Election of 1888
In 1888, James G. Blaine, the Republican party’s most prominent figure, declined to seek
the presidential nomination. The national convention then nominated Harrison as the
soldier-citizen who combined fitness with availability. The call came on the 8th BALLOT.
Levi P. Morton, a New York City banker, received the vice-presidential nomination.
Cleveland was renominated by the Democrats.
Harrison conducted a unique and unexpected front-porch campaign, delivering more than
80 extemporaneous speeches to nearly 300,000 people who visited him at Indianapolis. He
made “high tariff” the chief issue, while Cleveland called for lower tariffs and even free
trade. On election day, Harrison trailed Cleveland by more than 90,000 popular votes, but
he carried Indiana, New York, and several “doubtful states” and won the presidency by an
ELECTORAL vote of 233 to 168.