The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






U.S. presidential election, 1864

Presidential electoral votes by state.
Presidential electoral votes by state.

The U.S. presidential election of 1864 was conducted in the middle of the Civil War, and as such the Confederate states did not participate. The war was taking a heavy toll in terms of lives and resources, and as such incumbent President Abraham Lincoln was seen as vulnerable.

The Lincoln/Johnson ticket ran with the slogan "Don't change horses in the middle of the stream," and over time a series of Union victories culminating in the capture of Atlanta, Georgia by forces led by General William Tecumseh Sherman restored his popularity. Meanwhile, the absence of the southern states from the election gave Lincoln an enormous advantage over his opponent, and on November 8 he won by over 400,000 popular votes and easily clinched an electoral majority. This was the first election in which soldiers serving in the field were allowed to cast ballots (however, this was not the case in every state). It was widely assumed - and indeed evident in the soldiers' corps - that those serving in the Army were going to turn out heavily for Lincoln; the expectation was validated as Lincoln received more than 70% of the soldier's vote.



"National Union Party" nomination

Abraham Lincoln was renominated by the Republican Party, which changed its name for the 1864 election to the "National Union Party". Lincoln's nomination was not unanimous, however, as General Ulysses S. Grant captured 22 of the 516 delegate votes. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, despite his offers to aid the nation in any manner Lincoln saw fit during the war, was not rewarded with renomination. Seeing an opportunity to show a willingness to work with the south, and trying to woo Democrats and those on the border states, the convention nominated Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as Lincoln's running mate over Hamlin, Daniel Stevens Dickinson and Benjamin Franklin Butler.

Democratic Party nomination

The Democratic Party nominated General George B. McClellan, who at one time had commanded the Union army in Virginia but was replaced by Lincoln in 1862. McClellan defeated Horatio Seymour and others for the nomination; he and ticketmate George H. Pendleton were nominated on a peace platform - a platform McClellan personally rejected.

General election


|- | George Brinton McClellan | Democratic | New Jersey | style="text-align:right;" | 1,812,807 | style="text-align:right;" | 45.0 | style="text-align:right;" | 21 | George Hunt Pendleton | Ohio | style="text-align:right;" | 21 (a) The states in rebellion did not participate in the election of 1864.
(b) '
(c) Andrew Johnson had been a Democrat, and would again later be elected to the Senate as a Democrat. The Republicans changed their name in the 1864 election to accommodate Democrats who supported Lincoln.

See also

External links

Last updated: 05-07-2005 06:30:29
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04