1888 Electoral college map, Harrison beats Cleveland even though Cleveland gets more popular votes:
The regional divide is stark, with Cleveland carrying every single former slave state (including the ones that didn’t secede) and Harrison carrying basically all the others. But why do New Jersey and (especially!) Connecticut break ranks with the rest of the north?
1888 is often compared to 2000 as an electoral college boo-boo, but it’s actually a bit different. The third party candidate in the field in 1888 was Clinton Fisk, a former abolitionist, Union colonel in the Civil War, and postwar Freedman’s Bureau guy who set up schools for black kids in the occupied south. Thus despite Cleveland garnering a plurality of the vote, the median voter seems to have been a Harrison supporter. At a minimum, it seems overwhelmingly likely that Fisk’s 2.2 percent of the electorate would have backed Harrison in a run-off. 2000 is the reverse, the median voter clearly backed Gore.