The presidential candidates and their political parties, number of electoral and popular votes received, and vice presidential candidates for every election from 1789 to 2008 are listed below, in reverse chronological order. Every candidate that received either more than 100,000 popular votes or at least one electoral vote has been included.
Please note that there is no official federal record of popular votes cast in presidential elections because the information is compiled by each state, so the totals vary across different sources. ProCon.org used data provided by the National Archives and Records Administration when possible, and supplemented the missing information with data from Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections and the Federal Elections Commission. The data were corroborated with other sources including the New York Times, CNN, and PresidentElect.org. While the sites had discrepencies in the numbers provided for the popular vote totals, all reported totals were within 1% of each other.
*Reagan was not in the race; a sole elector from Washington gave him a vote.
Gerald Ford* (38th)
*Nixon resigned as President Aug. 9, 1974. He was succeeded by Gerald Ford.
**Rockefeller became Vice President under the provisions of the 25th Amendment: "Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."
*Harrison died of pneumonia on Apr. 4, 1841. He was succeeded by John Tyler, who became the first Vice President to be elevated to the office of President by the death of his predecessor.
**There was no formal process for appointing a replacement Vice President until 1967, when the 25th Amendment was ratified.
William Henry Harrison (9th)
Martin Van Buren
John Tyler (234)*
Richard Johnson (48)
L. W. Tazewell (11)
James K. Polk (1)
*From 1800 to 1840, candidates for President and Vice President ran on separate tickets, resulting in different electoral votes for each office. The number of electoral votes received by each VP candidate is noted in parentheses.
Martin Van Buren (8th)
William H. Harrison
Hugh L. White
William P. Mangum
Richard Johnson (147)
Francis Granger (77)
John Tyler (47)
William Smith (23)
Andrew Jackson (7th)
Martin Van Buren (189)
John Sergeant (49)
William Wilkens (30)
Henry Lee (30)
*The tie between Jefferson and Burr was broken by the House of Representatives.
**1800 was the last election before the ratification of the 12th Amendment, which changed the method by which the Vice President was chosen. Prior to 1804, the presidential candidate with the second highest number of electoral votes was appointed as Vice President.
John Adams (2nd)
Charles C. Pinckney
*Visit our page on Political Parties for information on current and historical US political parties.
**The number of electoral votes apportioned to each State corresponds to the number of US Representatives and Senators in each State. The allotment of electoral votes changes every 10 years depending on the results of the US Census. Visit our page on How to Become the US President for more information on the electoral college.
The first presidential election took place in 1789. There have been 56 presidential elections and 44 Presidents in US history.
In the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both received 73 electoral votes. Since neither candidate had a majority, the election was turned over to the House of Representatives. Alexander Hamilton intervened in support of Jefferson to break a deadlock in the House of Representatives. This action contributed to the famous duel between Burr and Hamilton that took place four years later, in which Hamilton was killed.
A presidential candidate has won the election despite losing the popular vote four times in US history: 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000. In 1824, John Quincy Adams lost both the popular and the electoral vote, but the House of Representatives decided the outcome of the election because his opponent failed to secure a majority of electoral votes.
The shortest presidency in the history of the office was served by William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia on Apr. 4, 1841, just 31 days into his term.
Grover Cleveland was elected as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, making him the only President to serve two nonconsecutive terms.
Incumbents have run in 30 of the 56 presidential elections in US history. The incumbent won 20 times and lost 10 times.
The Constitution did not originally contain term limits. The 22nd Amendment, ratified in 1951, restricted presidents to a maximum of two terms. Four-time president Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only candidate to be elected more than twice (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944).
14 Vice Presidents have become President; 5 were elected, and 8 succeeded Presidents that died in office. Gerald Ford, who became president when Nixon resigned, was the only person to serve as both President and Vice President without being elected to either office.
There have been 538 electoral votes in each presidential election since 1960. A candidate must win a majority of those votes (270) to win the election.