3 super-close presidential elections: Beyond Bush v. Gore - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

3 super-close presidential elections

Updated:
President George W. Bush ©WhiteHouse.gov President George W. Bush ©WhiteHouse.gov

By Elisa D. Keller

(WORLDNOW) – Come election night, most Americans hope for a clear-cut presidential winner – somebody definitively ushered into office by an enthusiastic majority of voters.

But for politicians and the general public alike, there is always one nightmare scenario hovering in the back of their minds. What if the voting tally is so close that Americans will have to wait days, weeks or even months to find out which candidate won? And, even worse, what if the numbers tell you both people won?  

Thanks to the variances between the Electoral College and popular vote count, it's a distinct – if rare – possibility. A candidate can receive more votes nation-wide (the popular vote), but if he doesn't win enough states to carry the Electoral College he won't win the election.

Here are three of the closest results in presidential elections.  


1876: Rutherford B. Hayes v. Samuel Tilden

One of the most hotly contested elections in American history, Democrat Samuel Tilden won the popular vote by nearly 250,000 votes, and was leading Republican Rutherford B. Hayes by 19 votes in the Electoral College votes with only a few southern states yet to report.

Unfortunately for Tilden, those states' votes tallied 20, and after days of argument between the parties, and a purported deal to free those southern states of any remaining post-Civil War federal soldiers, the remaining votes went to Hayes. In the end, Tilden lost the Presidency by a single Electoral College vote.  


1888: Benjamin Harrison v. Grover Cleveland

It may be hard to believe, but only 12 short years after the Hayes-Tilden popular vote/Electoral College division, it happened all over again. This time, sitting President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, won the popular vote by a scant 90,000 votes, but Republican Benjamin Harrison had a 37 vote advantage in the Electoral College, thanks to him carrying Cleveland's home state by 1 percentage point.

The kind of split election result that made Harrison president would not happen again for 112 years.


2000: George W. Bush v. Al Gore

Thanks to this epically close election, phrases like "butterfly ballot" and "hanging chad" entered the American pop culture lexicon, and the electoral process was mired in red tape for over a month. 

Democrat Al Gore lead the popular vote over Republican George W. Bush by some 500,000 votes, but the race really came down to Florida. With 25 Electoral College votes hanging in the balance, a few hundred Floridian votes would make the difference.

After a ruling by the Supreme Court to halt all recounts, Bush was named the winner, serving as Commander in Chief during some of America's most difficult crises, including 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Al Gore, on the other hand, would go on to win a Nobel Peace Prize and an Academy Award instead.



Elisa D. Keller is a news editor for Worldnow.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • How To Spot A Fake Debt Collector

    How To Spot A Fake Debt Collector

    If a debt collector comes calling, you should go researching. That's the new advice coming from Yahoo! Finance to avoid getting scammed.Even if you get swindled, you're still on the hook to a real debt collector! That's the law.One way to spot a fraud is to look at how old the debt is. If it's 10 to 15 years old, chances are there aren't grounds for a lawsuit.Mandi Woodruff of Yahoo! Finance recommends, “Another way you can tell if you're dealing with a fraud or not is to look at the name of ...More >>
    If a debt collector comes calling, you should go researching. That's the new advice coming from Yahoo! Finance to avoid getting scammed.Even if you get swindled, you're still on the hook to a real debt collector! That's the law.One way to spot a fraud is to look at how old the debt is. If it's 10 to 15 years old, chances are there aren't grounds for a lawsuit.Mandi Woodruff of Yahoo! Finance recommends, “Another way you can tell if you're dealing with a fraud or not is to look at the name of ...More >>
  • Peanut Allergies No More!

    Peanut Allergies No More!

    Good news for the three million Americans who are allergic to peanuts.Researchers at North Carolina A T's School of Agriculture developed a new technique to remove peanut allergens.They say shelled and skinless peanuts can be treated with an enzyme that breaks down certain proteins that can trigger food–related allergies.Researchers say the process does not change the peanut's shape or shelf life.For more info, click HERE for the USDA info.More >>
    Good news for the three million Americans who are allergic to peanuts.Researchers at North Carolina A T's School of Agriculture developed a new technique to remove peanut allergens.They say shelled and skinless peanuts can be treated with an enzyme that breaks down certain proteins that can trigger food–related allergies.Researchers say the process does not change the peanut's shape or shelf life.For more info, click HERE for the USDA info.More >>
  • Church in Northwest Fresno Vandalized

    Church in Northwest Fresno Vandalized

    Police are looking for the vandal that left the walls and front door of a northwest Fresno church spray painted. An administrator at St. Anthony of Padua church discovered the graffiti Saturday morning when arriving to work.One of the churches front doors and the walls around it had been spray painted with bizarre images and words.If you have any information that could help police identify the person who did this, call the Fresno Police Department at 559-621-7000.More >>
    Police are looking for the vandal that left the walls and front door of a northwest Fresno church spray painted. An administrator at St. Anthony of Padua church discovered the graffiti Saturday morning when arriving to work.One of the churches front doors and the walls around it had been spray painted with bizarre images and words.If you have any information that could help police identify the person who did this, call the Fresno Police Department at 559-621-7000.More >>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KMPH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.