Stebben84 wrote:It wasn't in the poll, but I would have to say that Zachary Taylor's win over Martin Van Buren was devastating. How a Whig party candidate beat out the Free Soil party is beyond me. I don't think our country has been the same since.
You're going back to the 1840s for heartbreaking elections, and you pick 1848
instead of 1844
With 1844 you have the abolitionists splitting their vote over the third-party candidacy of James G. Birney, throwing the election to the fervently pro-southern and pro-slavery James K. Polk, who then proceeds to annex Texas and invade Mexico in order to facilitate the westward expansion of slavery.
Just think about it -- if a few thousand abolitionists in New York had held their noses and voted for Henry Clay, the evil Polk would have lost, the US would be blissfully Texas-free
, and we might even have been able to abolish slavery without the carnage of the Civil War.