Year of meteors : Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the election that brought on the Civil War
When Lincoln was elected President in 1860, he won with just 39.8% of the vote, the lowest percentage in American history. Why did this happen? For starters, Lincoln and the Republicans were not on the ballot in the South. And there were four major candidates running. The Democrats held five different conventions and nominated two different tickets. This confusion made it easy for a relatively unknown, but extremely ambitious, lawyer from Illinois to claim the Presidency.