United States presidential election, 1804

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United States presidential election, 1804
United States
1800 ←
November 2 – December 5, 1804 → 1808

All 176 electoral votes of the Electoral College
89 electoral votes needed to win
  Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800.jpg CharlesCPinckney.png
Nominee Thomas Jefferson Charles C. Pinckney
Party Democratic-Republican Federalist
Home state Virginia South Carolina
Running mate George Clinton Rufus King
Electoral vote 162 14
States carried 15 2
Popular vote 104,110 38,919
Percentage 72.8% 27.2%


Presidential election results map. Green denotes states won by Jefferson, dark green denotes states won by Pinckney. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Thomas Jefferson

Elected President

Thomas Jefferson

The United States presidential election of 1804 was the 5th quadrennial presidential election. It was held from Friday, November 2 to Wednesday, December 5, 1804. It pitted incumbent Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson against Federalist Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Jefferson easily defeated Pinckney in the first presidential election conducted following the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Under the rules of the Twelfth Amendment, presidential electors were required to specify in their votes their choice for president and vice president; previously, electors voted only for president, with the person who came in second becoming the vice-president. George Clinton was elected vice-president and went on to serve under both Jefferson and his successor, James Madison.

Jefferson's 45.6 percentage point victory margin remains the highest victory margin in a presidential election in which there were multiple major party candidates. With this election, Jefferson became the first former Vice President in American history to be elected and reelected, a feat that has since been repeated only once, by Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972.


Although the 1800 election was a close one, Jefferson steadily gained popularity during his term. American trade boomed due to the temporary suspension of hostilities during the French Revolutionary Wars in Europe, and the Louisiana Purchase was heralded as a great achievement.


Democratic-Republican Party nomination[edit]

The caucus of Republicans in Congress selected the ticket. Jefferson's renomination was never in any real doubt, with the real issue being seen as who would they would nominate to replace disgraced vice president Aaron Burr. Burr would likely have been dropped from the ticket anyway due to his relationship with Jefferson having largely collapsed, but the Burr–Hamilton duel well and truly ended any renomination hopes. Governor George Clinton of New York was chosen to be Jefferson's running mate.

Presidential candidates[edit]

Vice-Presidential candidates[edit]


Presidential Ballot Total Vice-Presidential Ballot Total
Thomas Jefferson 108 George Clinton 67
John Breckinridge 20
Levi Lincoln 9
John Langdon 7
Gideon Granger 4
William Maclay 1

Federalist Party nomination[edit]

The Federalists chose Pinckney and former United States Senator Rufus King of New York to run against Jefferson and Clinton.

Presidential candidates[edit]

Vice-Presidential candidates[edit]

General election[edit]

Results by county explicitly indicating the percentage of the winning candidate in each county. Shades of blue are for Jefferson (Democratic-Republican) and shades of yellow are for Pinckney (Federalist).

Attacks on Jefferson's policies proved fruitless; Jefferson's victory was overwhelming. He even won most of the states in the Federalist stronghold of New England.


Presidential candidate Party Home state Popular vote(a), (b) Electoral
Running mate
Count Pct Vice-presidential candidate Home state Elect. vote
Thomas Jefferson (Incumbent) Democratic-Republican Virginia 104,110 72.8% 162 George Clinton New York 162
Charles C. Pinckney Federalist South Carolina 38,919 27.2% 14 Rufus King New York 14
Total 143,029 100% 176 176
Needed to win 89 89

Source (Popular Vote): U.S. President National Vote. Our Campaigns. (February 10, 2006).
Source (Electoral Vote): Electoral College Box Scores 1789–1996. Official website of the National Archives. (July 30, 2005).

(a) Only 11 of the 17 states chose electors by popular vote.
(b) Those states that did choose electors by popular vote had widely varying restrictions on suffrage via property requirements.

Electoral college selection[edit]

Method of choosing Electors State(s)
Each Elector appointed by state legislature Connecticut
New York
South Carolina
Each Elector chosen by voters statewide New Hampshire
New Jersey
Rhode Island
State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district Kentucky
North Carolina
  • Two Electors chosen by voters statewide
  • One Elector chosen per Congressional district in a statewide vote

See also[edit]