The 1888 United States elections occurred during the Third Party System, and elected the members of the 51st United States Congress. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming were admitted during the 51st Congress. This election was the first time that one party had won a majority in both chambers of Congress since the 1874 elections.
|← 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 → |
Presidential election year
|Election day||November 6|
|Incumbent president||Grover Cleveland (Democratic)|
|Partisan control||Republican gain|
|Popular vote margin||Democratic +0.8%|
|Benjamin Harrison (R)||233|
|Grover Cleveland (D)||168|
|1888 presidential election results. Red denotes states won by Harrison, blue denotes states won by Cleveland. Numbers indicate the electoral votes won by each candidate.|
|Overall control||Republican hold|
|Seats contested||26 of 76 seats|
|Net seat change||No change|
|Overall control||Republican gain|
|Seats contested||All 332 voting members|
|Net seat change||Republican +25|
|1888 House of Representatives election results on Election Day (the results in a number of Southern seats were later successfully contested and overturned.)
In the Presidential election, Democratic President Grover Cleveland was defeated by Republican former Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana. At the 1888 Republican National Convention, Harrison was nominated on the eighth ballot, defeating Ohio Senator John Sherman, former Governor Russell A. Alger of Michigan, and several other candidates. As in 1876, the Republican candidate won the presidency despite the Democratic candidate's greater share of the popular vote, albeit, also as in 1876, with widespread allegations of voter suppression and fraud aimed at Republican black voters in the South. This situation would not be repeated until the 1960 election. Despite the popular vote margin, Harrison won a comfortable majority of the electoral college, and took most of the states outside the South.
Despite the close presidential race, Republicans picked up several seats in both houses of Congress. Republicans won major gains in the House, re-taking the majority for the first time since the 1882 elections. In the Senate, the Republicans won major gains, growing their majority in the chamber.
- Not counting special elections.
- Congressional seat gain figures only reflect the results of the regularly-scheduled elections, and do not take special elections into account.
- "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "Party Division in the Senate, 1789–present". United States Senate. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "1888 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved June 25, 2014.