1812 Federal Election

Date: From 1812-10-30 to 1812-12-02

Set against the outbreak of the War of 1812, the presidential election of the same year served as a referendum on the war, with incumbent James Madison running as the pro-war candidate and DeWitt Clinton running against the war. Although both men were Jeffersonian-Republicans, Clinton garnered significant support from the waning Federalists Party, due to its members shared opposition to conflict with Great Britain. However, the Federalists did run their own candidate, Rufus King. Madison secured reelection with Clinton making a significant showing and King failing to win a single electoral vote.

In the vice presidential race, Jeffersonian-Republican Elbridge Gerry defeated Federalist Jared Ingersoll. The Federalists made gains in the House of Representatives but the Jeffersonians continued to hold a sizable majority. In the Senate, Federalists gained two seats but this still only gave them a total of eight to the Jeffersonian's twenty-eight.

Paul F. Boller, Jr., Presidential Campaigns: From George Washington to George W. Bush (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 26-28; Donald M. Roper, "Clinton, DeWitt" in American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 5:77-80; "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present," United States Senate Website, accessed February 7, 2018, https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm; "Party Division of the House of Representatives, 1789-Present," Office of the Historian, United States House of Representatives, accessed February 7, 2018, http://history.house.gov/Institution/Party-Divisions/Party-Divisions/.