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United States presidential election 1860: results for the popular vote

The 1860 Presidential Election was one of the most divisive and influential elections in United States history. This election campaign was overshadowed by the issue of slavery, which was illegal in the northern states of the US, but was still allowed in the south (although the slave trade had been banned for decades). Slavery caused the Democratic Party to split into the Northern and Southern Democratic parties, as those in the north were against slavery being made legal in the new western states, whereas those in the south believed that slave owners should be allowed to expand into these new territories without interference.

Popular vote

Because of this issue the overall election results were split across the country. Abraham Lincoln won 1.9 million votes (39.8%) compared to Douglas' 1.4 million (29.5%), and the majority of these votes were in the northern states (as Lincoln's name was not included on the ballots in most southern states). The southern candidates Bell and Breckingridge received 0.6 (12.6%) and 0.8 million votes respectively (18.1%).

Electoral college results

While the results show that the northern candidates received the majority of the popular votes, the electoral college votes were not distributed in the same way. While Douglas received the second highest amount of votes overall (and almost the same amount as Bell and Breckingridge combined), he received the fewest electoral college votes, with just 12 in total. Abraham Lincoln won the most electoral college votes with 180 (59%), and Bell and Breckenridge received 39 and 72 electoral votes respectively.

Results of the popular vote in the 1860 Presidential Election in the United States

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Release date



United States

Survey time period

November 6, 1860

Supplementary notes

Release date is the date which the data was extracted from the source

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