The Odds Are Against Ex-presidents Who Vie for the White House

Imagine reapplying for your job after being let go. It would be tough enough to convince your former employer to rehire you, but what about when that employer is roughly 170 million Americans? That’s exactly what four past U.S. presidents have tried to do. They lost an election and then tried to run again later. The last time an ex-president tried to get his job back was before the 19th Amendment was ratified and women could legally vote. What’s even more rare than defeated presidents who ran again are those who actually won the presidency. In fact, that honor only goes to one person: Grover Cleveland (pictured above), who was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. In 1840, Martin Van Buren attempted to regain the White House, but he lost to Zachary Taylor. Then, in 1852, Millard Fillmore, who was vice president when President Zachary Taylor died after a little more than a year in office, tried to run for the office, but only secured 21% of the popular vote, which earned him only 8 electoral votes. Theodore Roosevelt slid into office when President William McKinley was assassinated in 1904. Roosevelt ran again in 1912, but lost to Woodrow Wilson. So, even though Donald Trump has tossed his hat in the ring for the 2024 election, the historical odds are clearly stacked against him.