Dark Horse Candidate

More horse-race campaign jargon.

“A┬ácandidate nominated after multiple ballots at a political party’s nominating convention.

During the first few ballots at the 1844 convention a stalemate developed between Van Buren and Lewis Cass, an experienced politician from Michigan. Neither man could get the required two-thirds majority necessary to win the nomination. On the eighth ballot taken at the convention, on May 28, 1844, Polk was suggested as a compromise candidate. Polk received 44 votes, Van Buren 104, and Cass 114. Finally, on the ninth ballot there was a stampede for Polk when the New York delegation abandoned hopes for another term for Van Buren, a New Yorker, and voted for Polk.”

—from AboutEducation.Com

Using the Web

1. What subsequent presidential nominees were dark horse candidates?

2. Do dark horse nominees typically win or lose the general election?

3. Why have there been fewer surprise nominees for president in recent nominations?