Presidential elections in the United States have always been crazy. From the first proper presidential campaign in 1800 to whatever the hell is happening in 2016, choosing the Commander-in-Chief has been a controversial and all-around bonkers process, with mudslinging, backstabbing, bizarre characters, lies, conspiracies, and shady deals behind giant, expensive doors. But what were the most controversial elections? What were the closest elections in American history? How about the craziest elections? Or the utter disasters? The worst elections ever?
It’s hard to say which contest was the most controversial. Nearly every election in US history has had its share of odd, controversial moments - many thanks to the much-derided electoral college - and just about all of them have changed history significantly, upsetting wide swaths of people. Many of the closest elections ever - a far more objective topic, for sure - are also, by their very nature, super-controversial and crazy to watch. As far as the worst goes… well, you’ll have to make up your own mind about that. Read on for some of the most unusual, scandalous, rage-inducing, and just plain bizarro US presidential elections of all time.
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1860: A Nation Ripped in Half
1876: Reconstruction Ends and Race Relations Sour
2000: Everybody Hates Chad
1824: Jackson Wins Popular and Electoral Vote (But Still Loses the Election)