Closest Presidential Elections From U.S. History

There's no doubt that the 2020 presidential election will be among the monumental historical events of the 21st century and in United States history as a whole. But will it be a close election? It's too soon to tell, but throughout U.S. history, there have surely been a number of close presidential races.

Take the 2016 election, for example. Obviously the freshest in Americans' minds, it also happened to be the fifth and most recent election in U.S. history in which the winning candidate, Republican Donald Trump, won the Electoral College, but lost the national popular vote. It was also the 13th-closest election in history so far.

Closest presidential elections from US history
Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images

However, out of the 58 presidential elections that have taken place in the country thus far, what have been the closest presidential elections in history? Going off of that, which presidential elections were won by the biggest landslides?

Incorporating 1789-2016 presidential election data from 270toWin, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections, and United States Election Project, Stacker ranked how close the electoral vote between the winning presidential candidate and the runner-up candidate was in each of the 58 elections in American history.

Each slide in this article lists the winning candidate and political affiliation, the runner-up candidate and political affiliation, the number of popular votes and electoral votes received by each candidate, and the voter turnout for each election. The elections of 1820, 1792, and 1789 had the winning presidents run unopposed, so those years do not have information on runner-up presidential candidates. Also, most states did not conduct a popular vote before the election of 1824, so the voter turnout and popular vote data for those elections is scarce.

Now that the 2020 election is underway, take a moment to look back at some of the closest presidential elections to draw parallels to this year.

You may also like: How Americans feel about 30 major issues

#58. 1789: George Washington
MPI / Getty Images

#58. 1789: George Washington

- Winner: George Washington (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 69 of 69 (100%)
--- Popular votes received: 43,782 (100%)
- Runner-up: No candidate
- Voter turnout: 11.6%

In the first United States presidential election, George Washington was unanimously elected for his first term and essentially ran unopposed. It took place following the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

[Pictured: Illustration of U.S. general and politician George Washington (1732-1799) receiving the news of his election as the first U.S. president, 1789.]

#57. 1792: George Washington
12/Universal Images Group / Getty Images

#57. 1792: George Washington

- Winner: George Washington (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 132 of 132 (100%)
--- Popular votes received: 28,579 (100%)
- Runner-up: No candidate
- Voter turnout: 6.3%

In 1792, Washington was unanimously reelected for a second term as president of the United States. The second election solidified the democratic idea that holding presidential elections every four years would be a long-running, regular feature of U.S. politics.

[Pictured: Print (Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris) shows George Washington arriving at Congress Hall in Philadelphia on March 4, 1793.]

#56. 1820: James Monroe
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

#56. 1820: James Monroe

- Winner: James Monroe (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 231 of 232 (99.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 87,343 (80.6%)
- Runner-up: No candidate
- Voter turnout: 10.1%

The 1820 presidential election marked the third and essentially last time in which a candidate ran and won essentially unopposed. Incumbent Democratic-Republican president James Monroe and Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins were easily reelected with no major opponents.

[Pictured: Portrait of James Monroe (White House copy of the 1819 painting by William Kloss).]

#55. 1936: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Alf Landon
Austrian Archives (S)/Imagno / Getty Images

#55. 1936: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Alf Landon

- Winner: Franklin Roosevelt (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 523 of 531 (98.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 27,752,648 (60.8%)
- Runner-up: Alf Landon (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 8 of 531 (1.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 16,679,583 (36.5%)
- Voter turnout: 61%

The 1936 election took place well into the Great Depression, as Democratic incumbent President Franklin Roosevelt achieved a landslide victory over Republican candidate Alf Landon. It helped that the New Deal policies that Roosevelt had enacted so far had been highly successful. He went on to carry every state except Maine and Vermont.

[Pictured: Roosevelt enters Wichita, Kansas, greeted by masses during the 1936 presidential campaign.]

#54. 1984: Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale
Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis / Getty Images

#54. 1984: Ronald Reagan vs. Walter Mondale

- Winner: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 525 of 538 (97.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 54,455,472 (58.8%)
- Runner-up: Walter Mondale (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 13 of 538 (2.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 37,577,185 (40.6%)
- Voter turnout: 55.2%

In 1984, incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan defeated his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Walter Mondale, who only won in his home state of Minnesota. Reagan amassed 525 electoral votes—the largest landslide election in the nation's history.

[Pictured: President Ronald Reagan gives the "V for Victory" sign during a rally speech at the California State Capitol the day before the presidential election in 1984.]

You may also like: U.S. cities with the dirtiest air

#53. 1972: Richard Nixon vs. George McGovern
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#53. 1972: Richard Nixon vs. George McGovern

- Winner: Richard Nixon (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 520 of 538 (96.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 47,168,710 (60.7%)
- Runner-up: George McGovern (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 17 of 538 (3.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 28,901,598 (37.5%)
- Voter turnout: 56.2%

Incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon overwhelmingly triumphed over Democratic candidate George McGovern in the 1972 election. Nixon won with a 23.2% margin of victory, one of the largest in election history. During this election cycle, the 26th Amendment's ratification allowed 18-year-olds to vote.

