Talk:United States presidential election, 1820

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Please see Wikipedia:Style for U.S. presidential election, yyyy for standards for all "U.S. presidential election, yyyy" pages.

Single vote myth[edit]

Monroe ran virtually unopposed, though a single vote for John Quincy Adams (then Secretary of State) was cast by one elector. (The belief that this was to ensure that George Washington remained the only president elected unanimously by the U.S. Electoral College seems to be a myth.)

What's the evidence for this being a myth or not? Timrollpickering 21:48, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Apparently, the guy just really hated Monroe. Or that's what I've sources available at present. john k 22:04, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Federalist vice presidential candidates[edit]

The article says that no Federalist candidates were nominated to either President or Vice President, but the table shows several Federalists under the Vice Presidential category. Am I missing something? One-dimensional Tangent 17:23, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In the election of 1820, Federalist Electors were chosen in MA and MD and perhaps elsewhere. They voted for Monroe for President and other Federalists for VP. Former Pres. John Adams was chosen as a Federalist Elector in MA and voted for Monroe. The popular vote (per Phil Lampi of the American Antiquarian Society etal.) was Monroe 87,343; Federalist Electors 17,465; DeWitt Clinton (Independent slate of Electors in Philadelphia) 1,893; and Independent Electors 1,658. Chronicler3 13:47, 8 February 2006 (UTC) Chronicler3

I have tried to clarify what happened in the article. I have also added the Our Campaigns figures to the results table.

DLJessup (talk) 16:08, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Missouri Electoral Vote[edit]

I understand the reasoning behind excluding Missouri's three electoral votes from the totals in this race. However, the totals have been reported as 231-1 ever since 1820. In cases like this, I would argue that it is preferable to include a footnote which states something to the effect that the total should be 228 because the vote of Missouri shouldn't have been included.

This, of course, brings to the surface other uncounted states such as TN, LA, and AR in 1864, and AR 1872 in addition to states which should not have been counted, such as IN 1816 and MI 1836. Chronicler3 22:11, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Elements of style[edit]

There was a dispute as to whether Missouri's electoral votes were valid, due to the timing of its assumption of statehood. The first figure excludes Missouri's votes and the second figure includes them.

As to whether -> whether

For me, it seems slightly bizarre sounding but I think that is because the clause "as to whether" has become so frequent it has almost become idiom.

--SamF 09:35, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Numbers don't add up[edit]

I've tried to add the number of electoral votes on the map several times and I always get 233, not 232 Fornadan (t) 00:10, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

On a related note (regarding the map), I believe that Illinois had 3 votes and Maine 9, not vice versa. Cheers, Commonmen (talk) 14:52, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

PA, MS, and TN each had one uncounted vote (because the elector died). The traditional count of 231-1 is total votes cast. The map currently showing on the page uses that number for PA and MS, but counts total electors for TN. To be consistent, TN should show 7. Chronicler3's map, linked below, is correct. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iglew (talkcontribs) 05:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Now the numbers in the map only add up to 227 (230, counting Missouri). The numbers should add up to 229 (232, counting Missouri). As a second issue I have with the map, it doesn't clarify whether the "1" next to New Hampshire's "7" indicates "1 against Monroe out of 7 total" or "1 against Monroe and 7 for Monroe". After much combing of the internet, I managed to stumble across a footnote on the Wikipedia article "Electoral vote changes between United States presidential elections", that reads, "Monroe received only 7 of New Hampshire's 8 electoral votes in 1820." This claim, however, has absolutely zero backing sources. Lionboy-Renae (talk) 10:50, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

It is standard for "United States presidential election, yyyy" maps to have split electoral votes documented as seen with New Hampshire's total. However, I have revised the incorrect tallies for Tennessee and Maryland. As Iglew noted, the Tennessee count incorrectly included the elector who died before casting his vote. When I originally adapted the 1816 map for the 1920 election, I neglected to update Maryland's tally. Only 8 electors cast votes from Maryland in 1916, but fully 11 electors cast votes in 1820. The undercount explains why Lionboy-Renae's count was coming up 2 short. I apologize for the confusion. –Cg-realms (talkcontribs) 15:09, 23 February 2011 (EST)
Maine is also inaccurate. Maine had 9 electoral votes in 1820, not 3! XinaNicole (talk) 01:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Updated election map[edit]

I corrected the map, but I can't figure out how to upload it at Wiki Commons. The map is here in case anyone wants to post it: . Chronicler3 (talk) 21:48, 3 August 2008 (UTC)


