Winthrop D. Jordan, Miriam Greenblatt, and John S. Bowes, The Americans: A History (Evanston, Illinois: McDougal, Little & Company, 1991), 346-47.
In 1858, Stephen A. Douglas, a leading Democrat, ran for reelection to the United States Senate. Everyone thought that if he was elected, Douglas would run for President in 1860. Therefore, the Republican party hoped it could stop him now. Republicans in Illinois chose Abraham Lincoln to challenge Douglas.