“The dishonor of dirtiest presidential campaign in history goes to the Andrew Jackson/John Quincy Adams contest of 1828.” writes Larry Schwartz in Salon.com.
“…Jackson squeaked by Adams in 1824 winning the popular vote, but failed to gather the necessary majority of electoral votes. Jackson took the entire Southwest, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Carolinas, 11 states out of 24. He garnered 43% of the popular vote and 99 electoral votes, more than any other candidate, but not enough. The decision of who would be president fell to the House of Representatives. There, in what Jackson supporters called the “Corrupt Bargain,” Henry Clay, an influential congressman (and also a presidential candidate that year), threw his support to Adams, and in return, Clay was named Secretary of State once the Adams administration was in place. Jackson’s camp cried foul. The groundwork for the nastiest campaign in American history was laid.” More.