[Pictured: Washington: President Nixon and Vice President Agnew flash victory smiles as they appear at Republican election night headquarters in the Shoreham Hotel after the President won the reelection over George McGovern in a landslide in 1972.]

#52. 1804: Thomas Jefferson vs. Charles C. Pinckney
White House Historical Association / Wikimedia Commons

#52. 1804: Thomas Jefferson vs. Charles C. Pinckney

- Winner: Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 162 of 176 (92.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 104,110 (72.8%)
- Runner-up: Charles C. Pinckney (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 14 of 176 (8%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 23.8%

In the election of 1804, incumbent Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson was victorious over his main adversary, Federalist candidate Cotesworth Pinckney. This was the first election following the ratification of the 12th Amendment, which put into law that electors must specify their votes for president and vice president, instead of only for president.

[Pictured: Thomas Jefferson portrait by Rembrandt Peale, 1800.]

#51. 1864: Abraham Lincoln vs. George McClellan
Buyenlarge / Getty Images

#51. 1864: Abraham Lincoln vs. George McClellan

- Winner: Abraham Lincoln (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 212 of 233 (91%)
--- Popular votes received: 2,211,317 (55%)
- Runner-up: George McClellan (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 21 of 233 (9%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,805,237 (45%)
- Voter turnout: 76.3%

Republican incumbent President Abraham Lincoln was reelected in 1864, triumphing over Democratic candidate George McClellan. Because the election took place during the Civil War, none of the states associated with the Confederate States of America cast their votes.

[Pictured: Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) and his vice-presidential running mate Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) of Tennessee, published by H.H. Lloyd & Company, NY, ca.1864.]

#50. 1980: Ronald Reagan vs. Jimmy Carter
CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

#50. 1980: Ronald Reagan vs. Jimmy Carter

- Winner: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 489 of 538 (90.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 43,903,230 (50.8%)
- Runner-up: Jimmy Carter (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 49 of 538 (9.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 35,480,948 (41%)
- Voter turnout: 54.2%

Republican candidate Ronald Reagan achieved a landslide victory over incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980, receiving 489 electoral votes. This is the highest number of electoral votes won by a non-incumbent presidential candidate in history, and Reagan benefitted from the rising modern American conservative movement of the time.

[Pictured: Ronald Reagan newspaper with election results, 1980.]

#49. 1964: Lyndon Johnson vs. Barry Goldwater
KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho / Getty Images

#49. 1964: Lyndon Johnson vs. Barry Goldwater

- Winner: Lyndon Johnson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 486 of 538 (90.3%)
--- Popular votes received: 43,127,041 (61.1%)
- Runner-up: Barry Goldwater (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 52 of 538 (9.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 27,146,969 (38.5%)
- Voter turnout: 62.8%

Incumbent Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson overwhelmingly defeated Republican nominee Barry Goldwater, receiving more than 90% of the electoral vote. The election established many influential political trends, like Democrats moving further to the left politically, and a major switch in Northern and Southern party loyalties.

[Pictured: The New York Herald Tribune announces Lyndon Johnson's victory, 1964.]

You may also like: 50 ways the news industry has changed in the last 50 years

#48. 1932: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Herbert Hoover
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#48. 1932: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Herbert Hoover

- Winner: Franklin Roosevelt (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 472 of 531 (88.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 22,821,277 (57.4%)
- Runner-up: Herbert Hoover (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 59 of 531 (11.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 15,761,841 (39.6%)
- Voter turnout: 56.9%

Democratic nominee Franklin Roosevelt massively triumphed over incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election. Held during the Great Depression, the election was the first of five successive Democratic presidential wins.

[Pictured: Roosevelt waves his hat while supporters cheer his victory in the presidential election of 1932.]

#47. 1956: Dwight D. Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#47. 1956: Dwight D. Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson

- Winner: Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 457 of 531 (86.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 35,579,180 (57.4%)
- Runner-up: Adlai Stevenson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 73 of 531 (13.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 25,738,765 (42%)
- Voter turnout: 60.2%

In 1956, incumbent Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower was successfully reelected, defeating Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson. This was the last election that occurred before Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959.

[Pictured: Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower and Mrs. Pat Nixon share the spotlight with their husbands as the returns, indicating an overwhelming landslide for the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket, poured in from all sections of the country, 1956.]

#46. 1852: Franklin Pierce vs. Winfield Scott
Jim Evans / Wikimedia Commons

#46. 1852: Franklin Pierce vs. Winfield Scott

- Winner: Franklin Pierce (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 254 of 296 (85.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,605,943 (50.8%)
- Runner-up: Winfield Scott (Whig)
--- Electoral votes received: 42 of 296 (14.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,386,580 (43.9%)
- Voter turnout: 69.5%

In the election of 1852, Democratic candidate Franklin Pierce won over Whig nominee Winfield Scott. The Whig Party collapsed soon after this election, with the Republican Party emerging in opposition to Democrats.

[Pictured: Franklin Pierce, 1852.]

