Reform Party

Presidential Campaigns Lost By 15 Presidents

In our final examination of Presidents and their background and experiences for the White House, we will now examine Presidential campaigns lost by Presidents.

A total of 15 Presidents ran unsuccessful campaigns for Presidents as follows:

Thomas Jefferson lost the Presidential Election of 1796 to John Adams, but then won in 1800 and 1804.

Andrew Jackson lost the Presidential Election of 1824 to John Quincy Adams, but then won in 1828 and 1832.

William Henry Harrison lost the Presidential Election Of 1836 to Martin Van Buren, but then won in 1840.

Martin Van Buren received the most votes on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention in 1844, but failed to win the required two thirds majority, and lost the nomination to James K. Polk. He also ran on the Free Soil Party ticket for President in 1848, and finished behind winner Zachary Taylor and second place finisher Lewis Cass. However, he had won the Presidency earlier in 1836.

James Buchanan competed for the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1848 and 1852, but failed to get the nomination, losing to Lewis Cass and Franklin Pierce, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1856.

Millard Fillmore ran on the American (Know Nothing) Party ticket for President in 1856, but finished behind winner James Buchanan and loser John C. Fremont. Earlier, he had served as President after the death of Zachary Taylor.

Andrew Johnson competed for the Democratic nomination in 1860, but lost the nomination to Stephen A. Douglas. He later served as President after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Ulysses S. Grant competed for the Republican nomination in 1880, losing the nomination to James A. Garfield. He had earlier been elected President in 1868 and 1872.

Theodore Roosevelt competed for the Republican nomination in 1912, losing the nomination to President William Howard Taft. He ran in the general election as the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party candidate, having earlier served as President, after succeeding to the officer upon the death of William McKinley, and then being elected in his own right in 1904.

Herbert Hoover competed for the Republican nomination in 1920, but lost the nomination to Warren G Harding, but then won the Presidency in 1928.

Lyndon B. Johnson lost the Democratic nomination to John F. Kennedy in 1960, became his Vice Presidential running mate, and succeeded to the Presidency upon Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, and was elected for a full term in 1964.

Richard Nixon lost the Presidency to John F. Kennedy in 1960, but then won the Presidency in 1968 and 1972.

Ronald Reagan competed for the Republican nomination in 1968 and 1976, losing the nomination to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, respectively, but then won the Presidency in 1980 and 1984.

George H. W. Bush competed for the Republican nomination in 1980, losing the nomination to Ronald Reagan, but became his Vice Presidential running mate, and then Vice President, and then was elected to succeed him as President in the Presidential Election of 1988.

Donald Trump competed for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, but withdrew before Pat Buchanan won that party’s nomination, and later won the Republican nomination and was elected in 2016.

Also, two future Presidents competed for the Vice Presidency, with Franklin D. Roosevelt being the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate in 1920, losing to Calvin Coolidge; and John F. Kennedy competing for the Vice Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in 1956, when Presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson opened up the Vice Presidential nomination to be decided by the convention delegates, and Estes Kefauver being selected over Kennedy.

Can Losers Of Presidential Race Come Back To Win? Yes And No!

Now that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has made clear that he will not accept a draft for the Presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, speculation is beginning that former 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney might make himself available.

There is no way that seems possible, as Romney has totally alienated Donald Trump supporters, who would refuse to back him at the convention or in November, but the question arises whether or not losers of Presidential elections actually have been able to come back and be elected President at a later time.

The answer is both Yes and No!

Five times, a Presidential loser has come back to win, as follows:

Thomas Jefferson, lost in 1796 and won in 1800.

Andrew Jackson, lost in 1824 and won in 1828

William Henry Harrison, lost in 1836 and won in 1840

Grover Cleveland, lost in 1888 and won in 1892, only President to win (1884), lose, and then win again.

Richard Nixon, lost in 1960 and won in 1968

However, six other Presidential candidates lost more than once as follows:

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney lost in 1804 and 1808.

