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Elections Through History


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Buchanan was definitely indecisive though. I'd say that Pierce wasn't some great evil mastermind. He was, as you say, an ambivalent leader, prone to great depression after his son died. They'd both get 0 out of 5 starts for their presidencies. However, Pierce was the only president to keep his entire cabinet through a term and also reduced the national debt.

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1856 Primaries:


Seward: 42.6% (wins the rest)

Freemont: 35.5% (wins California, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island)

McLean: 21.8% (wins Pennsylvania)

Seward is the nominee and choses McLean as his VP candidate.


Buchanan: 55.3% 502 delegates

Pierce: 44.7% 360 delegates

Buchanan is re-nominated. John C. Breckinridge is his VP candidate.


Law is the nominee and Andrew Jackson Donelson is his VP candidate.

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I'd go with Buchanan.

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Seward: 31.2% 172 EVs (wins Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine)

Buchanan: 48.6% 124 EVs (wins the rest)

Law: 20.2% 0 EVs

Seward is the next President and McLean is VP.

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1860 Election:

Seward is running for re-election. Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Wade, Edward Bates, and Simon Cameron challenge him.

All default on Democrats are running plus Franklin Pierce are running for the Northern Democrats.

All default on Constitutional Union members are running.

John C. Breckenridge and Daniel S. Dickinson are running for Southern Democrats.

Gerrit Smith is running for the Liberty Party.

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That's difficult to say. I'm highly federalist so I believe it's necessary to protect southern interests, but I oppose slavery and I'm not really in fond of secession (The same applies to if I lived in the south, although I would have rather sided with the Confederates (hoping the war would be quickly over) after the war broke out, than making a dangerous journey into the north). Therefore, I definitely would have wanted to prevent civil war...

So, I guess I'd have voted for any Northern Democrat and kept my fingers crossed, that they will find a consensus. :D

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I would have been a more socially liberal Federalist/Whig/Republican, then moved to Progressive Republicanism and then switch to Democrat after La Follette's final campaign in 1924. Unlike most Federalists and Whigs, I would have wanted to expand suffrage to almost anyone. My standard would have been, if you were old enough to engage in war, and if you could read and write, then you could vote. Many people at this time, wanted property owners (especially the wealthy) to vote. I also would have been pro-immigrant. However, I might have been stricter on who could hold office, as I'd want only reasonable, rational and qualified people in office. So I would call for a Federal Government test, which had to be regularly updated and supported by 2/3 of the state. The test would merely be questions regarding the Constitution that would show that one has it clearly memorized (strict or loose interpretations of it would not be tested). Then, before an equally bipartisan committee, picked at random, the candidates for office would answer questions regarding Federal policy to see if they have an understanding of what the office they seek entails (it would not test someone's political ideology, but rather their mental competence and understanding). This would only pertain to Federal political positions, not state level, such as governor. It would be conducted, not unlike a thesis defense or dissertation defense. The committee could easily go through 150 brand new candidates for Senate, House, cabinet or president a week. It would be required that the text be altered every 5 years to satisfy the general trends of each generation and keep up with what is most important in a leader at that time. This would weed out any Ben Carson's or Donald Trump's who could endanger the country by being elected, but also allow competent people with minority views such as Cruz or Sanders or Ron Paul to hold aim for office. I'd also be in favor of forcing politicians to retire at a certain age, but allow for a 2/3 vote to keep those who seem universally indispensable. For the most part, I want the most competent, reasonable and rational politicians filling offices at all times, regardless of their party.

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1860 primaries:


Lincoln: 45.2% 390 delegates (wins the rest)

Seward: 25.9% 142 delegates (wins California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Massachusetts)

Cameron: 11.6% 76 delegates (wins Pennsylvania)

Bates: 5.9% 92 delegates (wins Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island)

Wade: 4.7% 9 delegates (wins Vermont)

Lincoln is the nominee and chooses Hannibal Hamlin as his VP candidate.

Northern Democrats:

Douglas: 45.7% 508 delegates

Hunter: 12.2% 58 delegates

Guthrie: 10.9% 54 delegates

Johnson: 9.6% 48 delegates

Dickinson: 8.5% 0 delegates

Lane: 6.8% 84 delegates

Douglas is the nominee. Herschel Vespasian Johnson is his VP nominee.