#45. 1940: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Wendell Willkie
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#45. 1940: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Wendell Willkie

- Winner: Franklin Roosevelt (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 449 of 531 (84.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 27,313,945 (54.7%)
- Runner-up: Wendell Willkie (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 82 of 531 (15.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 22,304,755 (44.8%)
- Voter turnout: 62.4%

This election occurred against the backdrop of World War II. Incumbent Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt won the 1940 election, triumphing over Republican candidate Wendell Willkie. It marked the first and only time that a president was elected for a third consecutive term.

[Pictured: Franklin Roosevelt appears at a campaign rally with (left) Jack Dempsy, New York Governor Herbert Lehman, his son Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., and, to the right, James Farley, 1940.]

#44. 1816: James Monroe vs. Rufus King
Daderot / Wikimedia Commons

#44. 1816: James Monroe vs. Rufus King

- Winner: James Monroe (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 183 of 217 (84.3%)
--- Popular votes received: 76,592 (68.2%)
- Runner-up: Rufus King (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 34 of 217 (15.7%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 23.5%

The 1816 election was the first one that took place after the War of 1812, as Democratic-Republican candidate James Monroe won instead of Federalist candidate Rufus King. This was also the last U.S. election in which the Federalist party yielded a serious presidential candidate.

[Pictured: James Monroe by John Vanderlyn, 1816.]

You may also like: The original Woodstock, by the numbers

#43. 1928: Herbert Hoover vs. Al Smith
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#43. 1928: Herbert Hoover vs. Al Smith

- Winner: Herbert Hoover (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 444 of 531 (83.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 21,427,123 (58.2%)
- Runner-up: Al Smith (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 87 of 531 (16.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 15,016,443 (40.7%)
- Voter turnout: 56.9%

Republican presidential candidate won the 1928 election and defeated Democratic candidate Al Smith after incumbent President Calvin Coolidge opted not to seek reelection. Hoover was the last Republican to win the presidency until 1952, and Smith suffered from anti-Catholic messaging.

[Pictured: President-elect home after hearing of victory, 1928.]

#42. 1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson
Bob Henriques/Pix/Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

#42. 1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower vs. Adlai Stevenson

- Winner: Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 442 of 531 (83.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 34,075,529 (55.2%)
- Runner-up: Adlai Stevenson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 89 of 531 (16.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 27,314,992 (44.4%)
- Voter turnout: 62.3%

When Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower achieved a landslide victory over Democrat Adlai Stevenson, he ended a string of Democratic Party wins that went back to 1932. Eisenhower's reelection wasn't in doubt, because he was praised for the end of the Korean War and a strong American economy.

[Pictured: U.S. presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie on election night at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, November 4, 1952.]

#41. 1872: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Thomas Hendricks
GPA Photo Archive / Flickr

#41. 1872: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Thomas Hendricks

- Winner: Ulysses S. Grant (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 286 of 352 (82%)
--- Popular votes received: 3,597,439 (55.6%)
- Runner-up: Thomas Hendricks (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 42 of 352 (11.9%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 72.1%

The 1872 election is the only presidential election in which a major party nominee died before the election results were finalized. Republican incumbent President Ulysses S. Grant defeated Liberal Republican nominee Horace Greeley, who died before the Electoral College cast its votes. Laws covering what would happen today in this situation are part of the 20th Amendment that was adopted in 1933.

[Pictured: Ulysses Grant.]

#40. 1912: Woodrow Wilson vs. Theodore Roosevelt
Cincinnati Museum Center / Getty Images

#40. 1912: Woodrow Wilson vs. Theodore Roosevelt

- Winner: Woodrow Wilson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 435 of 531 (81.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 6,296,284 (41.8%)
- Runner-up: Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive)
--- Electoral votes received: 88 of 531 (16.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,119,207 (27.4%)
- Voter turnout: 59%

For the first time since the 1892 election, Democrats won the presidency and both chambers of Congress in the 1912 presidential election. Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson defeated Republican President William Howard Taft, making him the first Democratic president since Grover Cleveland.

[Pictured: On the right, losing incumbent William Howard Taft congratulates incoming president Woodrow Wilson at the latter's inauguration in Washington D.C., 1913.]

#39. 1944: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Thomas Dewey
Keystone Features / Getty Images

#39. 1944: Franklin Roosevelt vs. Thomas Dewey

- Winner: Franklin Roosevelt (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 432 of 531 (81.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 25,612,916 (53.4%)
- Runner-up: Thomas Dewey (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 99 of 531 (18.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 22,006,278 (45.8%)
- Voter turnout: 55.9%

In the 1944 election, incumbent Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt won over Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey, securing a historic fourth presidential term. However, Roosevelt died less than three months into the term, and was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.

[Pictured: American president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speaking on a platform during his fourth presidential inauguration, 1944.]

You may also like: Oldest national parks in America

#38. 1840: William Henry Harrison vs. Martin Van Buren
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#38. 1840: William Henry Harrison vs. Martin Van Buren

- Winner: William Henry Harrison (Whig)
--- Electoral votes received: 234 of 294 (79.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,275,583 (52.9%)
- Runner-up: Martin Van Buren (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 60 of 294 (20.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,129,102 (46.8%)
- Voter turnout: 80.3%

Whig candidate William Henry Harrison won the 1840 election, making his victory one of two Whig presidential wins. The election saw voter participation increase as white male suffrage became virtually universal. However, Harrison died less than a month after his inauguration.

