All four candidates were members of the Democratic-Republican Party, since the Federalist Party had dissipated. Despite being members of the same party, they disagreed on some issues, which led to divisions within the party. The party later split into the Democratic Party and the National Republican Party.
In the absence of major political issues, regional favoritism played an important role in the 1824 election. Adams, who came from Massachusetts, held the lead in the Northeast, and also gained the support of former Federalist Party members, due in large part to his family ties to the party as the son of former President John Adams. Jackson, from Tennessee, had the support of much of the South. Crawford and Clay also had the majority of supporters from their home regions: the East and West respectively.
In the election, all four candidates failed to attain a majority of the electoral votes. In 1804, the states had ratified the Twelfth Amendment, in order to help resolve electoral disputes such as this. The Twelfth Amendment states that the House of Representatives would select the winner from the top three candidates in the case that no candidate attained a clear majority of over half of all electoral votes. This knocked Henry Clay, the recipient of the least number of votes, out of the race. William Crawford had a stroke shortly before, and as a result did not receive many votes in the House. Andrew Jackson received the highest number of electoral votes and was thus expected to win the electoral battle. However, Speaker of the House Henry Clay swayed the vote in favor of John Quincy Adams. Clay and Adams shared a common political philosophy.
Adams dominated the ballot in the House of Representatives and became President of the United States. John C. Calhoun, his running mate, received 182 electoral votes and became Vice President of the United States.
The electoral votes in the 1824 presidential election were distributed as follows: