The Election That Got Away

A loophole in the Constitution made it possible for the winner of the popular majority in 1876, Tilden, to lose to Hayes in the electoral college amid bitterness, fraud, and chicanery. It could happen again

If the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent,” Alexander Hamilton once said of the machinery of the Constitution for electing the President and Vice President of the United States. In making this statement, Hamilton, for all his brilliance, was either committing an egregious error or engaging in eighteenth-century Madison Avenue encomium.