[Pictured: Representation of the inauguration of General Harrison at Washington, March 4, 1841.]

#37. 1988: George H.W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis
Mike Spague/AFP / Getty Images

#37. 1988: George H.W. Bush vs. Michael Dukakis

- Winner: George H.W. Bush (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 426 of 538 (79.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 48,886,597 (53.4%)
- Runner-up: Michael Dukakis (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 111 of 538 (20.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 41,809,074 (45.7%)
- Voter turnout: 52.8%

Incumbent Republican Vice President George H.W. Bush triumphed over Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. For the first time since 1940, this election marked the first time that a party had won the presidency in three consecutive election cycles.

[Pictured: President-elect George Bush wades through the crowd following his acceptance speech at the Brown Convention Center in Houston, 1988.]

#36. 1832: Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

#36. 1832: Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay

- Winner: Andrew Jackson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 219 of 286 (76.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 702,735 (54.7%)
- Runner-up: Henry Clay (National Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 49 of 286 (17.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 530,189 (37.4%)
- Voter turnout: 57%

The 1832 presidential election saw incumbent Democratic President Andrew Jackson win over Republican nominee Henry Clay, even though Jackson still faced criticism for his response in the Bank War. The first presidential nominating conventions were utilized in this election.

[Pictured: Andrew Jackson.]

#35. 1920: Warren Harding vs. James Cox
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#35. 1920: Warren Harding vs. James Cox

- Winner: Warren Harding (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 404 of 531 (76.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 16,144,093 (60.3%)
- Runner-up: James Cox (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 127 of 531 (23.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 9,140,864 (34.1%)
- Voter turnout: 49.2%

The election of 1920 was the first held after the end of World War I and the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted some American women the right to vote. The outcome was that Republican candidate Warren Harding won over Democratic nominee James Cox.

[Pictured: President-elect Warren G. Harding and his wife Florence look over election reports following the 1920 presidential election.]

#34. 1868: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Horatio Seymour
Photo12/Universal Images Group / Getty Images

#34. 1868: Ulysses S. Grant vs. Horatio Seymour

- Winner: Ulysses S. Grant (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 214 of 294 (72.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 3,013,790 (52.7%)
- Runner-up: Horatio Seymour (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 80 of 294 (27.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 2,703,249 (47.3%)
- Voter turnout: 80.9%

In the 1868 presidential election, Republican nominee Ulysses S. Grant defeated Democratic candidate Horatio Seymour. It was the first presidential election to take place after the American Civil War, and the first in which African Americans could vote in reconstructed Southern states.

[Pictured: The scene on the arrival of President Grant and his wife at the inauguration ball, Treasury Department, Washington D.C.]

You may also like: Best-run cities in America

#33. 1924: Calvin Coolidge vs. John Davis
New York Times Co. / Getty Images

#33. 1924: Calvin Coolidge vs. John Davis

- Winner: Calvin Coolidge (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 382 of 531 (71.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 15,723,789 (54%)
- Runner-up: John Davis (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 136 of 531 (25.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 8,386,503 (28.8%)
- Voter turnout: 48.9%

Incumbent Republican President Calvin Coolidge was elected to his first full term in the 1924 presidential election, winning over Democratic nominee John Davis. Coolidge first became president in 1923, after Warren G. Harding's death.

[Pictured: American president Calvin Coolidge takes the oath of office at his inauguration ceremony, Washington, DC., 1924.]

#32. 1904: Theodore Roosevelt vs. Alton Parker
George Rinhart/Corbis / Getty Images

#32. 1904: Theodore Roosevelt vs. Alton Parker

- Winner: Theodore Roosevelt (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 336 of 476 (70.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 7,630,557 (56.4%)
- Runner-up: Alton Parker (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 140 of 476 (29.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 5,077,911 (37.6%)
- Voter turnout: 65.5%

Incumbent Republican President Theodore Roosevelt triumphed over Democratic candidate Alton Parker in the 1904 election. This made him the first president to win a full term after becoming president upon the death of his predecessor William McKinley.

[Pictured: President Theodore Roosevelt's inaugural address in Washington DC., 1904.]

#31. 1996: Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole
Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma / Getty Images

#31. 1996: Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole

- Winner: Bill Clinton (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 379 of 538 (70.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 47,400,125 (49.2%)
- Runner-up: Bob Dole (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 159 of 538 (29.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 39,198,755 (40.7%)
- Voter turnout: 51.7%

Incumbent Democratic President Bill Clinton won the 1996 election, defeating Republican nominee Bob Dole. Clinton's victory made him the first Democrat to win two consecutive elections since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

[Pictured: Bill Clinton following his victory in the U.S. presidential election, 1996.]

#30. 1808: James Madison vs. Charles C. Pinckney
GPA Photo Archive / Flickr

#30. 1808: James Madison vs. Charles C. Pinckney

- Winner: James Madison (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 122 of 175 (69.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 124,732 (64.7%)
- Runner-up: Charles C. Pinckney (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 47 of 175 (26.9%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 36.8%

Democratic-Republican nominee James Madison won over Federalist candidate Charles C. Pinckney in the 1808 election. This made Madison the first politician to succeed a president from the same political party.

