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Top Ten Closest U.S. Presidential Elections

Throughout U.S. history, there have been several close presidential races. This top ten closest U.S. presidential elections list is based on the combination of popular vote, electoral vote, and states carried by each candidate.

Rank Year Candidates Popular Vote Electoral Vote States Carried
1. 1960 John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon 34,220,984 - 34,108,157 303 - 219 23 - 27
2. 2000 George W. Bush over Al Gore 50,456,002 - 50,999,897 271 - 266 30 - 20+DC
3. 1976 Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford 40,831,881 - 39,148,634 297 - 240 23+DC - 27
4. 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes over Samuel Tilden 4,034,311 - 4,288,546 185 - 184 21 - 17
5. 1880 James Garfield over Winfield Hancock 4,446,158 - 4,444,260 214 - 155 19 - 19
6. 1888 Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland 5,443,892 - 5,534,488 233 - 168 20 - 18
7. 1884 Grover Cleveland over James G. Blaine 4,914,482 - 4,856,905 219 - 182 20 - 18
8. 1844 James K. Polk over Henry Clay 1,339,494 - 1,300,004 170 - 105 15 - 11
9. 1824 John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson 113,122 - 151,271 84 - 99 7 - 12
10. 1812 James Madison over Dewitt Clinton 140,431 - 132,781 128 - 89 11 - 7

U.S. Presidents