Southern Democrat:

Breckinridge: 77.6% 1550 delegates (wins rest)

Dickinson: 22.4% 100 delegates (wins New York and Rhode Island)

Breckinridge is the nominee. He choses Joseph Lane as his VP candidate.

Constitutional Union:

Bell: 38.4% 1100 delegates

Houston: 30.5% 300 delegates

Crittenden: 18.5% 200 delegates

Everett: 7.7% 0 delegates

McLean: 4.9% 50 delegates

Bell is the nominee. Edward Everett is his VP nominee.


Smith: 100% 1000 delegates

Smith is the nominee. Samuel McFarland is the VP candidate.

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As I explained my reasons for doing so, I'd vote for Douglas. But of course Lincoln isn't a bad option and has his qualities (abolitionist, wants to unify the country again...)

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1860 results:

Lincoln: 171 EVs 33.3% (wins the rest)

Bell: 67 EVs 17.5% (wins Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland)

Breckinridge: 35 EVs 18.5% (wins Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina)

Douglas: 30 EVs 29.8% (wins New Hampshire, New Jersey, Missouri, and Alabama)

Smith: 0.8%

Lincoln is now President and Hamlin is VP.

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1864 election:

Abraham Lincoln runs again with no opposition for the Union Party.

George B. McClellan, Thomas H. Seymour, Charles O'Conor, and Franklin Pierce are running for the Democrats.

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At first I would have voted for McClellan, cause ''peace at all cost'' would have sounded pretty good to me in the fourth year of war. After the fall of Atlanta I'd probably have changed my vote to Lincoln, as it became somewhat clear the Union will win this war...

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I would have voted Seward for reelection in 1860 as he was a much more radical abolitionist than Lincoln, but having the benefit of hindsight would have supported Lincoln once he defeated Seward in the primaries.

No contest in 1864, I would have been Lincoln from the start.

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I would have voted Lincoln over Seward because even though Seward was tougher on the slavery issue, the border states would secede. Without the border states, the North would not have won the war.

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Yeah, Lincoln for me in '64 as well. I think McClellan would have been a terrible president. He was an organization wizard, but that's about where his talents end. I think he may have made a good US Rep, chairing a committee.

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I think Lincoln was arguably our greatest president (you could make an argument for FDR). But that's in hindsight. He was someone that rose to the job and became far greater than his potential. A really great example of a man rising to greatness in order to meet the challenges of the period.

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Yeah, I'd say Jackson, Lincoln, TRoosevelt, Wilson, FDRoosevelt were the 5th most talented presidents, or maybe the most natural presidents. That is to say, I don't think these 5 are necessarily the best. All of these, I think, reached their potential, unlike other presidents. Of these, I like Lincoln and the two Roosevelts. I think we could have benefited from Teddy Roosevelt running in 1912.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just found this, but I was doing something similar with my own ideas and tweaks.

1788: I used George Clinton

George Washington won, Adams finished in second, Rutledge finished 3rd, and I finished 4th.

1792: I used Clinton again

Washington and Adams finished 1st and second again. Jefferson beat me in 3rd, and I finished 4th again.

1796: I used Aaron Burr (Started tracking elector votes)

Washington chose to run for reelection, but absolutely got his butt kicked (I didn't change any percentages for dynamic ideas because results had been pretty historically accurate up to this point)

1st: Adams: 23.1% 87 Electoral

2nd: Burr: 10.3% 54 Electoral

3rd: Jefferson: 12.8% 52 Electoral

4th: Pinckney: 8.6% 47 Electoral

(The other default candidates all received less than 20 electoral votes and I didn't track them)
Last: Washington: 15.8% NO ELECTORAL VOTES

A few huge scandals hit Washington in the last few weeks and he went from dominating to last. There were so many tossups going into election day that I had no clue what would happen. I actually expected Jefferson to win and was happily surprised to see I upset him, which would have been really interesting historically.

I'm running as Burr again in 1800 with a nice bonus for his term as VP increasing his popularity, but Jefferson is still popular of course, so it should be interesting. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

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