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Republican Ticket
Presidential candidate: WILLIAM MCKINLEY, Ohio Governor
VP candidate: GARRET A. HOBART, Republican National Committee Member
Popular votes: 7,105,144 (51.1%)
Electoral votes: 271
Democratic Ticket
Presidential candidate: William Jennings Bryan, former Nebraska Congressman
VP candidate: Arthur Sewall, Democratic National Committee Member
Popular votes: 6,370,897 (45.8%)
Electoral votes: 176
1896 US Electoral Map: How each state voted. Wisconsin's Choice: McKinley.

Election Facts

  • Rising Populist activism found a voice in this election.
  • Bryan claimed to speak for discontented farmers and factory workers whose problems stemmed from westward expansion, urbanization, and explosive economic growth.
  • Bryan's campaign centered on the "free coinage of silver." Silver would be made into coins, which would expand the money supply and benefit people who were in debt.
  • Many Easterners considered Bryan too radical. They did not add to the support he received from the agrarian West and South.
Pro-McKinley political cartoon. "Harper's Weekly," August 29, 1896.
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Pro-McKinley political poster, 1896.
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