This article could use a general clean-up for continuity. Some information is duplicated in different sections, and it wasn't clear to me which section was the best place to add new information. Iglew (talk) 07:17, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

John Quincy Adams[edit]

Adams should be in the top Infobox, as he received 1 electoral vote & thus was the runner-up. GoodDay (talk) 16:02, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I see no reason for him not to be shown. Timmeh! 20:49, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Electoral college numbers don't match[edit]

The electoral votes in this article do not match each other. The map in the infobox shows Monroe with 231 electoral votes, but the infobox itself only gives him 228. Is there some reason for this? If so, I can't see it. Timmeh! 20:48, 30 November 2008 (UTC)


Is the infobox appropriate for this article? Adams did not run and was not actually a candidate; the electoral vote which he got was a protest vote which happened to go to him. I would just remove the infobox entirely. If we must have an infobox, then I suggest we use one in the style of the 1789 and 1792 elections, with just one candidate. KarlFrei (talk) 09:15, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

The infobox is a definite standard for all articles about United States presidential elections. I think it should be left as is. Andy120290 (talk) 22:52, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the infobox is standard, but there was only one candidate, as in 1789 and 1792. Adams just happened to get a vote. Hence, this infobx gives the wrong impression, and therefore Adams should be removed... KarlFrei (talk) 12:03, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I strongly disagree that there is no infobox for the presidential electoral vote count. The purpose of the box is to provide the result of the election at a glance, and the fact is that Monroe got 228/231 and Adams got 1. Facts are facts, and it does not matter if Adams was a "real" candidate or not. NPOV. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Added John Q. Adams[edit]

Even though I am no fan of the Federalists, it seems very dishonest to not put a Federalist candidate in the infobox. John Quincy Adams and Richard Rush received electoral votes for President. The Federalist Party slate received votes even though they had no electoral candidates. If we kept the infobox how it was before, it would give the impression that no people or electors voted against Monroe. Obviously this is not the case. This was NOT an example of an unanimous election. Monroe was HATED by quite a few people (albeit mostly New Englanders) and the infobox should reflect that.

Also I'd like to add that the Federalist party won Massachusetts. The only reason that state did not cast electoral votes for the Federalists (Most likely Adams) was because there was no candidate.

Finally, if anyone wants to dispute the Federalist candidate, I believe it has to be John Quincy Adams. He was de facto nominated by the Elector who voted for him. If we put anyone in that box next to Monroe, it has to be him. (talk) 23:20, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

I would argue that we should put a blank candidate there, or put DeWitt Clinton as an independent. We don't put faithless electors' candidates in US presidential elections. Byzantium Purple (talk) 13:35, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Okay I think looking back, this is a good compromise. We show the Federalists won popular votes, while showing there was no candidate, just a Federalist slate of "free" electors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:47, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Any argument against this? Nathaniel Greene (talk) 21:29, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Alright, can we just stop all this edit warring and agree on something? I don't think JQA deserves to be on thst infobox. He was the choice of a faithless elector, and we do not put faithless electors' choices on the infobox. The Federalists ran NO candidate and JQA was a Republican by this point, so it doesn't make any sense. (talk) 12:58, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree. The vote for Adams seems to be the 19th century equivalent to a faithless elector, whose votes are generally not counted in other wikipedia articles (see United States Presidential Election, 2004). Putting Adams in the infobox implies that he campaigned for the office, which he did NOT. Furthermore, the infobox lists him as the Federalist nominee, but the article clearly states later on that the Federalists did not nominate a candidate. All things considered, having Adams in the infobox is misleading, just as putting John Edwards in the 2004 infobox would be. Nathaniel Greene (talk) 03:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Also, the elector who cast the vote for Adams was a Democratic-Republican, which further discredits the idea of JQA as the Federalist candidate.

JQA Party[edit]

If we are going to keep JQ Adams in the infobox (which I am not necessarily in favor of for above reasons), we should at least change his party label to read Democratic-Republican. He was a member of the party at the time, was serving as Monroe's VP, and the elector who voted for him was also a Democratic-Republican. Nathaniel Greene (talk) 21:27, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

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Reliable popular vote figures from before 1824 are not available[edit]

I find it quite bizarre that Wikipedia has actually claimed popular vote figures in presidential elections from before 1824, likely fudged from another website. I have deleted dubious popular vote references from the 1820 and 1816 elections, but I feel stupid when it comes to editing tables, so I might have messed some things up by accident. A lesson in table editing, or a cleanup from another Wikipedian for elections before 1824, or a request for comment would be very helpful. Classicalfan626 (talk) 22:22, 20 November 2016 (UTC)