1860 Election Question

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Joshism

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Having spent most of the last 20 years in PA, I have no idea what you're talking about.
I think it depends what part of the state you're in. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are very different places. I knew a fellow who lived about an hour outside of the Pittsburgh and thought it might as well have been Alabama.
 

RochesterBill

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I think it depends what part of the state you're in. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are very different places. I knew a fellow who lived about an hour outside of the Pittsburgh and thought it might as well have been Alabama.
In what way was it like Alabama?
 
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<snipped for brevity>

A couple of states actually had "fusion" ballots - New York being one of them-but elsewhere it was more an understanding.

The sole point was to keep Lincoln from winning a majority in the electoral college. You can have a grand old time trying to figure out exactly what would have happened next.
Breckenridge and Bell ran on a fusion ticket in New Jersey and as you've pointed out, those votes automatically went to Douglas. This fusion ticket resulted in Douglas receiving slightly under 63,000 votes to Lincoln's 58,000 total.
 

ErnieMac

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By 1860 the relationship of Stephen Douglas and James Buchanan was one of mutual hatred. Whatever you may think of Buchanan's presidential abilities, he was still very influential in Pennsylvania politics and actively opposed Douglas.
 
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uaskme

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I think that had much to do about Henry Clay. Ever since Clay and the election of 1824, Kentucky was a solid Whig Party state, having voted 'Whig' in every national election from then until the war. Bell and the Con. Unionists, were essentially the Whigs by another name.
The further South you went the more Democrat it became. another difference between the Upper
And Lower South
 

CW Buff

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Breckenridge and Bell ran on a fusion ticket in New Jersey and as you've pointed out, those votes automatically went to Douglas. This fusion ticket resulted in Douglas receiving slightly under 63,000 votes to Lincoln's 58,000 total.
But keep in mind, those 63,000 votes were for all three candidates. This is Wikipedia's take on it (which cites: Dubin, Michael J., United States Presidential Elections, 1788–1860: The Official Results by County and State, McFarland & Company, 2002).

The Fusion slate consisted of 3 electors pledged to Douglas, and 2 each to Breckinridge and Bell. Nonetheless, different electors appeared in some counties for Breckinridge and Bell, resulting in lower totals for them and a split electoral outcome. The 3 Douglas electors were elected and 4 of those pledged to Lincoln. The Breckinridge and Bell electors finished behind all other candidates.

Sounds like those responsible for the fusion ticket in NJ messed up. Because the ballots listed different electors in different locations for Breckinridge and Bell, the votes for any one of their multiple electors was less than Lincoln's 58,000+. If not for that, sounds like Breckinridge and Bell each would have gotten 2 of those 4 electors Lincoln ended up with. Douglas won the most votes, but only had 3 of the 7 electors on the fusion ticket. Lincoln took second place, so 4 of his electors filled the remaining slots. Can you imagine if that mistake had made the difference?
 
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RochesterBill

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However you spin it, a vote for a Democrat in the North was a vote for Pro Slavery. There were more than a few Democrats in the North.

The party platforms. http://www.ushist.com/general-information/1860_national_presidential_election_platforms.shtml
Hey yeah, great idea. Let's make another thread about slavery.

What the heck is it with some of you? This obsession with slavery is ridiculous.

I haven't been here very long and I know nobody cares but I'm just not interested in this endless mindless slavery discussion.

I have more.interesting things to do with my time. Have fun.
 

cash

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Hey yeah, great idea. Let's make another thread about slavery.

What the heck is it with some of you? This obsession with slavery is ridiculous.

I haven't been here very long and I know nobody cares but I'm just not interested in this endless mindless slavery discussion.

I have more.interesting things to do with my time. Have fun.
The obsession with slavery was what led to the Civil War.
 

Old_Glory

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Breckinridge almost won Oregon and California as well. He received 20% of the vote from Connecticut and won Maryland and Delaware.

There is nothing simple about the political issues of 1860. When I say it was complicated, I mean it was really complicated. Even with the fusion ticket in Pennsylvania (NY and NJ), it was still a vote in support of Breckinridge. The results from the 1860 election are fascinating to study.
 
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Old_Glory

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Hey yeah, great idea. Let's make another thread about slavery.

What the heck is it with some of you? This obsession with slavery is ridiculous.

I haven't been here very long and I know nobody cares but I'm just not interested in this endless mindless slavery discussion.

I have more.interesting things to do with my time. Have fun.
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Hunter

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There are lots of strange things about the 1860 election. The craziest to me is that John C. Breckinridge, by far the most popular Kentuckian of his day, didn't win the state of Kentucky, which went to Bell and the Constitutional Unionists.

One important thing to note about the numbers, though. Even if all the votes for Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell are pulled together for a single candidate, Lincoln would still have won the election.
I know that notion is the conventional wisdom, but in reality it is speculative. What if Lincoln had been opposed by only one candidate? Would the turnout have changed? Impossible to know, but Southern secessionists were determined to split the anti-Lincoln vote for fear that a single candidate supported by most Southerners and Northern Democrats would win and thereby eliminate the need for secession.
 

atlantis

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I am disappointed by the poor showing of Bell. It was like the country was saying enough of compromise it is my way or the highway.
 
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atlantis

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I agree but ironically, had Breckinridge won, there probably would have been no civil war. Sure, it might have just postponed it for awhile, but then, maybe positions would have softened by or perhaps slavery begun to die out with the Industrial Revolution beginning. Who knows?
And the fire eaters knew that it was now or never for secession. On the other side you got the abolitionists who are becoming radicalized.
 
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James_tiberous

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Having spent most of the last 20 years in PA, I have no idea what you're talking about.
Really? If you travel in many parts of the state you would think you were in Mississippi. I live 10 minutes from the Pa state line and just going over the border makes me feel like I'm in the south
 

JeffBrooks

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I am disappointed by the poor showing of Bell. It was like the country was saying enough of compromise it is my way or the highway.
But Bell's supporters weren't calling for compromise. They were basically just hoping that if everybody ignored the issue, it would go away.
 
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