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United States presidential election, 1804

United States presidential election, 1804

November 2 – December 5, 1804

All 176 electoral votes of the Electoral College
89 electoral votes needed to win
Nominee Thomas Jefferson Charles C. Pinckney
Party Democratic-Republican Federalist
Home state Virginia South Carolina
Running mate George Clinton Rufus King
Electoral vote 162 14
States carried 15 2
Popular vote 104,110 38,919
Percentage 72.8% 27.2%

Presidential election results map. Green denotes states won by Jefferson, dark green denotes states won by Pinckney. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Thomas Jefferson

Elected President

Thomas Jefferson

The United States presidential election of 1804 was the 5th quadrennial presidential election. It was held from Friday, November 2 to Wednesday, December 5, 1804. It pitted incumbent Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson against Federalist Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Jefferson easily defeated Pinckney in the first presidential election conducted following the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment, presidential electors were required to specify in their votes their choice for George Clinton was elected vice-president and went on to serve under both Jefferson and his successor, James Madison.

Jefferson's 45.6 percentage point victory margin remains the highest victory margin in a presidential election in which there were multiple major party candidates. With this election, Jefferson became the first former Vice President in American history to be elected and reelected, a feat that has since been repeated only once, by Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972.


  • Background 1
  • Nominations 2
    • Democratic-Republican Party nomination 2.1
      • Presidential candidates 2.1.1
      • Vice-Presidential candidates 2.1.2
      • Balloting 2.1.3
    • Federalist Party nomination 2.2
      • Presidential candidates 2.2.1
      • Vice-Presidential candidates 2.2.2
  • General election 3
    • Results 3.1
  • Electoral college selection 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Although the 1800 election was a close one, Jefferson steadily gained popularity during his term. American trade boomed due to the temporary suspension of hostilities during the French Revolutionary Wars in Europe, and the Louisiana Purchase was heralded as a great achievement.


Democratic-Republican Party nomination

The caucus of Republicans in Congress selected the ticket. Jefferson's renomination was never in any real doubt, with the real issue being seen as who would they would nominate to replace disgraced vice president Thomas Jefferson (Virginia), President of the United States

Vice-Presidential candidates


Presidential Ballot Total Vice-Presidential Ballot Total
Thomas Jefferson 108 George Clinton 67
John Breckinridge 20
Levi Lincoln 9
John Langdon 7
Gideon Granger 4
William Maclay 1

Federalist Party nomination

The Federalists chose Pinckney and former United States Senator Rufus King of New York to run against Jefferson and Clinton.

Presidential candidates

Vice-Presidential candidates

General election

Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage of the winning candidate in each county. Shades of blue are for Jefferson (Democratic-Republican) and shades of yellow are for Pinckney (Federalist).

Attacks on Jefferson's policies proved fruitless; Jefferson's victory was overwhelming. He even won most of the states in the Federalist stronghold of New England.


Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b) Electoral
Running mate
Count Pct Vice-presidential candidate Home state Elect. vote
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Virginia 104,110 72.8% 162 George Clinton New York 162
Charles C. Pinckney Federalist South Carolina 38,919 27.2% 14 Rufus King New York 14
Total 143,029 100% 176 176
Needed to win 89 89

Source (Popular Vote): U.S. President National Vote. Our Campaigns. (February 10, 2006).
Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 30, 2005).

(a) Only 11 of the 17 states chose electors by popular vote.
(b) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.

Electoral college selection

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
Each Elector appointed by state legislature Connecticut
New York
South Carolina
Each Elector chosen by voters statewide New Hampshire
New Jersey
Rhode Island
State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Kentucky
North Carolina
  • Two Electors chosen by voters statewide
  • One Elector chosen per Congressional district in a statewide vote

See also


  • "A Historical Analysis of the Electoral College". The Green Papers. Retrieved March 20, 2005. 
  • A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787-1825
  • Presidential Election of 1804: A Resource Guide from the Library of Congress
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