5 Presidential Hopefuls Who Tried, But Never Got the Job

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Barring some spectacle in their defeat, history generally does not remember losers nearly as well as it remembers winners — and perhaps nowhere is this more true than in U.S. presidential elections.

For example, Abraham Lincoln is widely considered the most well-regarded president of all time, but few know the names of the politicians he defeated in the polls in order to land the job, twice. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, another highly regarded president, squared off against four separate Republican challengers on the campaign trail, and buried them in the dust of history.

But without a challenger to step to the podium, without an opposition party of some form, the Democratic system would fall apart. Unfortunately, at some point during the 1970s, it became so unfashionable to lose presidential elections that losers appear obligated to give up the chase if they didn’t get it on the first go. In honor of those who tried, failed, tried again, and failed again — here are five presidential candidates who wouldn’t let one (or two) defeats stand in the way.

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