Election of 1872

President Grant was generally popular in 1872. The major scandals of his administration were not yet exposed and the public had reacted favorably to the settlement of the Alabama claims against Britain. Nevertheless, unrest was developing among Republican party ranks. The rising Liberal Republicans were critical of the president's inability to achieve civil service reform or moderate the high protective tariff.

Grant received the Republican nomination without opposition. His running mate was the outspoken Radical Republican, Henry Wilson of Massachusetts.

The Liberal Republicans, growing ever more critical of the Grant administration, nominated the editor of the New York Tribune, Horace Greeley, one of the great eccentrics of American history. The Liberal platform called for "more honest government."

The badly fractured Democrats decided to extend their nomination to Greeley and a series of regional vice-presidential candidates. This was a strange marriage. Greeley's newspaper had regularly excoriated Southern Democrats and his support for the tariff matched the views of few in the party.

In November, Grant won an overwhelming victory. The Democratic/Liberal Republican results were muddled, however: Greeley died after the election, but before the electoral votes were counted.* Only three electors remained loyal to the deceased candidate; the remainder scattered their votes among a number of candidates. The electoral votes of Louisiana and Arkansas were rejected because of Reconstruction irregularities.

Election of 1872
Candidates

Party

Electoral Vote

Popular Vote

U.S. Grant (IL)
Henry Wilson (MA)

Republican

286

3,597,132

Thomas A. Hendricks (IL)(Various vice-presidential)

Democratic and Liberal Republican

42

Benjamin Gratz Brown (MO)

Democratic and Liberal Republican

18

Horace Greeley (NY)

Democratic and Liberal Republican

*3

2,834,079

Charles Jones Jenkins (GA)

None

2

David Davis (IL)

Liberal Republican

1


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Election of 1872
Election of 1872 2004 1968 1932 1896 1860 2000 1964 1928 1892 1856 1996 1960 1924 1888 1852 1992 1956 1920 1884 1848 1988 1952 1916 1880 1844 1984 1948 1912 1876 1840 1980 1944 1908 1872 1836 1976 1940 1904 1868 1832 1972 1936 19Election of 1872 2004 1968 1932 1896 1860 2000 1964 1928 1892 1856 1996 1960 1924 1888 1852 1992 1956 1920 1884 1848 1988 1952 1916 1880 1844 1984 1948 1912 1876 1840 1980 1944 1908 1872 1836 1976 1940 1904 1868 1832 1972 1936 1900 1864 1828 ...
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Election of 1872
He also campaigned for and end of radical reconstruction. Greeley received support from most of the South, while Grant received support from most Northerners and most business interests. Most Americans still found Grant popular, and were ...
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The Political Graveyard: Election of 1872
Questions? Return to The Political Graveyard main page. Election of 1872 Electoral College Details President ULYSSES S. GRANT: 286 electoral votes Alabama (10), California (6), Connecticut (6), Delaware (3), Florida (4), Illinois (Election of 1872 Electoral College Details President ULYSSES S. GRANT: 286 electoral votes Alabama (10), California (6), Connecticut (6), Delaware (3), Florida (4), Illinois (21), Indiana ...
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