n the election of 1844, the Whigs nominated Henry Clay. The Democrats, however, were divided between Martin Van Buren and Lewis Cass. A deadlock at the Democratic national convention resulted in the nomination of dark-horse candidate James K. Polk. The Liberty party, consisting of a small group of northern antislavery Whigs who were alienated by Clay's indecisiveness, nominated James G. Birney. Also, large numbers of Irish immigrants turned out to vote for Polk, and he won by a small margin.