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1888 United States 1896
United States presidential election, 1892
November 8, 1892
GroverCleveland.png Benjamin Harrison, head and shoulders bw photo, 1896.jpg JamesWeaver.png
Nominee Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison James Weaver
Party Democratic Republican Populist
Home state New York Indiana Iowa
Running mate Adlai E. Stevenson I Whitelaw Reid James Gaven Field
Electoral vote 277 145 22
States carried 23 16 4
Popular vote 5,556,918 5,176,108 1,041,028
Percentage 46.0% 43.0% 8.5%
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Harrison/Reid, Blue denotes those won by Cleveland/Stevenson Light green denotes those won by Weaver/Field. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

Incumbent President
Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland

The United States presidential election of 1892 was held on November 8, 1892. Former President Grover Cleveland ran for re-election against the incumbent President Benjamin Harrison also running for re-election. Cleveland defeated Harrison, thus becoming the only person in US history to be elected to a second, non-consecutive presidential term. Cleveland, who had won the popular vote against Harrison in 1888, lost the electoral vote which cost him re-election. He won both the popular and electoral vote in the rematch election.

The campaign centered mainly on the issue of a sound currency. The new Populist Party, formed by groups from the Grange, the Farmers' Alliances, and the Knights of Labor, polled more than a million votes. But Cleveland won easily.

Cleveland also became the first Democrat to be nominated by his party three consecutive times, a distinction that would be equaled only by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 and then exceeded by him in 1944. Although William Jennings Bryan was nominated for a third time in 1908 it was not consecutive with his two other nominations in 1896 and 1900.




Republican Party nomination

Republican candidates:

Candidates gallery

Harrison/Reid campaign poster

Although Thomas C. Platt and other disaffected party leaders mounted a dump-Harrison movement coalescing around veteran candidate James G. Blaine of Maine, the president's forces had the nomination locked up by the time delegates assembled in Minneapolis in June 1892. Richard Thomas of Indiana delivered Harrison's nominating speech. Harrison was nominated on the first ballot with 535.17 votes to 182.83 for Blaine, 182 for William McKinley of Ohio; the rest scattered. The strength of McKinley, nominally a favorite-son candidate, surprised many observers. Whitelaw Reid of New York, editor of the New York Tribune and recent U.S. minister to France, was nominated for vice president.

The Republican platform supported the high tariff, bimetallism, stiffer immigration laws, free rural mail delivery, and a canal across Central America; and expressed sympathy for Ireland's struggle for home rule and the plight of Jews under persecution in czarist Russia.

Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st
Benjamin Harrison 535.17
James G. Blaine 182.83
William McKinley 182
Thomas B. Reed 4
Robert Todd Lincoln 1

Source: US President - R Convention. Our Campaigns. (January 08, 2010).

Vice Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st
Whitelaw Reid 906

Source: US Vice President - R Convention. Our Campaigns. (September 7, 2009).

Democratic Party nomination

Democratic candidates:

Candidates gallery

Cleveland/Stevenson campaign poster

By the end of Harrison's term, many Americans were ready to return to Cleveland's harder policies. As Democrats convened in Chicago in June 1892, Cleveland was the front-runner for the nomination but faced formidable opposition. He had come out against the free coinage of silver, thereby earning the enmity of western and southern Democrats. Most damaging of all was the opposition of his home state; the New York delegation, packed with Tammany men, frequently demonstrated their hostility to Cleveland's candidacy on the convention floor.

In a narrow first-ballot victory, Cleveland received 617.33 votes, barely 10 more than needed, to 114 for Governor David B. Hill of New York, the candidate of Tammany Hall, 103 for Governor Horace Boies of Iowa, a populist and former Republican; the rest scattered. Although the Cleveland forces preferred Isaac P. Gray of Indiana for vice president, they accepted the convention favorite, Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois.[1] As a supporter of using greenbacks and free silver to inflate the currency and alleviate economic distress in the rural districts, Stevenson balanced the ticket headed by Cleveland, the hard-money, gold-standard supporter.

Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st
Grover Cleveland 617.33
David B. Hill 114
Horace Boies 103
Arthur P. Gorman 36.5
Adlai E. Stevenson 16.67
John G. Carlisle 14
William R. Morrison 3
James E. Campbell 2
Robert E. Pattison 1
William E. Russell 1
William C. Whitney 1
Abstaining 0.5

Source: US President - D Convention. Our Campaigns. (September 7, 2009).

