Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Repeat Matches In Presidential Elections

Far from Houston, I recently read about the race for the 35th Aldermanic district in Chicago. The two leading candidates, Rey Colon and Vilma Colom, are running against each other for a third consecutive time.

This got me to thinking about repeat Presidential matches. 

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson ran against each other in 1796 and in 1800. Adams won in ’96 and Jefferson in ’00.

J.Q Adams beat Andy Jackson in 1824, but Adams lost to Jackson in 1828.

Henry Clay was one of the five main candidates along with Adams and Jackson in 1824. Clay then lost to Jackson in 1832.

William Henry Harrison was one of two Whigs to lose to Martin Van Buren in 1836. Harrison beat Van Buren in 1840.

Benjamin Harrison beat Grover Cleveland in 1888. That outcome was reversed in 1892.

William McKinley beat William Jennings Bryan in both 1896 and 1900.

Dwight Eisenhower got the better of Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956.

Ross Perot took 19% of the vote in 1992 and 8% in 1996 in elections won by Bill Clinton.

Thankfully, we will be spared a John Kerry/George W. Bush repeat.  


February 26, 2007 - Posted by | Political History


  1. Neil, have you read Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”?

    Prof. Zinn doesn’t seem to have a high opinion of most of the men you mentioned here. He points out that throughout US History, the 2 Pres. candidates have pretty much been frighteningly similar (all rhetoric aside).

    Based on the elections I have seen, Zinn might have a point…

    Comment by Laz | February 26, 2007

  2. I have read that book. It’s a winner.

    I think , for example, that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had truly different views about what direction the country should take. The same can be said for J.Q. Adams and Andy Jackson. Those different views are not surprising given how new America was at that point.

    On the other hand, not much seperated Ban Harrison and Grover Cleveland. Yet as a result of Gilded Age politics and the lack of real two party politics and choices, William Jennings Bryan came along and I think did offer people a very different view of America than held by McKinley.

    While it is true that the rich always have too much say in the process and that big money appears to dictate the process, it is also so that John Kerry and George W. Bush did offer a real difference.

    Maybe part of the issue is that academics who say all the candidates are the same don’t see much change no matter what happens. Yet if you are a person who needs help from government programs that are shut down, or a person strongly opposed to abortion, it would seem to matter who is elected President.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 26, 2007

  3. I’m almost halfway through it and I must say that his words inspire a certain anger, provided the accuracy of Zinn’s words.

    Good read though (so far).

    Comment by Laz | February 26, 2007

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