[Pictured: James Madison.]

#29. 1992: Bill Clinton vs. George H.W. Bush
Cynthia Johnson/Liaison Agency / Getty Images

#29. 1992: Bill Clinton vs. George H.W. Bush

- Winner: Bill Clinton (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 370 of 538 (68.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 44,909,806 (43%)
- Runner-up: George H.W. Bush (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 168 of 538 (31.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 39,104,545 (37.4%)
- Voter turnout: 58.1%

In the 1992 presidential election, Democratic candidate Bill Clinton defeated incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush. This made Bush one of only three incumbent presidents to be defeated in a general election since World War II, along with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

[Pictured: U.S. President Bill Clinton greets supporters on November 3, 1992 at the Clinton presidential election victory celebration in Little Rock, Arkansas.]

You may also like: Most and least popular governors in America

#28. 1828: Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams
Universal History Archive / Getty Images

#28. 1828: Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams

- Winner: Andrew Jackson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 178 of 261 (68.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 642,806 (55.9%)
- Runner-up: John Quincy Adams (N. R.)
--- Electoral votes received: 83 of 261 (31.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 508,064 (43.6%)
- Voter turnout: 57.3%

The 1828 presidential election was a rematch of the 1824 election, with incumbent Democratic President Andrew Jackson winning over National Republican John Quincy Adams. The election is perhaps best remembered for massive amounts of mudslinging, as both parties viciously attacked the opposing candidate's personal qualities.

[Pictured: Andrew Jackson, as President-elect, delivering a speech from the driver's seat of his coach on his triumphal journey to Washington, 1828.]

#27. 2008: Barack Obama vs. John McCain
Scott Olson / Getty Images

#27. 2008: Barack Obama vs. John McCain

- Winner: Barack Obama (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 365 of 538 (67.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 69,498,516 (52.9%)
- Runner-up: John McCain (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 173 of 538 (32.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 59,934,000 (45.7%)
- Voter turnout: 61.6%

Barack Obama became the first African American to ever win the presidency in the 2008 election, triumphing over Republican nominee John McCain. He was also the third sitting U.S. Senator to be elected president, along with Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy. The country's financial crisis, which had peaked in late 2008, was a major issue in the election.

[Pictured: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle acknowledge their supporters after Obama gave his victory speech during an election night gathering in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, 2008.]

#26. 1908: William Taft vs. William Jennings Bryan
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#26. 1908: William Taft vs. William Jennings Bryan

- Winner: William Taft (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 321 of 483 (66.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 7,678,335 (51.6%)
- Runner-up: William Jennings Bryan (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 162 of 483 (33.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 6,409,104 (43%)
- Voter turnout: 65.7%

Republican nominee William Taft defeated three-time Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan in the 1908 presidential election. Notably, Oklahoma became a state during this election cycle.

[Pictured: William Howard Taft is shown speaking at Evansville, Wisconsin, Sept. 24, 1908.]

#25. 1900: William McKinley vs. William Jennings Bryan
PhotoQuest / Getty Images

#25. 1900: William McKinley vs. William Jennings Bryan

- Winner: William McKinley (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 292 of 447 (65.3%)
--- Popular votes received: 7,228,864 (51.6%)
- Runner-up: William Jennings Bryan (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 155 of 447 (34.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 6,358,133 (45.5%)
- Voter turnout: 73.7%

In a rematch of the 1896 presidential election, Republican President William McKinley won over Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan. However, McKinley was assassinated in September 1901, then succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

[Pictured: William McKinley speaking to a crowd, 1900.]

#24. 1892: Grover Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison
Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG / Getty Images

#24. 1892: Grover Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison

- Winner: Grover Cleveland (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 277 of 444 (62.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 5,553,898 (46%)
- Runner-up: Benjamin Harrison (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 145 of 444 (32.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 5,176,108 (43%)
- Voter turnout: 75.8%

Former Democratic President Grover Cleveland defeated incumbent Republican President Benjamin Harrison in the 1892 presidential election. His victory made him the first and only American president to be elected to a second, non-consecutive presidential term.

[Pictured: Grover Cleveland, 1892.]

You may also like: 10 most common items polluting the ocean

#23. 1844: James Polk vs. Henry Clay
MPI / Getty Images

#23. 1844: James Polk vs. Henry Clay

- Winner: James Polk (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 170 of 275 (61.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,339,570 (49.5%)
- Runner-up: Henry Clay (Whig)
--- Electoral votes received: 105 of 275 (38.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,299,062 (48.1%)
- Voter turnout: 79.2%

In a close 1844 election, Democratic nominee James K. Polk defeated Whig candidate Henry Clay. The possible expansion of slavery was a major issue, as the topic of the annexation of the Republic of Texas loomed.

[Pictured: James Polk.]

