As we approach what is likely to be a close and highly contested election, I would like to draw everyone's attention to the United States Presidential Election of 1876. I think it's a good time to see just how bad an election can get, and how it can go afterwards.
Let's start with a fun fact. The winner of the popular vote did not win the electoral college. Even though he won a *majority* of the popular vote. Only time in history that's ever happened.

It's also the slimmest electoral victory ever: 185-184. But wait, there's more!
Voter fraud and voter intimidation were *rampant*. I mean, super rampant. Like "South Carolina reported 101% more votes tallied than eligible voters in the state" rampant.

Many ballots there were printed with the Republican symbol (LINCOLN'S HEAD!) beside the Democrat candidate.
The Democrats declared victory in SC, but the Republican-controlled election commission invalidated enough ballots to hand the Republicans a win. Threats of violence broke out--and some actual violence, too! More on that in a minute.
In Florida and Louisiana, each party officially declared their own candidate the winner. The returns favored the Democrat, but the Republicans managed to get their official certification signed by the governors of those state. Meanwhile in Oregon...
One of Oregon's 3 electors (all Republican) was declared invalid, as he held public office in violation of the US Constitution. The governor replaced him with a Democrat elector. The two R electors reported 3 votes for their candidate. The D elector reported 2 R votes, 1 D vote.
Are you getting a feel for the abject chaos of the 1876 election? Well hold on to your butts because we're just getting started!
This left us with 165 uncontested EVs for the Republican, and 184 uncontested EVs for the Democrat, with 20 EVs contested (between FL, LA, SC, OR), but tentatively marked for the Republican candidate.
The Republican was Rutherford B. Hayes. The Democrat, Samuel J. Tilden.

Chaos continued to swell. People marched on Hayes' house. He was shot at.

Kentucky threatened to send 100k troops to attack Washington, D.C.

Grant (the sitting president) massed troops in DC for defense
When it came time to actually count the electoral votes, Congress couldn't decide how to proceed with the 20 disputed votes. Republicans argued the President of the Senate got to count. Democrats cried foul, since the President of the Senate was a Republican.
Instead the Democrats wanted the House to count. The House had a strong Democrat-majority. All they had to do was toss 1-2 of Hayes' votes and we'd have President Tilden. Republicans cried foul.


Because this was a true constitutional crisis.
After much debate and growling and rioting and murmuring, Congress finally decided to set up a fifteen member Electoral Commission to settle the result. This group consisted of 5 members from each chamber of Congress plus 5 Supreme Court justices.
The selection process resulted in 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and the 5 Justices.

Inauguration Day was March 5th, 1877. The Electoral Commission met on January 31st. Running out of time!
Ultimately they decided in favor of Hayes for all 20 disputed votes, giving him a 185-184 electoral victory. Democrats did not want this. They were still threatening violence and more. So a compromise was reached.
Get the Federal troops out of the southern states and they'll accept Hayes as president.

In other words, end post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Everyone agreed. The Electoral Commission adjourned on March 2nd. Hayes was sworn in right on time.
I don't think things will get to this level in 2020. I think we'll have a clear winner. But just wanted everyone to see that we've had unclear winners before, rampant fraud, violence in the streets... and we pulled through it.

I'd wager most of you never even knew this happened.

Upon his defeat, Tilden said, "I can retire to public life with the consciousness that I shall receive from posterity the credit of having been elected to the highest position in the gift of the people, without any of the cares and responsibilities of the office."

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Staunch Curmudgeon

Staunch Curmudgeon Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @StaunchCon

16 Oct
Nobody seems to be polling Ohio anymore. I suspect it doesn't matter--it won't be close there.
Likewise Texas polling is very stale. Probably for similar reasons. I get the liberal hopes, but it ain't happening this round. If I squint, I can *maybe* see Texas going blue in 2024. But definitely not yet.
Iowa also stale. Also because it's a lock for Trump. I'm not sure why it's even considered in doubt.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
I've been calling FL for Trump for a while now, despite how polling looked at any given moment. This isn't definitive, obviously, but the trends should be worrying Biden...
Voter registration in FL has been utterly dominated by the GOP since 2016 as well. The Democrats have lost almost all ground they had since then, and it was already a Trump win back then. I think Biden should abandon FL at this point. But who knows.
Likewise, I think Trump should probably abandon Arizona at this point. I don't see it happening there for him.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
I am not convinced this new hunter Biden story is worth anyone’s time of day. But that’s no reason for social media to block it. How many bullshit Trump stories get amplified here?
By choosing to block this story—and then doubling down by blocking the NY Post’s account—the social media “we are not a publisher” plea has been set on fire and shoved down the stairs.
Social media was instrumental in many ways to getting info out that was unpopular with the normal information gatekeepers. Everything from American politics to resistance movements worldwide.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Something that keeps happening in this hearing from the left, and I want to try and point out why it's insane.

They ask questions like "Would you agree that it was wrong for Bob to murder Harriet?"

She can't responsibly do that.


Yeah, and... /1
If they asked "Do you believe that murder is wrong?" then she could accurately answer "Yes, of course."

But once they present a specific hypothetical to her, she can't rule on it. You'd need to see the actual case presented with actual facts before you could draw a conclusion./2
Asking "Do you think Donald Trump can pardon himself?" is a bad question. Who knows? Depends on the circumstances, on the case as presented, on the facts disclosed. /3
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!