Skip to main content

Popular Vote Is Overridden By The Electoral College


For the first time the winner of the popular vote does not become the President. In a multiple candidate race, Andrew Jackson receives 41 percent of the popular vote, more than his opponents but less than a majority. Four candidates receive electoral votes, but none has enough to constitute a majority. The House of Representatives then meets to decide the winner. House rules call for a vote on the top three contenders from the Electoral College, Speaker Henry Clay, who comes in fourth, is removed from consideration. Clay throws his support to John Quincy Adams, who has come in second to Jackson. When the House picks Adams as President, Adams appoints Clay secretary of state. Jackson and his supporters call this a “corrupt bargain.”