Who Are Some Notable Failed Democratic Presidential Nominees?


Quick Answer

Some notable failed Democratic presidential nominees include Walter Mondale, Al Gore and John Kerry. Although they were unsuccessful in their presidential campaigns, these politicians all went on to illustrious careers following their defeats.

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Originally a Minnesota senator, Walter Mondale served as the 42nd vice president under Jimmy Carter before the pair failed to win re-election against Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in 1980. Mondale mounted his own presidential campaign in the 1984 election, but lost in a landslide against the popular Reagan. After the loss, Mondale served in the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and as the U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Al Gore served two terms under President Bill Clinton before mounting his own presidential campaign in the 2000 election against George W. Bush. Gore’s failed campaign was infamous for its protracted defeat, which hinged on a recount of votes in Florida. After his eventual loss, Gore went on to prominent environmental activism, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to combat climate change.

A former anti-war activist, John Kerry served as a Massachusetts senator before running unsuccessfully against incumbent George W. Bush in 2004. After his presidential defeat, Kerry became the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee in 2009 before succeeding Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State in 2013.

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