The 1888 United States elections occurred during the Third Party System, and elected the members of the 51st United States Congress. North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming were admitted during the 51st Congress. This election was the first time that one party had won a majority in both chambers of Congress since the 1874 elections.
In the Presidential election, Democratic President Grover Cleveland was defeated by Republican former Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana. At the 1888 Republican National Convention, Harrison was nominated on the eighth ballot, defeating Ohio Senator John Sherman, former Governor Russell A. Alger of Michigan, and several other candidates. As in 1876, the Republican candidate won the presidency despite the Democratic candidate's greater share of the popular vote. This situation would not be repeated until the 2000 election. Despite the popular vote margin, Harrison won a comfortable majority of the electoral college, and took most of the states outside the South.
Despite the close presidential race, Republicans picked up several seats in both houses of Congress. Republicans won major gains in the House, re-taking the majority for the first time since the 1882 elections. In the Senate, the Republicans won major gains, growing their majority in the chamber.
|1888 United States elections|
|Presidential election year|
|Election day||November 6|
|Incumbent president||Grover Cleveland (Democratic)|
|Partisan control||Republican Gain|
|Popular vote margin||Democratic +0.8%|
|Benjamin Harrison (R)||233|
|Grover Cleveland (D)||168|
|1888 presidential election results. Red denotes states won by Harrison, blue denotes states won by Cleveland. Numbers indicate the electoral votes won by each candidate.|
|Overall control||Republican Hold|
|Seats contested||26 of 76 seats|
|Net seat change||No change|
|Overall control||Republican Gain|
|Seats contested||All 332 voting members|
|Net seat change||Republican +25|
|1888 House of Representatives election results
The Fifty-first United States Congress, referred to by some critics as the Billion Dollar Congress, was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C., from March 4, 1889, to March 4, 1891, during the first two years of the administration of U.S. President Benjamin Harrison.
The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Tenth Census of the United States in 1880. Both chambers had a Republican majority. This marked the first time since the 43rd United States Congress that both chambers were controlled by the president's party.