HOME

FAQ

ARTICLES

ELECTION LAW

BLOG

Most recent blog post:
"National popular vote scheme"

ELECTION RESULTS
2012
2008 - 2004 - 2000
1996 - 1992 - 1988
1984 - 1980
1976 - 1972 - 1968
1964 - 1960
1956 - 1952 - 1948
1944 - 1940
1936 - 1932 - 1928
1924 - 1920
1916 - 1912 - 1908
1904 - 1900
1896 - 1892 - 1888
1884 - 1880
1876 - 1872 - 1868
1864 - 1860
1856 - 1852 - 1848
1844 - 1840
1836 - 1832 - 1828
1824 - 1820
1816 - 1812 - 1808
1804 - 1800
1796 - 1792 - 1789

ABOUT THE SITE

CONTACT

Why do some of the pages on the site look different from each other?

Why do you have the Democratic states red and the Republican states blue?

Check out the WEBSITE FAQs for answers!

PE President Elect
1796

Overview1796 : OVERVIEW | BACKGROUND | STATE RESULTS
TOP OF PAGE

RED John
ADAMS
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: MA
Electoral Votes: 71
BLU Thomas
JEFFERSON
Party: DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
Home State: VA
Electoral Votes: 68
Before the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804, the candidate who received the majority of electoral votes became president, and the runner-up was named vice president. See The Electoral Process Before the 12th Amendment.
YEL Thomas PINCKNEY
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: SC
Electoral Votes: 59
GRN Aaron BURR
Party: DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
Home State: NY
Electoral Votes: 30
PUR Samuel ADAMS
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: MA
Electoral Votes: 15
BRN Oliver ELLSWORTH
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: CT
Electoral Votes: 11
ORN George CLINTON
Party: DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
Home State: NY
Electoral Votes: 7
ORN John JAY
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: NY
Electoral Votes: 5
ORN James IREDELL
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: NC
Electoral Votes: 3
ORN John HENRY
Party: DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
Home State: MD
Electoral Votes: 2
ORN Samuel JOHNSTON
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: NC
Electoral Votes: 2
ORN George WASHINGTON
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: VA
Electoral Votes: 2
ORN Charles Cotesworth PINCKNEY
Party: FEDERALIST
Home State: SC
Electoral Votes: 1
Total electors/electoral votes - 138/276 (from 16 states)
Majority needed to win - 70

Background 1796 : OVERVIEW | BACKGROUND | STATE RESULTS
TOP OF PAGE

. THE 1796 CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION
... .
With the retirement of Washington, the political parties began their dominance. For many years the parties were more important in choosing the president than even the populace. In congress members of each faction met together and would decide who to support for president. The electors who would choose the president were picked by the states using various different methods including by state legislatures, by popular vote, and in some other ways. The "will of the people" was secondary to the "will of those in power". In fact, popular vote totals weren't even officially kept until 1824!

Because the constitution wasn't written with political parties in mind, this election would be the first of two in a row in which an unexpected situation would develop. At the time, after the electors were chosen they would vote for two candidates for president; no mention of vice president was made on the ballot. After all the votes were tallied, the person with the majority of votes was named president and the runner-up was named vice president. The political parties, however, didn't just run candidates for president. They ran teams of candidates with one person running specifically for the runner-up spot of vice president.

The Federalists in congress met together in caucus and agreed to support Washington's vice president John Adams for president and Thomas Pinckney, a diplomat from South Carolina, for vice president. The Democratic-Republican members met and decided to support former Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson for president and Aaron Burr, a senator from New York, for vice president. After eight years of having to keep their opposition to Washington's policies toned down to avoid the appearance of offending the popular president, the Democratic-Republicans came out swinging against Adams. Jefferson's camp accused the vice president of wanting to go back to the days of the monarchy. Adams accused Jefferson of preying on the fears of the people for votes.

In the end, it was probably the endorsement of Adams by George Washington that decided this close election. Adams received 71 electoral votes and was named president. However, because not every Adams elector voted for his running mate as well, Thomas Jefferson came in second with 68 electoral votes and was named the vice president. This quirk in the system caused by the unforseen rise of political factions would be fixed with the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804.

. RELATED ARTICLES AND LINKS
... .
ARTICLES AVAILABLE AT PRESIDENT ELECT
- The Electoral Process Before the 12th Amendmentopen link in new window

. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS
... .
If you would like to submit an analysis of this election, an article about a candidate, or write about any other aspect of this or any other election, please see our submission guidelines.


State Results 1796 : OVERVIEW | BACKGROUND | STATE RESULTS
TOP OF PAGE

In 1796, 138 electoral votes were available to a candidate; 70 votes were needed to secure the win. The method of choosing electors is listed below each states' name. LEG means the state legislature chose the electors. POP-AL means an at-large popular vote chose the state's electors. POP-DIS means electors were chosen by popular votes in each district of the state. In some states, a mix of these systems was used.
STATE CANDIDATE EVs
CONNECTICUT
( LEG )
J. Adams 9
Jay 5
T. Pinckney 4
DELEWARE
( LEG )
J. Adams 3
T. Pinckney 3
GEORGIA
( POP-AL )
Jefferson 4
Clinton 4
KENTUCKY
( POP-DIS )
Jefferson 4
Burr 4
MARYLAND
( POP-DIS )
J. Adams 7
Jefferson 4
T. Pinckney 4
Burr 3
Henry 2
MASSACHUSETTS
( POP-DIS / LEG )
J. Adams 16
T. Pinckney 13
Johnston 2
Ellsworth 1
NEW HAMPSHIRE
( POP-AL / LEG )
J. Adams 6
Ellsworth 6
NEW JERSEY
( LEG )
J. Adams 7
T. Pinckney 7
NEW YORK
( LEG )
J. Adams 12
T. Pinckney 12
NORTH CAROLINA
( POP-DIS )
Jefferson 11
Burr 6
Iredell 3
J. Adams 1
C. Pinckney 1
T. Pinckney 1
Washington 1
PENNSYLVANIA
( POP-AL )
Jefferson 14
Burr 13
T. Pinckney 2
J.Adams 1
RHODE ISLAND
( LEG )
J. Adams 4
Ellsworth 4
SOUTH CAROLINA
( LEG )
Jefferson 8
T. Pinckney 8
TENNESSEE
( LEG / POP-DIS )
Jefferson 3
Burr 3
VERMONT
( LEG )
J. Adams 4
T. Pinckney 4
VIRGINIA
( POP-DIS )
Jefferson 20
S. Adams 15
Clinton 3
J. Adams 1
Burr 1
T. Pinckney 1
Washington 1
See the OVERVIEW above for each candidate's electoral vote totals.
In 1796, 138 electoral votes were available to a candidate;
70 votes were needed to secure the win.

1796 : OVERVIEW | BACKGROUND | STATE RESULTS
TOP OF PAGE

If you have any questions, comments, gripes, error reports, corrections, etc.,
feel free to send them to email@presidentelect.org.

original content and graphics unless otherwise noted
© 1999-2008 James R Whitson