The downfall of the Whigs. "The party was ultimately destroyed by the question of whether to allow the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction successfully prevented the nomination of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the U.S. presidential election of 1852; instead, the party nominated General Winfield Scott, who was soundly defeated. Its leaders quit politics (as Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The voter base defected to the Republican Party, various coalition parties in some states, and to the Democratic Party. By 1856, the party had lost its ability to maintain a national coalition of effective state parties and was third, trailing the Democratic and Republican parties in the popular vote." Any one else see correlations to the current Republican party?