Results of the Popular Vote of 1788-1789
As expected, Presidential Electors pledged to George Washington were elected throughout the nation on 1/7/1789. In the six states with a popular election, Federalist Electors won by a 41-3 margin. In CT and GA, the legislature chose the Electors. In SC, the legislators were authorized to meet in Charleston on the appointed date and make the choice; about 30% of the legislators bothered to appear. In NJ, the Governor appointed the Electors.
Lobbying the Electors
The lopsided defeat of the Anti-Federalists led to the first round of political intrigue in casting the electoral votes. Alexander Hamilton, who had managed Washington’s campaign, realized that if Electors in New England held back some votes from Washington, it was possible that Adams could be elected president and Washington VP. He corresponded with associates in other states about this issue, and a plan was developed. Hamilton dispatched men to each state to lobby the Electors to withhold a few votes from Adams to ensure his second place finish. Samuel B. Webb, Hamilton’s surrogate in CT, did not arrive on the scene until the date of the meeting of the Electors.
The Electoral Vote
The Presidential Electors met in the various state capitals on 2/4/1789 to cast the electoral vote. Unlike elections in the twenty first century, the Electors included a large number of the leading political leaders and thinkers of the day, in