Dennis, That is a very interesting point, since under the Constitution the President of the United States is not "legally elected" by the popular vote, but by the Electorial College, Which is NOT bound by the popular vote. South Carolina did not hold popular elections for President at that time. Hence the popular vote of the people of South Carolina does not reflect in the following statements.
Of the 4.6 million votes cast in 1860, the Democrat candidates together garnered 1,000,000 votes more than Lincoln. 1.8 million votes for Lincoln, or 40%, against 2.8 million votes for democrats Douglas, Breckenridge and Bell. Yet Lincoln gathered 182 electorial votes, or 59%, opposed to 128 electorial votes for the Democrats.
As you point out Lincoln was not even on the ballot in many states. So it would seem this was not an election without serious questions and charges of corruption of the vote in the northern states.
For example Steven Douglas a Democrat Senator from Illinois, and well known politically, took 29% of the entire vote. Almost 1 out of every 3 votes cast. But did not win a single northern state, including his own home state of Illinois. And garnered only 12 electorial votes, or 4% of the electorial college. Strange? Was Lincoln, as an almost political unknown, without the star making power of modern day television, really that popular in the north?
Just 3 Northern states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, with 85 electorial votes, had as many votes as did the entire 11 Confederate state put together, with together had only 88 votes. So the south had no ability to defend their rights, under the constitution, depending entirely upon elections.
Remembering that this country was formed as a Republic, and not as a Democracy, for that very reason. That the individual States were given rights, under the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Constitution, that superceeded the collective right of the United States as a whole. And one of those rights was the right of secession, because it was not specifically prohibited within that Constitution.