1860 Presidential Election

The 1860 Presidential Election held on November 6, 1860 was a crucial one in the period leading up to the Civil War. It was the last US Presidential Election in which Virginia would participate until after the war. There were four parties represented in the election with candidates and results as follows:

Presidential Candidate Electoral Votes States Won Percent of Popular Vote
Republican Abraham Lincoln 180 18 39.8%
Southern Democratic John Breckenridge 72 11 18.1%
Northern Democratic Stephen Douglas 12 2 29.3%
Constitutional Union John Bell 39 3 12.6%

Although John Breckenridge won much of the state, Virginia, overall, was won by the Constitutional Union Party which also won Kentucky and Tennessee. The Constitutional Union party which contained supporters of the former Whig and “know-nothing” parties, sidestepping the more controversial issues of the day, such as slavery, advocated compromise to save the Union with the slogan, “The Union as it is, and the Constitution as it is.” For more details on the election click on 1860 Presidential Election.