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1800 United States 1808
United States presidential election, 1804
Thomas-Jefferson.jpg Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.jpg
Nominee Thomas Jefferson Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Party Democratic-Republican Federalist
Home state Virginia South Carolina
Running mate George Clinton Rufus King
Electoral vote 162 14
States carried 15 2
Popular vote 104,110 38,919
Percentage 72.8% 27.2%
Presidential election results map. Green denotes states won by Jefferson, orange denotes states won by Pinckney. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

The United States presidential election of 1804 pitted incumbent Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson against Federalist Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Jefferson easily defeated Pinckney in the first presidential election conducted following the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment, presidential electors were required to specify in their votes their choice for President and Vice President; previously, electors voted only for President, with the person who came in second becoming the Vice President. George Clinton was elected Vice President and went on to serve under both Jefferson and his successor, James Madison.

Jefferson's 45.6 percentage point victory margin remains the highest victory margin in a presidential election in which there were multiple major party candidates.



Although the 1800 election had been close, Jefferson had steadily gained popularity during his term. American trade had boomed because the French Revolutionary Wars in Europe had been temporarily suspended. The Louisiana Purchase was heralded as a great achievement.



Democratic-Republican Party nomination

Jefferson was renominated and Governor George Clinton of New York replaced Aaron Burr as his running mate.

The Balloting
Presidential Ballot Vice Presidential Ballot
Thomas Jefferson 108 George Clinton 67
John Breckinridge 20
Levi Lincoln 9
John Langdon 7
Gideon Granger 4
William Maclay 1

Federalist Party nomination

The Federalists chose Pinckney and former United States Senator Rufus King of New York to run against Jefferson.

General election

Attacks on Jefferson's policies proved fruitless; Jefferson's victory was overwhelming, even winning most of the states in the Federalist heartland of New England.


Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b) Electoral
Running mate Running mate's
home state
Running mate's
electoral vote
Count Pct
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Virginia 104,110 72.8% 162 George Clinton New York 162
Charles C. Pinckney Federalist South Carolina 38,919 27.2% 14 Rufus King New York 14
Total 143,029 100% 176 176
Needed to win 89 89

Source (Popular Vote): U.S. President National Vote. Our Campaigns. (February 10, 2006).
Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 30, 2005).

(a) Only 11 of the 17 states chose electors by popular vote.
(b) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.

Electoral college selection

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
Each Elector appointed by state legislature Connecticut
New York
South Carolina
Each Elector chosen by voters statewide New Hampshire
New Jersey
Rhode Island
State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Kentucky
North Carolina
  • Two Electors chosen by voters statewide
  • One Elector chosen per Congressional district by the voters of that district

See also




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