U.S. presidential election, 1888
The U.S. presidential election of 1888 was held on November 6, 1888. Incumbent President Grover Cleveland received the greatest number of popular votes, but Republican challenger Benjamin Harrison's 233 electoral votes topped Cleveland's 168 to win the election. This marked the first time since the controversial election of 1876 that a President-elect failed to win the popular vote; the feat would not be repeated until the controversial election of 2000.
Table of contents
Republican Party nomination
At the Republican National Convention, Ohio's Benjamin Harrison won nomination receiving 544 delegate votes, defeating John Sherman (who received 249 delegates), Russell A. Alger (142) and Walter Q. Gresham (123). New York politician and financier Levi Morton was the party's Vice Presidential choice, receiving 592 delegate votes to beat William Walter Phelps (119 delegates) and William O. Bradley (103).
Democratic Party nomination
Grover Cleveland was unanimously renominated for President at the Democratic National Convention. Ohio's Allen G. Thurman was chosen as the party's Vice Presidential nominee by a large margin, garnering 684 delegate votes to Isaac P. Gray's 101 and John C. Black's 36.
The Prohibition Party ticket of Clinton B. Fisk and John Brooks captured nearly a quarter million popular votes as the prohibition movement gained steam. Another group, the Union Labor Party, was formed with Alson J. Streeter as their nominee. The Union Labor Party garnered nearly 150,000 popular votes, but failed to gain widespread national support.
This may be the first presidential election to turn on a dirty trick.
A California Republican named George Osgoodby wrote a letter to Sir Lionel Sackville-West, the British ambassador to the United States, under the assumed named of "Charles F. Murchison". "Murchison" described himself as a former Englishman who was now a California citizen and asked how he should vote in the upcoming presidential election. Sir Lionel wrote back and indiscreetly suggested that Cleveland was probably the best man from the British point of view.
The Republicans published this letter just two weeks before the election, where it had an effect on Irish-American voters exactly comparable to the "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion" blunder of the previous election: Cleveland lost New York state and the presidency. And Sackville-West was sacked as British ambassador.
|Presidential Candidate||Party||Home State||Popular Vote(a)||Electoral Vote||Running Mate||Running Mate's|
|Benjamin Harrison||Republican||Indiana||5,443,892||47.8%||233||Levi Parsons Morton||New York||233|
|Stephen Grover Cleveland||Democratic||New York||5,534,488||48.6%||168||Allen Granberry Thurman||Ohio||168|
|Clinton Bowen Fisk||Prohibition||New Jersey||249,819||2.2%||0||John Anderson Brooks||Missouri||0|
|Alson Jennes Streeter||Union Labor||Illinois||146,602||1.3%||0||Charles E. Cunningham||Arkansas||0|
|Robert Hall Cowdery||United Labor||Illinois||2,818||0.0%||0||William H. T. Wakefield||Kansas||0|
|James Langdon Curtis||American||New York||1,612||0.0%||0||Peter Dinwiddie Wigginton||California||0|
|Needed to win||201||Needed to win||201|
(a) The popular vote total omits votes for candidates besides those listed, which skews the popular percentages up slightly.
|U.S. presidential elections|
1789–1799: 1789 | 1792 | 1796
- Butterfield, Roger. The American Past: A History of the United States from Concord to Hiroshima, 1775 – 1945. Simon and Schuster, New York: 1947.