Vice President Alexander H. Stephens was seen as the presumtive Dixiecrat nominee, and was, until Lee's entry into politics, seen as the overwhelming favorite to suceed Jefferson Davis to the presidency. He faced a significant challenge for the nomination from John C. Breckinridge, but with the support of Jefferson, Stephens was nominated.
Robert E. Lee was unanimously nominated by the Whigs.
Postmaster General John H. Reagan was nominated as Lee's running mate.
Lee was always the frontrunner, his war record and moderate political stances made him particularly popular amongst war veterans and former Whig and Constitutional Union voters.
Stephens relied on the support of the Dixiecrat party, former fire eaters and plantation owners.
Lee was elected in a landslide, gaining 65% to Stephens' 35%.