Electoral history of John Adams

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John Adams between 1800- 1815

Electoral history of John Adams, who served as the second president of the United States (1797–1801) and the first vice president of the United States (1789–1797). Prior to being president, he had diplomatic experience as the second United States envoy to France (1777–1779), the first United States minister to the Netherlands (1782–1788), and the first United States minister to the United Kingdom (1785–1788). After losing the 1800 presidential election to Thomas Jefferson, he would mostly retire from political life, with his second youngest son, John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), being elected as the sixth President of the United States (1825–1829) in the 1824 presidential election against Tennessee Senator Andrew Jackson.

1788–89 United States presidential election[edit]

The first U.S. presidential election was held over a period of weeks from December 1788 to January 1789. Adams was elected with 34 of the 69 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College. Since Adams got the second most electoral votes, he was elected to serve as the first vice-president of the United States under President George Washington

No popular vote totals are listed in this table. In early elections, many electors were chosen by state legislatures instead of public balloting, and votes were cast for undifferentiated lists of candidates in those states which practiced public balloting, leaving no or only partial vote totals.

1788-89 Electoral votes by state
Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b), (c) Electoral vote(d), (e), (f)
Count Percentage
George Washington Independent Virginia 43,782 100.0% 69
John Adams Federalist Massachusetts 34
John Jay Federalist New York 9
Robert H. Harrison Federalist Maryland 6
John Rutledge Federalist South Carolina 6
John Hancock Federalist Massachusetts 4
George Clinton Anti-Federalist New York 3
Samuel Huntington Federalist Connecticut 2
John Milton Federalist Georgia 2
James Armstrong(g) Federalist Georgia(g) 1
Benjamin Lincoln Federalist Massachusetts 1
Edward Telfair Anti-Federalist Georgia 1
Total 43,782 100.0% 138
Needed to win 35

1792 United States presidential election[edit]

1792 Electoral votes by state

Adams would be re-elected to the vice-presidency in 1792, with Adams was elected with 77 of the 132 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College.

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a) Electoral vote(b)
Count Percentage
George Washington (incumbent) Independent Virginia 28,579 100.0% 132
John Adams Federalist Massachusetts 77
George Clinton Democratic-Republican New York 50
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Virginia 4
Aaron Burr Democratic-Republican New York 1
Total 28,579 100.0% 264
Needed to win 67

1796 United States presidential election[edit]

1796 Electoral votes by state

The 1796 presidential election was the third presidential election in U.S History and was the first one to be contested between two separate parties, the Democratic-Republicans who nominated former Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson for the presidency, and the Federalist Party who had nominated Adams. Adams had selected former Governor of South Carolina, Thomas Pinckney, as his vice-presidential running mate in the Federalist Party ticket, while Jefferson nominated New York Senator Aaron Burr as his vice presidential running mate in the Democratic-Republican ticket.

Adams beat Jefferson in the 1796 election, with Adams being elected with 71 of the 138 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College. Jefferson, however, would come in second place being elected vice-president with 68 of the 138 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College, defeating Adams' VP nominee Thomas Pinckney who got 55 of the 138 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College. This would also be the only election in U.S History where the Federalist candidate won the election.

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b), (c) Electoral vote
Count Percentage
John Adams Federalist Massachusetts 35,726 53.4% 71
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Virginia 31,115 46.6% 68
Thomas Pinckney Federalist South Carolina 59
Aaron Burr Democratic-Republican New York 30
Samuel Adams Democratic-Republican Massachusetts 15
Oliver Ellsworth Federalist Connecticut 11
George Clinton Democratic-Republican New York 7
John Jay Federalist New York 5
James Iredell Federalist North Carolina 3
George Washington Independent Virginia 2
John Henry Federalist[1] Maryland 2
Samuel Johnston Federalist North Carolina 2
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Federalist South Carolina 1
Total 66,841 100.0% 276
Needed to win 70

18o0 United States presidential election[edit]

1800 Electoral votes by state

The 1800 presidential election was a rematch between incumbent President Adams and incumbent Vice-president Jefferson. It is the only election in U.S History between an incumbent president and an incumbent vice-president.

Adams had selected former United States Minister to France Charles C. Pinckney (1746–1825), as his vice-presidential running mate in the Federalist Party ticket, while Jefferson nominated former New York Senator Aaron Burr (1756–1836) as his vice-presidential running mate in the Democratic-Republican ticket.

Jefferson would win 73 of the 138 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College, while Adams won 65 of the 138 first-round votes cast in the United States Electoral College making Jefferson the third president of the United States (1801–1809), and Burr the third vice-president of the United States (1801–1805). It also made Jefferson the second consecutive president to have previously served as VP and Adams the first U.S. president to only serve one term.

Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b), (c) Electoral vote
Count Percentage
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Virginia 45,467 60.5% 73
Aaron Burr Democratic-Republican New York 73
John Adams (incumbent) Federalist Massachusetts 29,621 39.4% 65
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Federalist South Carolina 64
John Jay Federalist New York 1
Other(d) 54 0.1% 0
Total 75,142 100.0% 276
Needed to win 70


(a) Only 6 of the 10 states casting electoral votes chose electors by any form of the popular vote.

(b) Less than 1.8% of the population voted: the 1790 Census would count a total population of 3.0 million with a free population of 2.4 million and 600,000 slaves in those states casting electoral votes.

(c) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.

(d) As the New York legislature failed to appoint its allotted eight electors in time, there were no voting electors from New York.

(e) Two electors from Maryland did not vote.

(f) One elector from Virginia did not vote and another elector from Virginia was not chosen because an election district failed to submit returns.

(g) The identity of this candidate comes from The Documentary History of the First Federal Elections (Gordon DenBoer (ed.), University of Wisconsin Press, 1984, p. 441). Several respected sources, including the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress and the Political Graveyard, instead show this individual to be James Armstrong of Pennsylvania. However, primary sources, such as the Senate Journal, list only Armstrong's name, not his state. Skeptics observe that Armstrong received his single vote from a Georgia elector. They find this improbable because Armstrong of Pennsylvania was not nationally famous—his public service to that date consisted of being a medical officer during the American Revolution and, at most, a single year as a Pennsylvania judge.

Source: "Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 30, 2005. Source (popular vote): A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825 [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MARYLAND'S ELECTORAL VOTE FOR U.S. PRESIDENT, 1789-2016". Maryland Manual On-line. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  2. ^ "A New Nation Votes".