#22. 2012: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney
John Moore / Getty Images

#22. 2012: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney

- Winner: Barack Obama (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 332 of 538 (61.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 65,915,795 (51.1%)
- Runner-up: Mitt Romney (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 206 of 538 (38.3%)
--- Popular votes received: 60,589,084 (47.1%)
- Voter turnout: 58.6%

Incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama was elected to a second term in 2012, beating out Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The election was heavily centered around issues such as immigration, tax cuts, and the phase-out of the Iranian nuclear program.

[Pictured: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama talk over each other as they answer questions during a town hall style debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012.]

#21. 1896: William McKinley vs. William Jennings Bryan
Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG / Getty Images

#21. 1896: William McKinley vs. William Jennings Bryan

- Winner: William McKinley (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 271 of 447 (60.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 7,112,138 (51%)
- Runner-up: William Jennings Bryan (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 176 of 447 (39.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 6,502,925 (46.7%)
- Voter turnout: 79.6%

Republican William McKinley defeated William Jennings Bryan in the presidential election of 1896. Central issues included tariff policy and the question of whether the gold standard would be preserved. Some have argued that the election fundamentally realigned American politics, since it was the beginning of a third of a century of Republican dominance of Congress and the White House.

[Pictured: Guests, including wife, Ida Saxon McKinley, and mother, Nancy Allison McKinley, take seats in front of the platform for the first inauguration of William McKinley, 1896.]

#20. 1860: Abraham Lincoln vs. John Breckinridge
Chicago History Museum / Getty Images

#20. 1860: Abraham Lincoln vs. John Breckinridge

- Winner: Abraham Lincoln (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 180 of 303 (59.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,855,993 (39.7%)
- Runner-up: John Breckinridge (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 72 of 303 (23.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 847,953 (18.1%)
- Voter turnout: 81.8%

Abraham Lincoln's victory over Democratic candidate John Breckenridge marked the first of six consecutive presidential wins for the Republican Party. Lincoln's election was a catalyst for the onset of the American Civil War, as Lincoln opposed the expansion of slavery.

[Pictured: Abraham Lincoln campaign rally in front of Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois, August 8, 1860.]

#19. 1812: James Madison vs. DeWitt Clinton
MPI / Getty Images

#19. 1812: James Madison vs. DeWitt Clinton

- Winner: James Madison (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 128 of 217 (59%)
--- Popular votes received: 140,431 (50.4%)
- Runner-up: DeWitt Clinton (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 89 of 217 (41%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 40.4%

The election of 1812 was the first presidential election to be held during a major war in which the United States was involved, as it took place during the War of 1812. In the end, incumbent Democratic-Republican President James Madison defeated DeWitt Clinton.

[Pictured: James Madison, 1812.]

You may also like: 25 terms you should know to understand the gun control debate

#18. 1856: James Buchanan vs. John Frémont
Universal History Archive/UIG / Getty Images

#18. 1856: James Buchanan vs. John Frémont

- Winner: James Buchanan (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 174 of 296 (58.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,835,140 (45.3%)
- Runner-up: John Frémont (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 114 of 296 (38.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,341,264 (33.1%)
- Voter turnout: 79.4%

In the three-way election of 1856, Democratic candidate James Buchanan triumphed over an anti-immigration leaning Know Nothing nominee former President Millard Fillmore and Republican nominee John C. Frémont. The central issue of slavery made it an especially contentious election, as the Republican Party sought to limit its effects, and Democrats were pro-slavery.

[Pictured: Campaign poster for Democratic presidential nominee James Buchanan, 1856.]

#17. 1888: Benjamin Harrison vs. Grover Cleveland
Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images

#17. 1888: Benjamin Harrison vs. Grover Cleveland

- Winner: Benjamin Harrison (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 233 of 401 (58.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 5,443,892 (47.8%)
- Runner-up: Grover Cleveland (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 168 of 401 (41.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 5,540,309 (48.6%)
- Voter turnout: 80.5%

In the 1888 presidential election, Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison defeated incumbent Democratic President Grover Cleveland. It was the third of five elections in which the winner of the presidency didn't win the plurality of the nation's popular vote.

[Pictured: President Benjamin Harrison, 1888.]

#16. 1880: James Garfield vs. Winfield Scott Hancock
GPA Photo Archive / Flickr

#16. 1880: James Garfield vs. Winfield Scott Hancock

- Winner: James Garfield (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 214 of 369 (58%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,453,337 (48.3%)
- Runner-up: Winfield Scott Hancock (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 155 of 369 (42%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,444,952 (48.2%)
- Voter turnout: 80.5%

Republican candidate James Garfield won over Democratic nominee Winfield Scott Hancock after incumbent President Rutherford B. Hayes did not seek reelection. It marked the sixth consecutive presidential win for the Republican Party.

[Pictured: James Garfield.]

#15. 1836: Martin Van Buren vs. William Henry Harrison
Daniel Hass / Wikimedia Commons

#15. 1836: Martin Van Buren vs. William Henry Harrison

- Winner: Martin Van Buren (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 170 of 294 (57.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 763,291 (50.8%)
- Runner-up: William Henry Harrison (Whig)
--- Electoral votes received: 73 of 294 (24.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 550,816 (36.6%)
- Voter turnout: 56.5%

Martin Van Buren won the 1836 presidential election, defeating Whig nominee William Henry Harrison. Van Buren became the third incumbent Vice President to be elected president, which didn't happen again until George H.W. Bush won in 1988. It was a major election in terms of solidifying the United States' two-party system.

