The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

How did the countdown to the general election proceed?

Lincoln’s aides were, by now, convinced he would win, but he was not sanguine about the margin of his victory. It was all too painful to recall that he had been elected as a minority president in 1860, and he yearned for something better. Neither Lincoln nor McClellan campaigned, in the way that candidates do today, and neither released any important policy statements. On November 7, 1864, the New York Times pointed to the election the following day with the words “No interference with the Elections” as its leading article. “Raiders and Rebels and Ballot-box Stuffers [are] Warned,” the Times declared. Two days later came the results.

Neither Lincoln nor his Democratic opponent, George B. McClellan, ran aggressive campaigns, as the war was still ongoing. Lincoln, this time, won a strong majority of electoral votes: 212 to McClellan’s 21.


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