1888 United States presidential election

26th quadrennial U.S. presidential election

The 1888 United States presidential election was the 26th election in the history of the United States. It occurred on November 6, 1888. This election was between Incumbent President Grover Cleveland of New York and former U.S Senator from Indiana and grandson of former President William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison. Harrison won the election with 233 electoral votes. Cleveland got only 168 electoral votes.

1888 United States presidential election

← 1884 November 6, 1888 1892 →

401 members of the Electoral College
201 electoral votes needed to win
Turnout80.5%[1] Increase 3.0 pp
Nominee Benjamin Harrison Grover Cleveland
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Indiana New York
Running mate Levi P. Morton Allen G. Thurman
Electoral vote 233 168
States carried 20 18
Popular vote 5,443,892 5,534,488
Percentage 47.8% 48.6%

Presidential election results map. Red denotes those won by Harrison/Morton, blue denotes states won by Cleveland/Thurman. Numbers indicate the number of electoral votes allotted to each state.

President before election

Grover Cleveland

Elected President

Benjamin Harrison



Republican Party



  • Benjamin Harrison, former Senator from Indiana (1881-1887) (Nominee)
  • John Sherman, Senator of Ohio (1861-1877; 1881-1897)
  • Russell A. Alger, former Governor of Michigan (1885-1887)
  • Walter Q. Gresham, Former Secretary of the Treasury from Indiana (1884)
  • William B. Allison, Senator of Iowa (1873-1904) (Withdrew after 7th Ballot)
  • Chauncey Depew, President of the New York Central Railroad from New York (1885-1898) (Withdrew after 3rd Ballot)
  • Jeremiah M. Rusk, Governor of Wisconsin (1882-1889) (Withdrew after 3rd Ballot)
  • Edwin H. Fitler, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1887-1891) (Withdrew after 1st Ballot)
  • Joseph R. Hawley, Senator of Connecticut (1881-1905) (Withdrew after 1st Ballot)

Not nominated



  • Levi P. Morton, former Minister to France from New York (1881-1885) (Vice-Presidential Nominee)
  • William W. Phelps, Congressman of New Jersey (1873-1875; 1883-1889)
  • William O'Connell Bradley, Republican gubernatorial candidate in the 1887 Kentucky gubernatorial election

Democratic Party


Vice-presidential nominee

  • Allen G. Thurman, former Senator of Ohio (1869-1881) (Vice-Presidential Nominee)
  • Isaac P. Gray, Governor of Indiana (1880-1881; 1885-1889)
  • John C. Black, United States Commissioner of Pensions (1885-1889)
  1. Due to the passing of the 13th Amendment in December 1865, Douglas (along with other abolitionists across the nation) had achieved his goal of the abolition (or illegalization) of slavery in its entirety from the United States.


  1. "National General Election VEP Turnout Rates, 1789-Present". United States Election Project. CQ Press.