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Well,… Not Exactly

August 25, 2014

Last week we categorically stated that Abraham Lincoln received the lowest popular vote percentage of any President.  However, if we consider Presidents who did not win re-election, many still lower percentages can be mentioned.

In 1860 Lincoln received 39.8% of the vote but still won in the Electoral College.

Incumbent Herbert Hoover received 39.7% of the vote in 1932 and lost.  Incumbent George H. W. Bush received 38% of the 1992 vote and lost.

In 1912 former President Theodore Roosevelt received only 27.4% of the vote, but incumbent President William H. Taft received only 23.3%.  They both lost.

In 1856 former President Fillmore received only 21.6% of the popular vote.  He obviously lost.  Eight years earlier former President Van Buren, who had lost his 1840 bid for re-election, received only 10% of the 1848 vote.

So, we can now revise our statement to say that Lincoln received the lowest popular vote percentage of any President who won their particular election.  That would be true,… but not exactly.  One additional qualification is needed.

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