Lincoln Reelected

Tuesday, November 8, 1864

1863 photograph of President Lincoln, taken by Alexander Gardner. Courtesy of Christie's.

President Abraham Lincoln is reelected, although his victory in the election was anything but assured earlier in the year. The Union's strategic advantages have mounted with victories at Gettysburg, the Chattanooga Campaign, and the Overland Campaign, but years of Civil War continue to undermine Northern morale and support for continuing the war. Lincoln is opposed by his former general, George McClellan, who runs on the Democratic ticket. The "Copperhead" Democrats adopt a platform of negotiating peace with the Confederacy, even though McClellan himself still wants to continue the war. After the fall of Atlanta in September 1864, the withdrawal of John C. Frémont as a Radical Republican candidate, and with the Northern Democrats divided, Lincoln's reelection is finally secured. He runs on the National Union Party ticket (a temporarily rebranding of the Republican Party to unify Northern War Democrats with the Republicans), and he carries the popular vote by 55 percent to McClellan's 45 percent. Electoral votes from the Confederacy or from the captured Southern states of Louisiana and Tennessee do not apply in the election.

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