In contrast to the Republican presidential nomination, for which a serious contest never developed, the Democratic selection was made only after a wide-open struggle, with a large field of contenders and the result uncertain until the very moment at which the choice was made. The contest over the nomination reflected divisions within the party as to the best strategy to follow in the campaign. Democratic hopes for victory, which had been kindled by their gains in 1867, flared even higher in the spring of 1868 when they again carried Connecticut and reduced the Republican plurality in New Hampshire even though it was now clear that Grant would head the Republican national ticket and his name had been used liberally by that party in both state campaigns. The Democrats received further encouragement in June when they captured the state legislature and congressional seat in Oregon and elected the mayor in Grant's hometown, Galena, Illinois. 1
But despite these victories, which showed a continuing general trend in their favor, Democrats still faced the problem of adopting a specific platform and ticket that would maximize their support and gain a majority of the popular votes in states that cast a majority of the electoral votes. The only states they were certain to win were Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky, with a total of twentyone electoral votes. In addition, they had a reasonable chance in those states where they had elected their state-wide ticket or captured the legislature within the last year, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Oregon, and California. But even if they managed to win all of these, they would still have only 122 votes, which would be two short of the number required if the southern states were excluded from the count. However, if the Republicans were sure of carrying the South they would readmit those states, with their seventy electoral votes, prior to the elec
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Publication information: Book title: Johnson, Grant, and the Politics of Reconstruction. Contributors: Martin E. Mantell - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1973. Page number: 113.