Henry Clay lost in 1824, 1832, and 1844.

Martin Van Buren lost in 1840 as a Democrat, after having won in 1836, and then again lost in 1848 as the nominee of the Free Soil Party.

William Jennings Bryan lost in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

Thomas E. Dewey lost in 1944 and 1948.

Adlai Stevenson lost in 1952 and 1956.

Additionally, three third party candidates have lost more than once as follows:

Socialist nominee Eugene Debs lost in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920, a total of five times.

Socialist nominee Norman Thomas lost in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948, a total of six times.

Reform Party nominee Ross Perot lost in 1992 and 1996, the first time as an Independent.

America’s Fascist Demagogues In History: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Patrick Buchanan!

The United States has had its Fascist demagogues in the past nearly hundred years of our history, but luckily, they “burned out” very quickly.

We had Democratic Governor and Senator Huey P. Long, who condemned the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s era of the Great Depression.  He had a big following on radio; drew large public crowds; preached “Every Man A King” and “Share The Wealth” as he attacked Wall Street; had his own group of “storm troopers” to protect him;  and made clear that he hoped to come to power on a national level, having alienated his Senate colleagues and the President by his tactics and showmanship.

His potential threat disappeared, however, when he was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in September 1935, a mystery that still exists today, as covered in Chapter 7 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).  He reminded many of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom had not yet become as aggressive and warlike as they would become in the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s.

Then we had evil personified in Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred fear and insecurity in America in the early 1950s, when he accused Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and many government and other public figures of being Communists, or “soft on Communism”.

He ruined thousands of people’s lives, caused their deaths or complete destruction of their lives, but it was all a ploy backed by right wing conservatives, who continue to honor him, even after his political downfall in December 1954 when the US Senate condemned him, and his early death of alcoholism in May 1957.  This despicable man was a true Fascist demagogue with too many people ready to back him, but his cockiness and arrogance and false charges finally brought him down.

Then we had Democratic Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama, who sowed racism in America as he stood in the door of the University of Alabama in 1963 to attempt to block integration of the state university, and allowed police brutality in Birmingham and elsewhere, leading to the bombing of a black church and the death of young girls in the explosion.

A true Fascist demagogue of the worst kind, he actually gained five states and 46 electoral votes as a third party candidate for President in 1968.  Then, while running in 1972 again, he was shot and paralyzed for life by an assassin, a tragic event for sure, but brought on by his notoriety and demagogic nature.  Wallace’s story is well covered in Chapter 11 of my new book mentioned above.

And then we had Patrick Buchanan, an aide to President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, who promoted nativism and racism and antisemitism, including Holocaust denial,   as he campaigned against President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 primaries; against Bob Dole in the 1996 primaries;  and then ran as a third party candidate of the Reform Party in 2000.

Due to confusion in Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan gained 4,000 votes that were intended by voters for Al Gore, but mistakenly, these elderly, mostly Jewish voters punched the wrong hole on the “butterfly” ballots, and by doing so, caused the election of George W. Bush statewide, officially by a total of 537 votes, sadly denying Al Gore the Presidency, despite his national popular vote lead of 540,000!

Buchanan clearly was and is a Fascist demagogue, who, however, has become someone ignored, and no longer has a major media presence in his later years, as he once did on cable television as a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, although he still is on Fox News Channel and PBS.

And now we have, at the least, two Fascist demagogues, now considered the front runners in the Republican race for President—Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!  Again, the fight against right wing Fascism and its elements–racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism—remain a battle decent people must fight with every ounce of their energy!

Back To The Future: Mitt Romney In 2016?

The Republican Party is so torn apart that now there are rumors and hints that 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, is reconsidering his decision not to run again, due to the collapse of the so called “Establishment” Republicans, led by former Governor Jeb Bush.

Bush has run a poor campaign, despite all of the money he has gathered, and there are indications that he is starting to be abandoned, as Donald Trump continues to take up all of the oxygen in the Republican race.

