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Distribution of votes in the 1836 US presidential election

The 1836 US presidential election saw incumbent Vice President Martin van Buren face off against four members of the newly-formed Whig Party. Of the four Whig nominees, future President William Henry Harrison garnered the highest level of support, receiving approximately 37 percent of the popular votes and one quarter of the electoral votes. However, the Democratic Party's Martin van Buren received over half of both votes to become the eighth president of the United States. The Whig Party's attempt to field separate candidates in the north and in the south failed to win enough states for the relatively unorganized Whigs (whose most unifying beliefs centered around their opposition to President Andrew Jackson) to challenge Van Buren, who was able to capitalize on Jackson's popularity among voters and eventually become the third vice president to be elected president. This election is remembered for stabilizing the establishment of the two-party system, which has been the basis of almost every election since then.

Share of electoral college* and popular votes** in the 13th US presidential election in 1836

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Release date



United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Actual number of electoral votes:
Martin van Buren - 170
William Henry Harrison - 73
Hugh L. White - 26
Daniel Webster - 14
Willie P. Magnum - 11

**Actual number of popular votes:
Martin van Buren - 764,176
William Henry Harrison - 550,816
Hugh L. White - 146,107
Daniel Webster - 41,201
Willie P. Magnum - 0

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