Why did Grover Cleveland perform so poorly in New York in 1884?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,933
SoCal
#1
While Grover Cleveland won the U.S. Presidency in 1884, he only won his home state of New York (and thus the U.S. Presidency) by 0.10%. Thus, what I am wondering about is this--why exactly did Grover Cleveland perform so poorly in New York in 1884?

Indeed, Grover Cleveland was the reformist Governor of New York, was running against the corrupt James G. Blaine, got a lot of Mugwump support, had the Prohibitionist candidate take votes away from Blaine in New York, and was helped by Samuel D. Burchard's anti-Catholic comment, and yet in spite of all of this, Cleveland only barely won New York in 1884. Did Cleveland perform so poorly in New York in 1884 due to that "illegitimate child" scandal? Or was there another reason for Cleveland's poor performance in New York in 1884?

Any thoughts on this?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,933
SoCal
#2
Indeed, it is worth noting that Grover Cleveland's victory margin in New York in 1884 was much less than the victory margins of both Horatio Seymour (in 1868) and Samuel J. Tilden (in 1876) in New York in spite of the fact that, unlike Cleveland, both Seymour and Tilden lost their respective U.S. Presidential elections in spite of winning New York.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,212
#4
Presidential elections were on north/south lines. New York went for Tilden of NY with 51.5% in the "disputed" election of 1876. New York candidates were chosen to carry that swing state.

Some preacher saying that the Democrats were the party of "rum, Romanism, and rebellion" is credited for influencing the Irish votes and making the difference.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,933
SoCal
#5
Presidential elections were on north/south lines.
Yes, but with New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Indiana being "swing states." :)

New York went for Tilden of NY with 51.5% in the "disputed" election of 1876. New York candidates were chosen to carry that swing state.
Yes; correct! However, Tilden's victory margin of 3.23% in New York in 1876 was a whopping 32 times greater than Cleveland's victory margin of 0.10% in New York in 1884. Thus, what exactly explains this difference in Tilden's and Cleveland's victory margins in New York?

Some preacher saying that the Democrats were the party of "rum, Romanism, and rebellion" is credited for influencing the Irish votes and making the difference.
Yes; correct!
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,212
#6
I believe that Ohio and Pennsylvania were also swing states. New York tended Republican, and the Democrats needed a New York candidate to carry it in a close election. Hence, the small margin.
 
Sep 2014
1,199
Queens, NYC
#7
I recall reading many years ago that Cleveland had not done Tammany's bidding, so in the 1884 presidential election Tammany was suspected of not having done its best for the ticket.
 
Nov 2010
6,221
Indiana
#8
Presidential elections were on north/south lines. New York went for Tilden of NY with 51.5% in the "disputed" election of 1876. New York candidates were chosen to carry that swing state.

Some preacher saying that the Democrats were the party of "rum, Romanism, and rebellion" is credited for influencing the Irish votes and making the difference.
James Blaine didn't loose because of some minister. He lost New York because Senator Roscoe Conkling hated him and withheld the votes in his home county.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,933
SoCal
#9
I believe that Ohio and Pennsylvania were also swing states. New York tended Republican, and the Democrats needed a New York candidate to carry it in a close election. Hence, the small margin.
Both Horatio Seymour and Samuel J. Tilden previously won New York by larger margins, though. Plus, unlike Grover Cleveland, both of them weren't running against extremely corrupt candidates.