While Ohio Governor John Kaisch has made some progress in his campaign, he is far from being seen as anywhere near becoming a leader in the competition for the Presidency, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio has not impressed many in his quest for the nomination.

So Romney may decide to enter the race, but still with the same shortcomings and faults that caused his defeat by President Barack Obama in 2012.

To believe that Romney could, somehow, win the Presidency in 2016 is mostly hype and delusion.

The question arises:  How many times has a defeated Presidential candidate come back to win the Presidency?  Here are the facts, a total of 5 times:

Thomas Jefferson lost the Presidency in 1796 and won in 1800.

Andrew Jackson lost the Presidency in 1824 and won in 1828.

William Henry Harrison lost the Presidency in 1836 and won in 1840.

Grover Cleveland lost the Presidency in 1888 and won in 1892.

Richard Nixon lost the Presidency in 1960 and won in 1968.

That is it, five Presidents, but realize that Jackson and Cleveland actually won the popular vote in their losing races in 1824 and 1888, but lost the electoral vote, and Cleveland had been President, then lost, and then won.

Of course, there have been 4 times when a future President lost the nomination of his party, and then went on to win the Presidency later, including:

James Monroe lost the nomination in 1808 to James Madison, but then won the Presidency in 1816.

Lyndon B. Johnson lost the nomination in 1960 to John F. Kennedy, but then became President by succession in 1963.

Ronald Reagan lost the nomination in 1976 to Gerald Ford, but then won the Presidency in 1980.

George H. W. Bush lost the nomination in 1980 to Ronald Reagan, but then won the Presidency in 1988.

At the same time, there have been 5 candidates nominated multiple times and never winning the Presidency, as follows:

Charles C. Pinckney won the nomination in 1804 and 1808.

Henry Clay won the nomination in 1824, 1832, and 1844.

William Jennings Bryan won the nomination in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

Thomas E. Dewey won the nomination in 1944 and 1948.

Adlai E. Stevenson II won the nomination in 1952 and 1956.

Also being on the ballot for President multiple times were Socialist Party nominees Eugene V. Debs (1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1920) and Norman Thomas (1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948) and Ross Perot (Independent in 1992 and Reform Party in 1996).

In any case, the odds that Romney, if he ran for President, would become the Republican nominee and win the Presidency are very poor!

 

 

 

“Non Politicians”–Presidential Winners And A Few Presidential Nominees

With three Republican Presidential candidates for 2016 being “non politicians”, people who have never served in a government position on the city, state or national level, the issue arises: have there been any other such candidates in the past?

It turns out that we have had several military generals who never served in a civilian position, that could qualify as “non politicians”.

This includes the following:

Zachary Taylor 1848 (Mexican War)

Winfield Scott 1852 (Mexican War)

George McClellan 1864 (Civil War)

Ulysses S. Grant 1868, 1872 (Civil War)

Winfield Scott Hancock 1880 (Civil War)

Taylor and Grant were elected, while Scott, McClellan, and Hancock were defeated in their attempts to become President.

McClellan did serve as Governor of New Jersey from 1878-1881, AFTER running for President against Abraham Lincoln.  But Taylor, Scott, Grant and Hancock never ran for public office.

Additionally, Horace Greeley, the New York Tribune publisher, ran for President in 1872, as the candidate of the Democratic Party and the breakaway group in the Republican Party opposed to Grant’s reelection, known as the “Liberal Republicans”.  He served very briefly as an appointed member of the House of Representatives, but not by vote of the people, but rather a choice of Whig Party leaders to fill a short term replacement before the election for the next term in Congress.  He served a total of only three months from December 1848 to March 1849, and did not run for the New York City seat.  Technically, one could say he had that political experience, but so little in time, that he could be seen as basically a “non politician” when he ran for President 24 years later, although being the editor of the New York Tribune was certainly “political” in nature.

