Honestly, Abe won Oregon

With the silly season of politics breaking out all over, I'm wondering which presidential candidate took Oregon in its first participation in presidential politics back in the day. Could you enlighten us on that point? It will help keep my mind off how annoyingly goofy this race has become on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

— Jim S., Medford

We wouldn't touch your political comments with kid gloves and a 10-foot pen, Jim.

But we are also curious about which candidate Oregonians backed in the state's inaugural election.

The Oregon Blue Book reports the 1860 election was a real squeaker with a lanky fellow named Abraham Lincoln getting the nod. Because Oregon became a state on Feb. 14, 1859, the 1860 election was the first time Oregonians could vote for a president.

Republican Lincoln received 5,344 votes, followed closely by Democrat John C. Breckenridge with 5,074 votes. Stephen Douglas, representing a short-lived party known as the Douglas Democrats, took 4,131 votes.

And candidate John Bell of the Constitutional Union party came in a distant fourth with 212 votes.

In the 1864 election, Lincoln was again the Oregon winner with 9,888 votes to Democrat (and former general) George McClellan's 8,457 votes. Sadly, Lincoln was assassinated shortly after beginning his second term.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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