10 Closest Elections in the History of America

Leia Smith | 09 - 04 - 2020
10 Closest Elections in the History of America

Politicians mean it when they say every vote is valuable. There have been several instances in the past when the elections were decided by one vote. Let’s take a look at some of the closest elections in U.S history. 

Nail-Bitingly Close Election Results

  1. Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd US president, made history by being the first president to have won an election by 1 vote. Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, defeated John Adams, head of the Federal Party, to become America’s president in the year 1800. During that time, the Constitution did not define separate votes for the president and vice president. Hence, Jefferson and his mate Aaron Burr together won the election.
  2. After a long list of events, John Quincy Adams was announced the president of America by the House of Representatives in 1824. John competed against four other contestants and finally won the election by 1 vote against Adrew Jackson.
  3. James. K. Polk belonged to the Democratic Party and served his term from 1845 to 1849. Polk defeated Kentucky’s Henry Clay by a margin of one percent popular vote to become the 11th US president. 
  4. Rutherford. B. Hayes became the 19th president of the USA beating Samuel Tilden by a majority of electoral votes. Opponent Samuel Tilden lost the election in spite of gaining the nation’s popular vote. 
  5. Once again in 1960, the popular vote played a major role in electing John. F. Kennedy as the president of the United States against Richard Nixon.
  6. America’s 17th president, Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 due to the various high crimes he’d committed during his term. But, John escaped jail as he was one vote less for conviction. 
  7. Grover Cleveland was the only US president to have served two non-consecutive terms. He won the popular vote to become the president once in 1885 and again in 1893.
  8. In the 1994 Alaska gubernatorial election, Tony Knowles won by a very close margin against Republican Jim Campbell to become the Governor of the state.
  9. George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election in a very low margin of 537 votes. In spite of losing the popular vote to Democrat nominee Al Gore, Bush went on to become the 43rd American president. This is considered one of the closest US elections to date. 
  10. Again in 2004, George W. Bush became the president of the US by competing against John Kerry. It wasn’t a single-vote win yet the margin was too low.

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