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From Candidate to Kingmaker

September 9, 2014

In the general election Andrew Jackson received 43.1% of the vote, almost as much as the combined percentages of the second and third place finishers.  Although he led in the Electoral College, he did not have a majority.  According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives would now determine the winner.  Surely, Jackson thought, they would vote for him.

In 1824 the candidates were, in alphabetical order, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, William Crawford, and Andrew Jackson.  Despite serious health problems in 1823, Crawford was nominated by the national caucus.  The other candidates were nominated by state caucuses.

In the general election Clay had more popular votes than the ailing Crawford, but since Clay had received the fewest Electoral votes, he would not be considered when the House met on February 9, 1825.  Although Clay could not become President, his support could help determine which of the three remaining candidates would win.

On January 9, 1825 Clay met with Adams for a “confidential interview.”

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