How Soon We Forget: The Presidential Losers Quiz

By: Staff

Which candidate was known as "Little Giant"?

Douglas was a fierce defender of the Union and lost to Abraham Lincoln.

Which candidate lost an election that was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court?

Bungled vote counting in Florida contributed to this election fiasco.

To whom did Thomas Jefferson lose the 1796 election?

Adams picked up more than 54 percent of the vote to win.

Who served as vice president under John Adams after the election of 1796?

It was the only time in U.S. history that a losing candidate wound up serving as vice president. Back then, the rules said whoever got the second-most votes in the election became the vice president.

Which losing candidate came up with the idea of nationwide stumping tours?

Bryan gave hundreds of speeches and garnered a lot of support, but still lost multiple times.

To which candidate did George B. McClellan lose?

He had immense support in the military but that popularity didn't extend across the country.

Which candidate was the only one to have died before the electoral vote was cast?

His dejection at being defeated in the election contributed to his decline.

To which candidate did Thomas E. Dewey lose?

Dewey was supposed to win; it was one of the biggest upsets in election history.

Which loser founded the Reform Party?

Perot was the first third-party candidate in many years to actually nab more than a few votes.

What occupation did Horace Greeley take up before politics?

He was an editor at the New York Tribune, one of the most well-regarded publications of the era.

Which election did Grover Cleveland lose?

But he won the other two, making him a huge winner in the end.

Who did John Hancock run against?

Given Washington's legendary reputation, Hancock didn't have much of a chance.

In what year did Strom Thurmond run for president?

Thurmond served as a senator for nearly five decades.

How many times did Aaron Burr lose the election?

He lost to three icons named Washington, Adams and Jefferson.

Which party was Martin Van Buren representing when he lost in 1848?

The party made the abolition of slavery one of its core issues.

How many people ran for the Republican nomination in the 2016 election?

A whopping 17 people ran for the 2016 nomination. Despite the presence of several senators and governors, political novice Donald Trump wound up with the nomination.

Strom Thurmond was a strong supporter of what issue?

He couldn't win the White House, but he touted racist views during his decades in politics.

John Q. Adams's first run at president failed to unseat which incumbent?

Monroe won both the 1816 and 1820 elections.

How many states did Michael Dukakis win in 1988?

He also won the District of Columbia, but the election was a landslide for GeorgeH.W. Bush.

By what percentage did Hubert Humphrey lose the 1968 election?

Nixon just scraped by; we all know how that turned out.

Which losing candidate had the nickname, "The Pathfinder"?

Fremont was a famous explorer who led four expeditions across North America. He was the first Republican party candidate and lost to James Buchanan.

Al Smith was the governor of which state?

He lost the 1928 election but was governor four times.

Which election did William Jennings Bryan NOT lose?

He didn't lose in 1904 … because he didn't run that year.

Before running for president, Winfield Scott Hancock was an officer who served in which war?

He was praised endlessly following his leadership at Gettysburg.

How many electoral votes did Adlai Stevenson collect?

He lost the 1956 election to Dwight D. Eisenhower in a landslide.

After losing to Ronald Reagan, which position did Walter Mondale fill?

Mondale was also vice president under Jimmy Carter.

In 2002, what event caused Walter Mondale to run for senate at the last minute?

Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash just before the election; Mondale barely lost.

Who was the first third-party candidate to carry a state in an election?

Wirt served as attorney general and was renowned for his intelligence. He carried Vermont in the 1832 election.

Robert Kennedy's assassination prompted which man to run for president?

McGovern was distraught over the killing but eventually threw his hat into the ring. Hubert Humphrey ended up becoming the Democratic nominee for 1968.

What contributed to the collapse of Ed Muskie's run for president in 1972?

The press reported Muskie shed tears as he defended his wife against unwarranted attacks. Muskie said the "tears" were really melted snowflakes on his cheeks. Either way, the damage was done.

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About This Quiz

These also-rans gave it their best but came up short in America's biggest election. How much do you know about these presidential losers?

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