Sunday, October 28, 2012

US presidential election 1888: Groover Cleveland

While we're waiting for the 2012 presidential election let's take a look at some of the previous races to the White House. This month's also-ran is incumbent president Groover Cleveland. The year is 1888.

The Democrat Grover Cleveland defeated the Republican Benjamin Harrison in popular votes (48.6% against 47.8%) but he lost in electoral votes 168-233.

Harrison victory parade, 1888.

facts of interest:
  • the first time an incumbent Democratic president had been renominated since Dutch speaking Martin Van Buren in 1840.
  • Only in 3 other elections the winner in popular votes did not become the president: Andrew Jackson in 1824, Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, and Al Gore in 2000.
  • If in New York, Cleveland's home state, 7187 voters (from the 1.319.748) would have voted for Cleveland instead of Harrison the latter would have lost the election (source).
  • When the former First Lady Frances Cleveland left the White House, she assured the staff that they would return in four years, which they did.

next episode: Monsieur Loria


  1. A "very informative curiosity".
    Let's hope the next election - in waiting for a native North-American some day would become President of the USA - will give a clearer result.

  2. Can you name the two ex-presidents who are eligible to try and repeat Groovy Grover's feat?

    1. Carter and Bush Sr, but somehow I don't see them pulling it off in any possible future. Obama will be a strong contender if he narrowly looses the upcoming election at the young age of 51.

  3. You and are I are the some wavelength today. I'm working on a post related to Grover Cleveland's campaign memorabilia. Last week I focused on campaign items from Abraham Lincoln's first presidential election in 1860. I enjoyed the facts/trivia you included at the end of your post.

  4. Leave it to us Americans to keep using such a crazy system --

    1. It's a bit archaic, but it also protects the interests of the smaller States (I can relate since I'm living in a smaller state myself, albeit the European variant).


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