The nomination of the Democratic-Republican Party candidate was a toss-up between James Madison and Vice President George Clinton, after Jefferson decided to step down from the presidential race. Madison won the caucuses, and Clinton was nominated to be his running mate for his second consecutive term. The Federalist Party put their faith in Charles Pinckney for the second election in a row, and Rufus King was chosen again to be Pinckney's running mate.
The campaigns revolved around the issue of the Embargo Act, which was put in place in 1807 under Jefferson's presidency, with the support of Madison. The Embargo Act, which restricted trade with Britain, became highly unpopular. Jefferson was still distrustful of the British, and preferred to keep them at a distance to avoid conflict. The Embargo Act sought to protect the United States, but the trading communities of the country, particularly in New England, disapproved of the move.
However, despite the growing unpopularity of the Embargo Act, James Madison attained the highest number of electoral votes (122) in the election and became the President of the United States. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney received forty-seven votes. George Clinton gained 6 electoral votes, mostly from Democratic-Republicans who disapproved of Madison's nomination.
James Monroe received about 65 percent of the popular vote, while Pinckney ended up with a little over 32 percent of the popular vote.
The detailed election results are as follows: