Thursday, February 9 — On this date in 1825, our most unusual presidential election was held; with the winner receiving just 13 votes to the runner-up’s seven, and four to the third-place finisher. The election held in November 1824 saw only 353,000 votes cast, out of a population of about 10 million residents. Andrew Jackson won a plurality of 43 percent in the four-way race. But Jackson received only 99 of the 131 electoral votes needed to win. So the matter went to the House of Representatives, as called for in the Constitution. Voting was done by the 24 state delegations, and John Quincy Adams won the 13 state votes he needed. In contrast, nearly 133 million Americans cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election, with a much more definitive outcome.
Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.