1888

Theo Lippman Jr.

September 28, 1992|By Theo Lippman Jr.

This is the 52nd presidential election.

The 26th was held in 1888, by which time the tariff had become the dominant issue.

President Cleveland and the Democrats wanted to revise it down. The Republicans, the party of businessmen who wanted the price of foreign products kept high, opposed this.

An innovation of this campaign was the use of private Republican clubs organized by industrialists to finance the campaign.

The Republicans nominated Indiana Sen. Benjamin Harrison, a war hero and grandson of President William Henry Harrison.

The campaign was for the most part leisurely and gentlemanly. Cleveland made only one speech -- accepting the nomination. Harrison made 80, but all were on his front porch in Indianapolis.

Cleveland out-polled Harrison by 90,000 votes, but because he lost his home state of New York by 15,000, he lost the presidency in the Electoral College.

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