When the votes were counted, Jefferson and his running mate Aaron Burr had both received seventy-three electoral votes; John Adams had obtained sixty-five, while Pinckney, his running mate, had sixty-four. The one remaining vote had gone to John Jay. The Federalists had denied one vote to Pinckney to insure that he would not obtain the presidency instead of Adams. The Republicans, however, had blundered in this respect. The Constitution provided merely that the candidate with the largest number of electoral votes should become President. As it was, Jefferson and Burr were tied. The election went into the House of Representatives where the Constitution provided that a state’s vote would be cast by a majority decision of its representatives. Since the Federalists controlled six states and had divided control in two states, they could prevent the election of either Republican – and over the bitter opposition of Hamilton they contemplated throwing their support behind Burr. They hoped to break the Republican ranks and secure themselves from “the fangs of Jefferson.” Hamilton pressed for the election of Jefferson, his old rival, insisting that Burr had the inclinations of a Caesar whereas Jefferson, despite his democratic fanaticism, would conserve the established order. But the Federalists, ignoring the urgent protests of Hamilton, persisted in a course that threatened to complete the Federalist debacle. Hamilton saw himself in “the awkward situation of a man who continues sober after the company are drunk.” Burr did nothing to simplify their task, to cooperate by private word or deed.
And that is only part of the story. Here is a simpler and indeed too simplistic account:
The Federalist party had the perception of favoring the upper class, and as a result they began to lose support of the general population. The Democratic and Republican parties started focusing on issues that appealed more to the “common man”, and as a result began to sway voters away from the Federalist party until it finally ceased to exist.
I’ll let you know what else I learn about this topic.