Republicans and Democrats


 “The Great Political Juggle”
  Cartoonist:  Unknown
  Source:  The Rail Splitter (Cincinnati)
  Date:   August 1, 1860, p. 3

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon from the Cincinnati Rail Splitter correctly identifies the real presidential contest as the Electoral College state-by-state tally, not the national popular vote. Three of the presidential nominees juggle balls labeled with state names. Meanwhile, Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas (foreground) is hit on the head with his own “squatter democracy”—a mocking name for “popular sovereignty,” or the policy of territorial voters deciding the status of slavery without interference from the federal government. The cartoon predicts that Douglas would win no states in the November election, Republican Abraham Lincoln (center) would win all the free states except for California, and that Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge (left) and Constitutional Unionist John Bell (right) would split the slave states, with Bell winning twice the number as Breckinridge (10 to 5, with Breckinridge also taking California).

In fact, Lincoln did win 17 of the 18 free states, but captured California and lost New Jersey, for an Electoral College majority of 180. Breckinridge bested Bell in the slave states, winning 11 of 15, including all of the Deep South and the Border States of Maryland and Delaware, for a total of 71 electoral votes. Bell won the Border States of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, for a total of 39. Douglas took the nine electoral votes of the Border State of Missouri. He also defeated Lincoln in New Jersey by over 4500 popular votes (52%-48%), but four of the electors cast their ballots for Lincoln and only three for Douglas, giving the Northern Democratic nominee an Electoral College total of 12. Therefore, the artist’s prediction of the numerical distribution of the Electoral College vote was fairly accurate, except he reversed the order for Breckinridge and Bell.













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