Then we have Wall Street industrialist and businessman Wendell Willkie, who ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940, after stirring the Republican National Convention and overcoming much better known Presidential candidates, but while running a good race, he lost, and then supported the World War II effort and cooperated with FDR until Willkie died in late 1944.

And finally, we have billionaire Ross Perot, who ran for President as an independent in 1992 and as the Reform Party candidate in 1996.

So only Zachary Taylor and Ulysses S. Grant were “non politicians” who were elected President.

The odds of Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, or Dr. Benjamin Carson being elected President in 2016, therefore, are astronomical!

Two Former Governors As Third Party Candidates: Could It Affect The Presidential Election Results Of 2012?

Just a few days after an post about the likelihood that no third party would have a significant effect on the Presidential Election of 2012, suddenly the possibility arises that while no candidate is likely to win a state or gain a large percentage of votes, a 2000 Presidential Election scenario, where two candidates had small numbers of votes and percentage, and yet helped to determine the electoral vote in Florida, and therefore decide the winner of the Presidency, presents itself!

In 2000, Ralph Nader ran as the Green Party candidate and won 2.74 percent of the national vote, and Pat Buchanan ran as the Reform Party candidate and won 0.43 percent of the vote. But in Florida, about 97,000 people voted for Nader; and in Palm Beach Country, Florida, about 3,400 people incorrectly voted for Buchanan over Al Gore, because of confusion about filling out the infamous “butterfly” ballot, throwing the election in Florida to George W. Bush, and deciding the election of Bush over Al Gore.

Well, in theory, the same situation could arise in 2012, although highly unlikely that “lightning” would strike for a second time in 12 years.

Having said that, neither Ralph Nader nor Pat Buchanan were officeholders, while this election, two former governors are running, and cannot , therefore, be ignored!

The Libertarian Party has just nominated former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, and the Reform Party is likely to nominate former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer in August at their convention in Philadelphia.

Just being governors gives them a lot of status and clout, so we cannot assume that they will have no effect on the election results, just hope and pray that that is so!

Six Months To Presidential Election Of 2012: No Signs Of Strong Third Party Movement!

With six months to go to the Presidential Election of 2012, there are no signs of a strong third party movement occurring, which would have any dramatic effect on the election results.

Third parties in the past have had significance in election results, although never able to win the election.

This certainly proved true with the Free Soil Party of 1848, the Progressive Party of 1912, the American Independent Party in 1968, and the Reform Party of 1992.

And even in small ways, as in 2000, the candidacy of Ralph Nader, and even that of Pat Buchanan, had an effect on the race, particularly in Florida.

There is no such danger at this point, and with Mayor Michael Bloomberg making clear he is not running as an Independent, and instead allowing himself to be courted by both the Romney and Obama campaigns, there should be a major sigh of relief in both camps.

Yes, there will be third party candidates, but no one seriously is seen as a major figure, although it sometimes has seemed that Jon Huntsman, the former Utah Governor, might run, and Ron Paul, still technically in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination, has been rumored as a Libertarian Party candidate, as he was in 1988.

But realistically, the most “threatening” possible candidates are two former Governors who were ignored in the Republican race for President: former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Roemer might run as the Reform Party candidate, and Johnson as the Libertarian Party candidate

Virgil Goode, former Republican Congressman from Virginia, might be the Constitution Party candidate; Roseanne Barr, the comedian, might run as the Green Party candidate; and either Buddy Roemer or former Salt Lake City, Utah, Mayor Rocky Anderson might run on the Americans Elect (online nomination) Party, with Anderson also the candidate of the Justice Party.

Of course, there is always the possibility of Ralph Nader or Donald Trump or Jesse Ventura running, as they have often talked about, but with only Nader actually running just about every four years, making him, sadly, a joke at this point, when once he had real credibility.

The point is the likelihood of a third party or independent candidate having any impact on the election is close to zero at this point!