who wanted to preserve slavery, but also preserve the Union. They were called the “Constitutional Union party”. They selected John Bell to be their presidential nominee.

The Republicans were united behind Lincoln, while the other parties were divided by regions. Most of the campaign was implemented by the party organizations. At this time, presidential candidates took a very small part in active campaigning. Stephen Douglas became the first presidential candidate in history to undertake a nationwide speaking tour. He traveled to the South. Douglas did not expect to win many electoral votes in the South. He spoke about the importance of maintaining the Union. In the 1860 campaign, the presidential contest was in effect two contests. One contest was between Douglas and Lincoln in the North and West. The other contest was between Breckinridge and Bell in the South. The Republicans ran a very vigorous campaign. Their better organization won the day. Lincoln won a clear majority of the electoral vote. He gained 180 electoral votes, versus just 123 for all his opponents combined. His opponents, however, in aggregate (all together) won a greater percentage of the overall vote, and Lincoln would govern after winning considerably less than half (just 39.9%) of the popular vote.

 

Particpation of Eligible Voters: 81.2%

Democratic Convention

 

State results in 1860

Electoral Results in 1860

Alabama Abraham Lincoln 0 Stephen Douglas 13,618 15.1 John Breckinridge 48,669 54.0 John Bell 27,835 30.9
Arkansas Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 5,357 9.9 John Breckinridge 28,732 53.1 John Bell 20,063 37.0
California Abraham Lincoln 38,733 32.3 Stephen Douglas 37,999 31.7 John Breckinridge 33,969 28.3 John Bell 9,111 7.6
Connecticut Abraham Lincoln 43,488 58.1 Stephen Douglas 15,431 20.6 John Breckinridge 14,372 19.2 John Bell 1,528 2.0
Delaware Abraham Lincoln 3,822 23.7 Stephen Douglas 1,066 6.6 John Breckinridge 7,339 45.5 John Bell 3,888 24.1
Florida Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 223 1.7 John Breckinridge 8,277 62.2 John Bell 4,801 36.1
Georgia Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 11,581 10.9 John Breckinridge 52,176 48.9 John Bell 42,960 40.3
Illinois Abraham Lincoln 172,171 50.7 Stephen Douglas 160,215 47.2 John Breckinridge 2,331 0.7 John Bell 4,914 1.4
Indiana Abraham Lincoln 139,033 51.1 Stephen Douglas 115,509 42.4 John Breckinridge 12,295 4.5 John Bell 5,306 1.9
Iowa Abraham Lincoln 70,302 54.6 Stephen Douglas 55,639 43.2 John Breckinridge 1,035 0.8 John Bell 1,763 1.4
Kentucky Abraham Lincoln 1,364 0.9 Stephen Douglas 25,651 17.5 John Breckinridge 53,143 36.3 John Bell 66,058 45.2
Louisiana Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 7,625 15.1 John Breckinridge 22,681 44.9 John Bell 20,204 40.0
Maine Abraham Lincoln 62,811 62.2 Stephen Douglas 29,693 29.4 John Breckinridge 6,368 6.3 John Bell 2,046 2.0
Maryland Abraham Lincoln 2,294 2.5 Stephen Douglas 5,966 6.4 John Breckinridge 42,482 45.9 John Bell 41,760 45.1
Massachusetts Abraham Lincoln 106,684 62.8 Stephen Douglas 34,370 20.2 John Breckinridge 6,163 3.6 John Bell 22,331 13.1
Michigan Abraham Lincoln 88,481 57.2 Stephen Douglas 65,057 42.0 John Breckinridge 805 0.5 John Bell 415 0.3
Minnesota Abraham Lincoln 22,069 63.4 Stephen Douglas 11,920 34.2 John Breckinridge 748 2.1 John Bell 50 0.1
Mississippi Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 3,282 4.7 John Breckinridge 40,768 59.0 John Bell 25,045 36.2
Missouri Abraham Lincoln 17,028 10.3 Stephen Douglas 58,801 35.5 John Breckinridge 31,362 18.9 John Bell 58,372 35.3
New Hampshire Abraham Lincoln 37,519 56.9 Stephen Douglas 25,887 39.3 John Breckinridge 2,125 3.2 John Bell 412 0.6
New Jersey Abraham Lincoln 58,346 48.1 Stephen Douglas 62,869 51.9 John Breckinridge - 0 John Bell -
New York Abraham Lincoln 362,646 53.7 Stephen Douglas 312,510 46.3 John Breckinridge - 0 John Bell -
North Carolina Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 2,737 2.8 John Breckinridge 48,846 50.5 John Bell 45,129 46.7
Ohio Abraham Lincoln 231,709 52.3 Stephen Douglas 187,421 42.3 John Breckinridge 11,406 2.6 John Bell 12,194 2.8
Oregon Abraham Lincoln 5,329 36.1 Stephen Douglas 4,136 28.0 John Breckinridge 5,075 34.4 John Bell 218 1.5
Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln 268,030 56.3 Stephen Douglas 16,765 3.5 John Breckinridge 178,871 37.5 John Bell 12,776 2.7
Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln 12,244 61.4 Stephen Douglas 7,707 38.6 John Breckinridge - 0 John Bell -
Tennessee Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 11,281 7.7 John Breckinridge 65,097 44.6 John Bell 69,728 47.7
Texas Abraham Lincoln - 0 Stephen Douglas 18 0 John Breckinridge 47,454 75.5 John Bell 15,383 24.5
Vermont Abraham Lincoln 33,808 75.7 Stephen Douglas 8,649 19.4 John Breckinridge 218 0.5 John Bell 1,969 4.4
Virginia Abraham Lincoln 1,887 1.1 Stephen Douglas 16,198 9.7 John Breckinridge 74,325 44.5 John Bell 74,481 44.6
Wisconsin Abraham Lincoln 86,110 56.6 Stephen Douglas 65,021 42.7 John Breckinridge 887 0.6 John Bell 161 0.1