Vice Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st Before Shifts 1st After Shifts
Adlai E. Stevenson 402 652
Isaac P. Gray 343 185
Allen B. Morse 86 62
John L. Mitchell 45 10
Henry Watterson 26 0
William B. Cockran 5 0
Horace Boies 1 0
Lambert Tree 1 0
Abstaining 1 1

Source: US Vice President - D Convention. Our Campaigns. (September 7, 2009).

Populist Party nomination

Populist candidates:

Candidates gallery

Weaver/Field campaign poster

In 1891, the farmers' alliances met with delegates from labor and reform groups in Cincinnati, and discussed forming a new political party. They formed the People's Party, usually called the Populist Party, a year later in St. Louis.

At the first Populist national convention in Omaha in July 1892, James B. Weaver of Iowa was nominated for president on the first ballot. James G. Field of Virginia was nominated for vice president. The Populist platform called for nationalization of the telegraph, telephone, and railroads, free coinage of silver, a graduated income tax, and creation of postal savings banks.

Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st
James B. Weaver 995
James H. Kyle 265
Others 3

Source: US President - P Convention. Our Campaigns. (September 7, 2009).

Vice Presidential Ballot
Ballot 1st
James G. Field 733
Ben Stockton Terrell 554

Source: US Vice President - P Convention. Our Campaigns. (September 7, 2009).

Other nominations

Two other parties fielded candidates for the election. The Prohibition Party nominated John Bidwell for President and James Cranfill for Vice President. The Socialist Labor Party made their first attempt at the White House and chose Simon Wing and Charles Matchett as their standard bearers.

General election


Election results by county.      Grover Cleveland      Benjamin Harrison      James B. Weaver

The tariff issue dominated this rather lackluster campaign. Harrison defended the protectionist McKinley Tariff passed during his term: Cleveland, assuring voters that he opposed absolute free trade, continued his campaign for a reduction in the tariff. William McKinley campaigned extensively for Harrison, setting the stage for his own run four years later.

The campaign took a somber turn when, in October, First Lady Caroline Harrison died. Despite the ill health that had plagued Mrs. Harrison since her youth and which had worsened in the last decade, she often accompanied Mr. Harrison on official travels. On one such trip, to California in the spring of 1891, she caught a cold. It quickly deepened into her chest, and she was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis. A summer in the Adirondack Mountains failed to restore her to health. An invalid the last six months of her life, she died in the White House on October 25, 1892, just two weeks before the national election. As a result, the candidates ceased campaigning.


A. Weaver received 22 electoral votes.

Populist James B. Weaver, calling for free coinage of silver and an inflationary monetary policy, won surprisingly strong support in the West to become the only third-party nominee between 1860 and 1912 to carry a single state.

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote Electoral
Running mate Running mate's
home state
Running mate's
electoral vote
Count Pct
Stephen Grover Cleveland Democratic New York 5,553,898 46.0% 277 Adlai Ewing Stevenson Illinois 277
Benjamin Harrison Republican Indiana 5,190,819 43.0% 145 Whitelaw Reid New York 145
James Baird Weaver Populist Iowa 1,026,595 8.5% 22 James Gaven Field Virginia 22
John Bidwell Prohibition California 270,879 2.2% 0 James Britton Cranfill Texas 0
Simon Wing Socialist Labor Massachusetts 21,173 0.2% 0 Charles Horatio Matchett New York 0
Other 4,673 0.0% Other
Total 12,068,037 100% 444 444
Needed to win 223 223

Source (Popular Vote): Leip, David. 1892 Presidential Election Results. Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (July 27, 2005).

Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 31, 2005).


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See also


  1. ^ William DeGregorio, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Gramercy 1997
  • Faulkner, Harold U. (1959). Politics, Reform and Expansion, 1890–1900. New York: Harper.  
  • Jensen, Richard (1971). The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888–1896. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226398250.  
  • Josephson, Matthew (1938). The Politicos: 1865–1896. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co..  
  • Keller, Morton (1977). Affairs of State: Public Life in Late Nineteenth Century America. Cambridge: Belknap Press. ISBN 0674007212.  
  • Kleppner, Paul (1979). The Third Electoral System 1853–1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Cultures. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0807813281.  
  • Knoles, George H. (1942). The Presidential Campaign and Election of 1892. Stanford: Stanford University Press.  
  • Loewen, James (1995). Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: New Press. p. 158. ISBN 156584100X.  
  • Morgan, H. Wayne (1969). From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877–1896. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.  
  • Oberholtzer, Ellis P. (1917–37). A History of the United States since the Civil War. 5. New York: Macmillan.  
  • Rhodes, James Ford (1920). History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Mckinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896. 8. New York: Macmillan.  

External links


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