Question about an election, but historical, so I’ll put it here rather than Elections.
Why did Pierce beat Scott in the 1852 election?
Scott was one of the most significant military leaders in the US at the time. He had commanded forces in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Mexican–American War, and the Second Seminole War. He was instrumental in winning the Mexican-American War just a few years before.
Pierce seems a much more political light weight; two terms in the House of Representatives, one term as Senator. Not in Congress when he ran for election. He had alcoholism issues (one comment was that he “was the victor of many a bottle”).
Yet Pierce won the election handily, 254 to 42 in the electoral votes. And his support came from all over the country, so it didn’t look like a slavery-abolition split.
Why did Scott do so poorly against someone who appears to have been a nonentity?