The Presidential Election 1880

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Map Code: Ax00069

Rutherford B. Hayes had pledged to be president for only one term, so the Republicans required a new candidate. Some were in favour of former president Ulysses S. Grant, others felt that old issues may re-emerge of he ran again. In the end, James Garfield – better known as a supporter of Treasury Secretary John Sherman – was nominated with the support of the anti-Grant faction of the party. The Democratic candidate, Winfield Scott Hancock, had made a name for himself as a Union commander in the Civil War and as military governor of Louisiana and Texas during Reconstruction. The key issues of the election battle were around tariffs, civil service reform and immigration. Garfield was the victor, achieving 214 of the electoral votes. The popular vote was, however, neck-and-neck, with less that a tenth of one per cent between the two candidates.

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