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PE President Elect
ARTICLES

Not So Favorite Sons
by JAMES R WHITSON < james@presidentelect.org >
posted October 1, 2002
read or post comments about this article
When Al Gore lost Tennessee in the 2000 election, many pointed out how unusual it was for a candidate to lose their home state. We were reminded that it had been 28 years since a major candidate had not won the state they were representing. While it had not occurred recently before 2000, it is actually fairly common for a presidential "Favorite Son" to lose favor with the voters of his state. In fact, it has occurred in 29 of the 50 elections since 1804! What is rare is for a candidate to actually win the presidency without also winning their home state. That has occurred only three times since 1804.

(The list below is limited to candidates who: were actively running; ran from 1804 to the present; were from major parties or third parties that significantly impacted an election.)

1804
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
of South Carolina
lost home state and election to Thomas Jefferson.
1808
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
of South Carolina
lost home state and election to James Madison.
1816
Rufus King
of New York
lost home state and election to James Monroe.
1840
Martin Van Buren
of New York
incumbent President lost home state and election to William Henry Harrison.
1844
James Polk
of Tennessee
lost home state to Henry Clay, but won the election.
1852
Winfield Scott
of New Jersey
lost home state and election to Franklin Pierce.
1856
John Fremont
of California
lost home state and election to James Buchanan.
1856
Millard Fillmore
of New York
former President lost home state to John Fremont, who lost election to James Buchanan.
1860
Stephen Douglas
of Illinois
lost home state and election to Abraham Lincoln, who was also from Illinois.
1860
John Breckinridge
of Kentucky
lost home state to John Bell, who lost the election to Abraham Lincoln.
1864
George McClellan
of New York
lost home state and election to Abraham Lincoln.
1872
Horace Greeley
of New York
lost home state and election to Ulysses S. Grant.
1880
Winfield Hancock
of Pennsylvania
lost home state and election to James Garfield.
1888
Grover Cleveland
of New York
incumbent President lost home state and election to Benjamin Harrison.
1892
Benjamin Harrison
of Indiana
incumbent President lost home state and election to former President Grover Cleveland.
1900
William Jennings Bryan
of Nebraska
lost home state and election to William McKinley.
1904
Alton Parker
of New York
lost home state and election to Theodore Roosevelt, who was also from New York.
1912
Theodore Roosevelt
of New York
former President lost home state and election to Woodrow Wilson.
1912
William Howard Taft
of Ohio
incumbent President lost home state and election to Woodrow Wilson.
1916
Woodrow Wilson
of New Jersey
incumbent President lost home state to Charles Hughes, but won the election.
1920
James Cox
of Ohio
lost home state and election to Warren Harding, who was also from Ohio.
1924
John William Davis
of West Virginia
lost home state and election to Calvin Coolidge.
1928
Alfred Smith
of New York
lost home state and election to Herbert Hoover.
1932
Herbert Hoover
of California
incumbent President lost home state and election to Franklin Roosevelt.
1936
Alfred Landon
of Kansas
lost home state and election to Franklin Roosevelt.
1940
Wendell Willkie
of New York
lost home state and election to Franklin Roosevelt, who was also from New York.
1944
Thomas Dewey
of New York
lost home state and election to Franklin Roosevelt, who was also from New York.
1952
Adlai Stevenson
of Illinois
lost home state and election to Dwight Eisenhower.
1956
Adlai Stevenson
of Illinois
lost home state and election to Dwight Eisenhower.
1968
Richard Nixon
of New York
lost home state to Hubert Humphrey, but won the election.
1972
George McGovern
of South Dakota
lost home state and election to Richard Nixon.
2000
Al Gore
of Tennessee
lost home state and election to George W. Bush.

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Not So Favorite Sons
© James R Whitson, President Elect


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