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1808 Presidential Election

In the United States presidential election of 1808, the Democratic-Republican candidate James Madison defeated Federalist candidate Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Madison had served as United States Secretary of State under incumbent Thomas Jefferson, and Pinckney had been the unsuccessful Federalist candidate in the election of 1804.

Sitting Vice President George Clinton, who had served under Thomas Jefferson, was also a candidate for President, garnering six electoral votes from a wing of the Democratic-Republican Party that disapproved of James Madison.

This election was the first of only two instances in American history in which a new President would be selected but the incumbent Vice President would continue to serve. (The re-election of John C. Calhoun in 1828 was the other instance.)

Source: Wikipedia

1808 Election Results

Candidate Party Electoral Votes
James Madison Democratic-Republican 122
Charles C. Pinckney Federalist 47
George Clinton Democratic-Republican 6

1808 Election Facts

  • New York electors split their vote: 13 for Madison, 6 for Clinton
  • Maryland: A district-based system was used, similar to ME/NE today. Districts 3 and 4 voters each chose two electors. In all, Madison won 9 electors, Pinckney 2.
  • Madison won North Carolina; however three electors cast votes for Pinckney
  • Issues of the Day: Embargo Act
  • One available electoral vote from Kentucky was not cast