[Pictured: Martin Van Buren.]

#14. 1948: Harry Truman vs. Thomas Dewey
Keystone / Getty Images

#14. 1948: Harry Truman vs. Thomas Dewey

- Winner: Harry Truman (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 303 of 531 (57.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 24,179,347 (49.6%)
- Runner-up: Thomas Dewey (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 189 of 531 (35.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 21,969,170 (45%)
- Voter turnout: 52.2%

In one of the United States' greatest election upsets, incumbent Democratic President Harry S. Truman defeated Republican candidate Thomas Dewey. Although Dewey was overwhelmingly predicted to win because of Truman's low approval ratings, he went on to achieve the Democratic party's fifth consecutive presidential win.

[Pictured: American President, Harry S Truman smiles and waves to the excited Kansas City crowd after hearing the news that he had won the United States elections and retained the presidency, 1948.]

You may also like: From Stonewall to today: 50 years of modern LGBTQ+ history

#13. 2016: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

#13. 2016: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton

- Winner: Donald Trump (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 304 of 538 (56.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 62,984,828 (46.1%)
- Runner-up: Hillary Clinton (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 227 of 538 (42.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 65,844,610 (48.1%)
- Voter turnout: 60.2%

Republican candidate Donald Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the first woman to win her party's nomination, in the 2016 election. It was the fifth and most recent presidential election in which the winning president won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote.

[Pictured: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speak during the town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, 2016.]

#12. 1960: John F. Kennedy vs. Richard Nixon
Bettmann/Contributor / Getty Images

#12. 1960: John F. Kennedy vs. Richard Nixon

- Winner: John F. Kennedy (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 303 of 537 (56.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 34,220,984 (49.7%)
- Runner-up: Richard Nixon (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 219 of 537 (40.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 34,107,646 (49.5%)
- Voter turnout: 63.8%

In the 1960 presidential election, Democratic Senator John. F. Kennedy won over incumbent Republican Vice President Richard Nixon. It was the first election in which all 50 states participated, and the last in which the District of Columbia didn't participate. Democrats benefitted from the economic recession of 1957 to 1958, which hurt the Republican Party's reputation.

[Pictured: Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kennedy (L) and Vice President Richard M. Nixon meet here for a debate before television cameras, 1960.]

#11. 1848: Zachary Taylor vs. Lewis Cass
Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG / Getty Images

#11. 1848: Zachary Taylor vs. Lewis Cass

- Winner: Zachary Taylor (Whig)
--- Electoral votes received: 163 of 290 (56.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,360,235 (47.3%)
- Runner-up: Lewis Cass (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 127 of 290 (43.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 1,220,544 (42.5%)
- Voter turnout: 72.8%

The election of 1848 took place after the Mexican-American War, and saw Whig candidate Zachary Taylor defeat Democratic nominee Lewis Cass. He is the most recent person to win the presidency who was not part of the Democratic or Republican parties.

[Pictured: Zachary Taylor, 1848.]

#10. 1968: Richard Nixon vs. Hubert Humphrey
Washington Bureau / Getty Images

#10. 1968: Richard Nixon vs. Hubert Humphrey

- Winner: Richard Nixon (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 301 of 538 (56%)
--- Popular votes received: 31,783,783 (43.4%)
- Runner-up: Hubert Humphrey (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 191 of 538 (35.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 30,898,055 (42.7%)
- Voter turnout: 62.5%

Former Republican Vice President Richard Nixon triumphed over incumbent Democratic Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election. The election year was marked by turmoil—Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, and there was widespread opposition to the Vietnam War.

[Pictured: American politician Richard Nixon gives the 'V' for victory sign after receiving the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, Miami, Florida, 1968.]

#9. 1976: Jimmy Carter vs. Gerald Ford
Hulton Archives / Getty Images

#9. 1976: Jimmy Carter vs. Gerald Ford

- Winner: Jimmy Carter (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 297 of 538 (55.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 40,831,881 (50.1%)
- Runner-up: Gerald Ford (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 240 of 538 (44.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 39,147,770 (48%)
- Voter turnout: 54.8%

Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter won over incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford in the 1976 election. Carter was the only Democrat to win the presidency from 1968 to 1992.

[Pictured: Jimmy Carter, 1976.]

You may also like: Worst-run cities in America

#8. 1884: Grover Cleveland vs. James Blaine
Glasshouse Vintage/Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group / Getty Images

#8. 1884: Grover Cleveland vs. James Blaine

- Winner: Grover Cleveland (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 219 of 401 (54.6%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,914,482 (48.9%)
- Runner-up: James Blaine (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 182 of 401 (45.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,851,981 (48.3%)
- Voter turnout: 78.2%

In the 1884 presidential election, Democratic nominee Grover Cleveland defeated Republican candidate James G. Blaine. The election year was marked by a significant amount of mudslinging, particularly toward Cleveland for having a child out of wedlock.

