Biggest Presidential Election Upsets

While the contested 2000 presidential race between Bush and Gore seemed like an unprecedented fiasco, there have been many other controversial upsets throughout American history.

Practically Historical

Many Presidential elections are decided… long before the votes are cast.  Technology makes predicting election results an acceptable part of the modern campaign cycle.  Historical analysis provides election scorecards on races prior to modern media technology.  Despite all the prognostication, there are several key elections which defied expectations.

5.  1892—  Grover Cleveland became the first candidate to be nominated by a party three times and was seeking his second (non-consecutive) term.  Benjamin Harrison was a solid, but uninspiring incumbent who had narrowly defeated Cleveland four years earlier.  Republicans spent millions in a campaign centered on currency policy.  Harrison enlisted allies like Ohio Governor William McKinley but was unable to campaign personally because of the death of his wife in October, 1892.  Cleveland overcame the powerful Republican campaign and the sympathetic figure cut by his opponent to win easily in what must be considered an upset.

4.  1960–  John F…

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