Presidential Election Facts

Introduction

With more than two centuries’ worth of U.S. presidential elections, the historical ledger is filled with an array of facts. For example, when Barack Obama was named the 44th president, he was really only the 43rd president because Grover Cleveland is counted twice. And with Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution stating that a citizen has to be at least 35 years old to become president, John F. Kennedy came the closest to that limit by earning election at age 43. Learn about the only bachelor to be elected president, the four candidates to have won the popular vote and lost the election and more.

The 2000 election was not the first time a candidate won the popular vote but lost the election. It has happened four times in our nation’s history:

  • In 1824 Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but got less then 50% of the electoral votes. John Quincy Adams became the next president when he was picked by the House of Representatives.
  • In 1876 Samuel Tilden won the popular vote but lost the election when Rutherford B. Hayes got 185 electoral votes to Tilden’s 184.
  • In 1888 Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the election when Benjamin Harrison got 233 electoral votes to Cleveland’s 168.
  • In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George Bush. In the most highly contested election in modern history, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount of ballots, giving Bush the state’s 25 electoral votes for a total of 271 to Gore’s 255.

Grover Cleveland was elected president (1884) then lost his re-election campaign (1888) and came back again to win the presidency for a second time. (1892)

Barack Obama is the nation’s 44rd president but in reality there have only been 43 presidents. Grover Cleveland is counted twice as our 22nd and 24th president because he was elected for two nonconsecutive terms.

Only 12 U.S. Presidents have been elected to office for two terms and served those two terms. Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to office four terms prior to the Twenty-second Amendment.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution has only three requirements for a president. (1) Must be at least 35 years old, (2) have lived in the United States at least 14 years, and (3) be a natural-born citizen.

John Kennedy is the youngest elected U.S. President at 43.Ronald Reagan is the oldest elected U.S. President at 73. (second term)

The only President and Vice President to never be elected to the office was Gerald Ford. He became vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned and became president when Nixon resigned.

The tallest U.S. President was Abraham Lincoln at 6’4″The shortest U.S. President was James Madison at 5’4″

Percent wise – the 1992 election was the biggest turnout since 1972 with 61.3 percent off the voter age population heading to the polls.

James Buchanan is the only bachelor to be elected president.

Eight presidents have died in office.

  • William Henry Harrison (pneumonia)
  • Zachary Taylor (gastroenteritis)
  • Abraham Lincoln (assassin)
  • James Garfield (assassin)
  • William McKinley (assassin)
  • Warren Harding (heart attack)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (cerebral hemorrhage)
  • John F. Kennedy (assassin)

Ronald Reagan is the only divorced man to be elected president.

James Monroe received every electoral vote but one in the 1820 election. A New Hampshire delegate wanted George Washington to be the only president elected unanimously.

The U.S. Marine band has played at every presidential inauguration since 1801.

President John Tyler is believed to be the first to use “Hail to the Chief” as the official Presidential honors.

President Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe but took his stepfather’s last name when his mother remarried. He formally changed his name to William Jefferson Clinton when he was 15.

Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President in 1872.

Jeanette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress in 1916.

John Mercer Langston became the first elected black politician in the United States in 1855 when he was elected Town Clerk in Brownhelm, Ohio.

Twelve of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence were thirty-five years or younger.

Martin Van Buren was the first natural-born American to become president in 1837. Each of the seven previous presidents were born as British subjects.Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution states; Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Article Details:

Presidential Election Facts

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    Presidential Election Facts

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/presidential-election-facts

  • Access Date

    August 23, 2014

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks