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U.S. presidential election, 1796


President: John Adams, (Massachusetts, Federalist)
Vice President Thomas Jefferson
Main Opponent: Thomas Jefferson (Virginia, Democratic-Republican)
Electoral Vote: Winner: 71 Main Opponent: 68 Total/Majority: 138/69
Popular Vote: no record
Votes for Others: Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina (59), Aaron Burr of New York (30), Samuel Adams of Massachusetts (15), Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut (11), George Clinton of New York (7), John Jay of New York (5), James Iredell of North Carolina (3), Samuel Johnston of North Carolina (2), George Washington of Virginia (2), John Henry of Maryland (2), Charles C. Pinckney of South Carolina (1)
Federalists: John Adams, Thomas Pinckney
Republicans: Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr
Other elections1789, 1792, 1796, 1800, 1804, 1808, 1812
Source: U.S. Office of the Federal Register

This election was the first to expose problems in the system of the the U.S. Electoral College. Thomas Jefferson actually ran for President with Aaron Burr as his running mate for Vice President, whilst Thomas Pinckney as John Adams' running mate. However electors had at this time no way of distinguishing between Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. There were many rumours that Southern electors pledged to Jefferson had been coerced to give their second vote to Thomas Pinckney (a fellow Southerner) in the hope of electing him President instead of Adams. As a consequence many electors pledged to Adams refused to use their second vote. Consequently Jefferson overtook Pinckney to come second.

The problems arising from this election, and from the 1800 were to lead to the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

See also: President of the United States, U.S. presidential election, 1796, History of the United States (1776-1865)