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THE ELECTION RETURNS.
HEN necessity no longer spurred me to exertion, I began to feel the effects of long continued labor and sought rest in bed. As soon as the polls were closed the representatives of the press, drawn by friendliness and enterprise, assembled in the library below to analyze the returns, while Mrs. Bryan brought the more important bulletins to my room-her face betraying their purport before I received them from her hand. As the evening progressed the indications pointed more and more strongly to defeat, and by eleven o'clock I realized that, while the returns from the country might change the result, the success of my opponent was more than probable. Confidence resolved itself into doubt, and doubt, in turn, gave place to resignation. While the compassionless current sped hither and thither, carrying its message of gladness to foe and its message of sadness to friend, there vanished from my mind the vision of a the vision of a President in President in the White House, perplexed by the cares of state, and, in the contemplation of the picture of a citizen by his fireside, free from official responsibility, I fell asleep.
Later reports justified, in a measure, the expectation that the news from the country would be more favorable, but the changes were not sufficient to affect the result. During Wednesday and Thursday I was in communication with Chairman Jones, ready to concede Mr. McKinley's election as soon as the National Committee received. definite returns from the doubtful States. Thursday evening a telegram came from Chairman Jones announcing that sufficient was known to make my defeat certain, and I at once sent the following telegram to Mr. McKinley:
Lincoln, Neb., November 5.
Hon. Wm. McKinley, Canton, Ohio: Senator Jones has just informed me that the returns indicate your election, and I hasten to extend my congratulations. We have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law. W. J. Bryan.
POPULAR AND ELECTORAL VOTE OF 1892.
30,143 4 129,386 13
9,197 46,974 118,027
12 239,148 15
84,467 6 80,293
77,475 37,992 4 113,256
5,554,685 277 5,172,333 145 1,040,600 22 270,314
The candidates for Vice-President and their electoral votes were: Adlai E. Stevenson, Democratic, 277; Whitelaw Reid, Republican, 145; James G. Field, People's 22; James B. Cranfill, Prohibition, 0.
Simon Wing, Socialist candidate for President, and C. H. Matchett, for Vice-President, received 17,656 votes in New York, 649 in Massachusetts, 1,337 in New Jersey, 898 in Pennsylvania, 336 in Maine, 329 in Connecticut, and 27 in Maryland.
• Cast for White Republican electors, known as the Lillie White ticket.
Mr. McKinley immediately wired:
Canton, Ohio, November 6.
Hon. W. J. Bryan, Lincoln, Neb.: I acknowledge the receipt of your courteous message of congratulations with thanks, and beg you will receive my best wishes for your health and happiness.
This exchange of messages was much commented upon at the time, though why it should be considered extraordinary I do not know. We were not fighting each other, but stood as the representatives of different political ideas, between which the people were to choose. Our contest aroused no personal feeling upon the part of either, and I have no doubt that had I been elected he would as promptly have sent his congratulations. A courteous observance of the proprieties of such an occasion tends to eliminate the individual and enables opponents to contend sharply over the matters of principle, without disturbance of social relations. I look back with much satisfaction to the fact that the four political contests through which I have passed, two successfully and two unsuccessfully, have been free from personalities.
It may be interesting to the reader to compare the election returns of 1896 with those of 1892. On another page will be found a map showing in colors the political complexion of the States in 1892, and opposite to the map a table giving both the popular and electoral vote of the States; also a map and table giving the same information in regard to 1896.
The combined Democratic and Populist vote in 1892 was 6,595,285; my vote in 1896 was 6,511,073, showing that, leaving out of calculation the natural increase of the vote, my vote only fell 84,212 short of the vote of the two parties combined.
In the following States, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, which gave me. their electoral vote, my popular vote was 2,427,172, being 829,712 more than the vote cast for Mr. Cleveland in 1892, in the States named, and 59,647 more than were cast that year for both Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Weaver.
In the following States carried by Mr. McKinley, including the States which divided their electoral vote, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, my popular vote was 4,019,294, being 56,069 in excess of the vote cast for Mr. Cleveland in 1892, and only 214,474 behind the combined vote of Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Weaver.
Only in the following States did my vote fall below Mr. Cleveland's: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin.
Of the popular vote Mr. McKinley had a plurality of 596,749, which is less than the plurality given by the three States, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. A change of 962 votes from Mr. McKinley's column to mine in California would have given me the eight electoral votes of that State; in Oregon a change of 1,069 votes would have given me the electoral vote of that State; in Kentucky a change of 142 votes would have given me the electoral vote of that State; in Indiana a change of 9,002 would have given me the electoral vote of that State; in North Dakota a change of 2,826 votes would have given me the electoral vote of that State. Thus, a total change of 14,001 votes, distributed as suggested above in the States named, would have given me forty-nine more electoral votes, or a total of 225, a majority of 3. In those States above mentioned the total vote of 1892 was 1,278,551; in 1896 the total vote was 1,526,477, an increase of 247,926, or nearly 16 1-4 per cent., while the total increase in the nation was 1,865,198, or nearly 13 2-5 per cent.
This calculation is made to show how narrow was the defeat of bimetallism and what is possible for the future. The five States above mentioned were all considered doubtful, and in those States my vote exceeded by 66,346 the total vote cast for Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Weaver in 1892.