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August 21, 2019, 07:17:46 pm
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  Atlas Forum
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  Individual Politics (Moderators: NYGurl, Torie, Associate Justice PiT)
  2nd Best candidate in the 1860 Election
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Poll
Question: Vote
#1John Breckinridge  
#2Stephen Douglas  
#3John Bell  
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Partisan results

Total Voters: 45

Author Topic: 2nd Best candidate in the 1860 Election  (Read 833 times)
Unconditional Surrender Truman
Harry S Truman
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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2019, 01:44:46 pm »

Douglas, who, while being absolutely vile himself, was better than Bell by a little and better than Breckinridge by a lot. I do think people are voting Bell based on a misconstruction of his policies and the time's situation, to be honest.
Basically.
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Orser67
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2019, 05:32:07 pm »

Lincoln is clearly the best and Breckinridge is clearly the worst.

I think Bell was actually pretty decent compared to many of his Southern peers. He voted against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and iirc he took after Henry Clay and some other Southern Whigs in that he never defended slavery as a positive good but rather saw it as an economic reality. However, I'd still go with Douglas.

In the final months of the campaign, Douglas realized he had no chance of winning and traveled to the South to deliver speeches against secession. After the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, he strongly supported Lincoln's call for volunteers and gave several speeches in condemning secession. His untimely death left the Democratic Party leaderless and gave an opening for Copperheads like Clement Vallandigham to gain influence in the party.
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Representative Carpetbagger
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« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2019, 04:06:03 am »

Relevant:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/let-it-be-remembered-why-john-bell-couldnt-win-the-presidency-in-1860.142720/
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RoboWop
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2019, 09:37:03 am »

Lincoln after Salmon Chase. None of the other nominees were worth my spit.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2019, 12:31:36 pm »

Douglas was clearly second best if you assume that it was inevitable that by 1860 the Civil War could only be delayed, not averted, and that it would be better to be fought now rather than later. Douglas was the only candidate who might have kept the Union intact for even four years, let alone permanently. If you think a delay would've been helpful, then Lincoln was second best to Douglas. Bell was clearly third and Breckenridge fifth after Geritt Smith who got some votes on the Union Party ticket in Ohio. (The Union Party was the remnants of the old Liberty Party that refused to join the Republicans because they were willing to tolerate slavery in the States.)
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