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The closest election since the founding of the United States with Vice President John Cabell Breckinridge beating out his opponent, Senator Edward Everett of Massachusetts, by only 2 electoral votes and the popular vote nearly as close.
The main issues in the campaign where those of the trade tariffs that, while they benefitted the northern states, economically harmed the south which was dependent on trade with Europe.
The other outstanding issue was that of states' rights which was indirectly related to that of the tariff.
The election was almost divided between northern and southern states with Pennsylvania being the only state to deviate.