THE presidential election of 2020 could turn out be one of the closest in the history.
This year’s incredibly tight race for the White House now hinges on the Midwest and Rust Belt states, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
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George Washington won the first United States presidential election with 100 per cent of the vote – hardly surprising since he was the only candidate.
But since that damp squib, the quirks of the American presidential system have thrown up some cliff hangers.
The website Stacker has now 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.
It has incorporated the 1789-2016 presidential election data from 270toWin, Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Elections, and United States Election Project to come up with its list.
#1 1824: John Quincy Adams vs. Andrew Jackson
The closest – and probably the weirdest – 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 four candidates received a majority of electoral votes, the decision was made by the House of Representatives.
#2 1876: Rutherford Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden
Republican candidate Rutherford Hayes narrowly won over Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden in one of the most controversial elections in US history.
Tilden had won 184 electoral votes to Hayes's 165, with 20 votes from four states unresolved.
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.
#3 2000: George W. Bush vs. Al Gore
The daddy – the one that everyone remembers and is hoping never happens again.
Republican George W. Bush defeated incumbent Democratic Vice President Al Gore after and infamous battle over ‘hanging chads’.
Bush won Florida by such a narrow margin that a recount was mandated and the question of what really counts as a vote – a clear hole in a ballot paper, or a bulge – was hotly debated.
This led to a series of legal battles that resulted in the controversial Supreme Court decision, Bush v. Gore.
Bush took 50.4 of the Electoral College and 47.9 per cent of the popular vote to his rival’s 49.4 per cent and 48.4 per cent.
# 4 1796: John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson
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 51.5 per cent of the popular vote and 53.5 per cent of the Electoral College.
Democratic-Republican runner-up Thomas Jefferson become the Vice President.
#5 1916: Woodrow Wilson vs. Charles Evans Hughes
In the 1916 presidential election, incumbent Democratic President Woodrow Wilson triumphed over Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes.
Wilson – who stood on a platform of keeping American out of World War I won 52.2 per cent of the Electoral College and 49.2 per cent of the popular vote.
America entered the war the following year.
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