[Pictured: Grover Cleveland, 1884.]

#7. 2004: George W. Bush vs. John Kerry
Matthew Cavanaugh / Getty Images

#7. 2004: George W. Bush vs. John Kerry

- Winner: George W. Bush (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 286 of 538 (53.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 62,040,610 (50.7%)
- Runner-up: John Kerry (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 251 of 538 (46.7%)
--- Popular votes received: 59,028,109 (48.3%)
- Voter turnout: 60.1%

Incumbent Republican President George W. Bush was elected to a second term in the 2004 election, winning over Democratic candidate John Kerry. Foreign policy was a central theme in the election, especially the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the War on Terrorism.

[Pictured: U.S. President George W. Bush (C) waves to the crowd during his victory speech at the Ronald Reagan Building on November 3, 2004.]

#6. 1800: Thomas Jefferson vs. John Adams
Universal History Archive / Getty Images

#6. 1800: Thomas Jefferson vs. John Adams

- Winner: Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 73 of 138 (52.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 41,330 (61.4%)
- Runner-up: John Adams (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 65 of 138 (47.1%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 32.3%

Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson defeated incumbent Federalist President John Adams in the election of 1800, after tying with his running mate Aaron Burr. The election took place in the aftermath of the Quasi-War and the French Revolution.

[Pictured: Thomas Jefferson, 1800.]

#5. 1916: Woodrow Wilson vs. Charles Evans Hughes
Tony Essex/Hulton Archive / Getty Images

#5. 1916: Woodrow Wilson vs. Charles Evans Hughes

- Winner: Woodrow Wilson (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 277 of 531 (52.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 9,126,868 (49.2%)
- Runner-up: Charles Evans Hughes (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 254 of 531 (47.8%)
--- Popular votes received: 8,538,221 (46.1%)
- Voter turnout: 61.8%

In the 1916 presidential election, incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson triumphed over Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes. It took place during a period of war, as the Mexican Revolution and World War I raged on in the background.

[Pictured: Woodrow Wilson, 1916.]

#4. 1796: John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson
Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

#4. 1796: John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson

- Winner: John Adams (Federalist)
--- Electoral votes received: 71 of 138 (51.5%)
--- Popular votes received: 35,726 (53.5%)
- Runner-up: Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 68 of 138 (49.3%)
--- Popular votes received: data not available
- Voter turnout: 20.1%

The 1796 election was the first contested American presidential election, and the only presidential election in which the elected president and vice president came from separate political parties. Incumbent Federalist Vice President John Adams won the presidency, with Democratic-Republican runner-up Thomas Jefferson becoming the Vice President.

[Pictured: John Adams.]

You may also like: Highest-paid employees in the White House

#3. 2000: George W. Bush vs. Al Gore
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP / Getty Images

#3. 2000: George W. Bush vs. Al Gore

- Winner: George W. Bush (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 271 of 538 (50.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 50,460,110 (47.9%)
- Runner-up: Al Gore (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 266 of 538 (49.4%)
--- Popular votes received: 50,999,897 (48.4%)
- Voter turnout: 54.2%

Republican nominee George W. Bush defeated incumbent Democratic Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. Bush won Florida by such a narrow margin that a recount was mandated, and led to a series of legal battles that resulted in the controversial Supreme Court decision, Bush v. Gore.

[Pictured: George W. Bush points to someone in the crowd as confetti falls while he attends a homecoming party at the Austin, Texas airport on November 6. 2000.]

#2. 1876: Rutherford Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden
Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group / Getty Images

#2. 1876: Rutherford Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden

- Winner: Rutherford Hayes (Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 185 of 369 (50.1%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,034,142 (47.9%)
- Runner-up: Samuel Tilden (Democratic)
--- Electoral votes received: 184 of 369 (49.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 4,300,590 (51%)
- Voter turnout: 82.6%

In the 1876 presidential election, Republican candidate Rutherford Hayes narrowly won over Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden. It ended with the Compromise of 1877, in which Democrats conceded the election in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from the South and an end to Reconstruction.

[Pictured: The Presidential Contest In America, Samuel Tilden, The Democratic Candidate And Rutherford Hayes, The Republic Candidate, Engraving 1876.]

#1. 1824: John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson
Library of Congress / Getty Images

#1. 1824: John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson

- Winner: John Quincy Adams (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 84 of 261 (32.2%)
--- Popular votes received: 113,142 (30.9%)
- Runner-up: Andrew Jackson (Democratic-Republican)
--- Electoral votes received: 99 of 261 (37.9%)
--- Popular votes received: 153,544 (41.3%)
- Voter turnout: 26.9%

The closest presidential election was the election of 1824, in which Democratic-Republican President John Quincy Adams triumphed over Democratic-Republican nominee Andrew Jackson. Since none of the candidates received a majority of electoral votes, the decision was made by the House of Representatives. Some historians argue that this election led to the beginning of modern U.S. politics by establishing a two-party system.

[Pictured: John Quincy Adams, 1825.]

You may also like: LGBTQ+ history before Stonewall