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U.S. Presidential Election 1892

The presidential election of 1892 was a rematch between incumbent President Benjamin Harrison and former President Grover Cleveland. This election was unique in that Grover Cleveland became the only U.S. President ever to be elected to a second non-consecutive term, granting him the title of both twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States.

After his loss to Benjamin Harrison in the 1888 election, Grover Cleveland had vowed to return to campaign in the following presidential election. He kept his promise and returned the Democratic National Convention in Chicago to compete for another chance at the White House. Though some delegates at the convention were critical of Cleveland, particularly those from his home state, New York, he won the nomination by a small margin and became the Democratic candidate. Illinois Congressman Adlai Stevenson received the nomination for the vice presidential seat.

The Republican Party considered renominating James G. Blaine, but decided instead to back incumbent President Benjamin Harrison, who had a number of strong supporters at the convention. They felt that he had a better chance at being elected than other candidates.

Third parties, the Prohibition Party and the Socialist Labor Party nominated candidates for the presidential seat. The Prohibition Party nominated John Bidwell, with running mate James B. Cranfill. The newly formed Socialist Labor Party nominated Simon Wing and Charles Matchett for their first presidential ticket. The Populist Party, a third party formed in 1891, consisted of farming and labor groups who wanted the nationalization of services including the telephone and telegraph, as well as railroads and silver coinage. The party nominated James B. Weaver as their representative, with James G. Field as his running mate.

Currency turned out to be one of the big issues of the 1892 election, when Weaver campaigned for free silver coinage and greenbacks. Tariffs were again a commonly debated issue, with Cleveland assuring voters that he did not advocate a complete free trade system. His more moderate views proved effective in gaining widespread support.

New states voting in the 1892 presidential election were Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. Though Weaver of the People's (Populist) Party only won electors from six states, this was a significant accomplishment for a third party. The Prohibition Party beat its party record with a popular vote percentage at over 2 percent of the total, though they still did not earn any electoral votes. The election resulted in a win for former President Grover Cleveland, who would serve a second non-consecutive term. He won with a strong lead, at 277 electoral votes to the 145 Harrison won.

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