United States elections, 1876

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The 1876 United States general elections were held on November 7. In one of the most disputed presidential elections in American history, Rutherford B. Hayes ended up winning despite Samuel J. Tilden earning a majority of the popular vote. The Republicans also picked up 33 seats in the House. However, the Democrats picked up three seats in the Senate.


The 1876 presidential election was heavily contested. Democrat Samuel J. Tilden outpolled Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, and had 184 electoral votes to Hayes' 165, with 20 votes uncounted. These 20 electoral votes were in dispute: in three states (Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina), each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon one elector was declared illegal (as an "elected or appointed official") and replaced.

To resolve this dispute, Congress formed the Electoral Commission, a temporary body to investigate these electoral votes. Eventually, this commission awarded the electoral votes to Hayes after a bitter legal and political battle, giving him the victory.

United States Senate[edit]

The Democrats gained three net seats in the Senate. Since this election was held prior to ratification of the seventeenth amendment, these seats were chosen by the State legislatures.

United States House of Representatives[edit]

The Republicans picked up a net gain of 33 seats in the House, but it was not enough as the Democrats maintain their majority, 155–136 (not included two seats held by independents).