Lincoln’s Election, Southern Secession: 1860 to April 1861


How did the election map look in the Southern states?

It was almost as if there was no Lincoln and no Republican Party. Ten Southern states kept Lincoln and the Republicans entirely off the ballot, and Virginia granted Lincoln a total of 1,929 votes (for comparison, John Bell won with 74,584 and John Breckinridge came in a close second with 74,335). The candidate who suffered the most was Stephen A. Douglas. Nationwide, he came in second with over a million votes, but in state after state and section after section, he was squeezed out. Douglas won only the state of Missouri (by a narrow margin) and the Garden State of New Jersey, where he split the electoral vote with Lincoln.

To those who claim—then and now—that Lincoln was a minority president, with only thirty-nine percent of the popular vote, the answer is that Lincoln did exceptionally well, when one considers the number of states that kept him off the ballot. In any case, it did not matter. John Quincy Adams had been a minority president, winning in the Electoral College in 1824.

This map shows the results of the 1860 presidential election and the electoral votes received by the four candidates.


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