Cleveland defeated Republican James G. Blaine of Maine to win the presidency for his first term. Blaine had vied for the Republican nomination in 1876 and 1880, but lost to eventual presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and James A. Garfield, respectively. Blaine had served many years in Congress, including as Speaker of the House for six years. Democrats seized upon Blaine’s close connection to the railroad industry to sully his name. One common chant was: “Blaine! Blaine! James G. Blaine! Continental liar from the state of Maine!” The vote was extremely close, as Cleveland captured the electoral vote 219 to182 and barely had an edge in the popular vote. Cleveland captured the electoral votes in twenty states, while Blaine won in eighteen.