7 vice presidents who ran for president but lost - what about Pence?

Mike Pence

14 US vice presidents went on to become president, but here are seven who failed to get the top job in American politics.

1. Al Gore

Following eight years as Bill Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore won the Democratic presidential nomination, and went on to face the Republican’s George W. Bush in the 2000 election. If you know your modern American political history, you will know what happened next. After a tight and controversial recount in Florida, Bush was declared president, ending eight years of Democratic-rule.

That all said, Gore can be comforted in the fact that he did win the popular vote, meaning most Americans supported him in the end.

President George W. Bush visits Pentagon

2. Richard Nixon

After serving eight years as Dwight Eisenhower’s vice president, Nixon clinched the Republican nomination, but lost the race to Democratic candidate JFK, who was succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson following the former's assassination.

Despite losing the presidential election in 1960, Nixon became America’s comeback kid, securing the Republican nomination in 1968 and going on to win two elections.

Then Watergate happened…

Richard Nixon Badge

3. Hubert Humphrey

This Democrat was put on the Democrat’s 1964 presidential ticket as Lyndon B. Johnson’s running-mate. Johnson secured his first full term – his previous won had started after Kennedy’s assassination – and Humphrey became VP. Then, in 1968, after Johnson declared he would not seek an historic third term, Humphrey secured the Democratic nomination and faced another former VP Richard Nixon that November.

In the end, Nixon won a comfortable victory.

4. Walter Mondale

As Jimmy Carter’s running mate, Mondale went into the 1976 presidential election, with a real chance of becoming vice president. Carter won and Mondale became VP, but following Ronald Reagan’s stunning victory in 1980, Mondale’s time as VP was cut short.

That all said, Mondale's 1980 loss paved the way for him to run in 1984. He easily secured the Democratic nomination, but was heavily defeated by Reagan when Americans went to the polls in November.

5. Harry A. Wallace

The only president to serve more than two terms was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four elections in a row. The last of his terms was cut short by an early death in 1945.

Wallace served as Roosevelt’s vice president for the duration of Roosevelt’s term, but was replaced by Harry S. Truman in the 1944 election.

Wallace went on to found his own “Progressive” party and ran as its presidential candidate in 1948. Unsurprisingly, he lost, winning just over 2% of the vote while his replacement Truman secured another term as president.

Vice President Mike Pence at CPAC 2017

6. John Nance Garner

And before Wallace, there was Garner, who served for eight years as Roosevelt’s first vice president from 1933 and 1945.

As was the tradition, it was expected that Roosevelt would step down after two terms. This was before the introduction of the two-term limit. But no, Roosevelt declared he would run for a third term, which effectively ended any chance Garner had at winning his party’s nomination.

In the end, Roosevelt secured the nomination with 72% of the vote compared to Garner’s 10%.

7. Nelson Rockefeller

Rockefeller served as Gerald Ford’s vice president between 1974 and 1977, following the latter’s ascension to the presidency. He also served as governor of New York.

Unlike many other VPs on this list, Rockefeller ran for the top job before becoming vice president. He ran tried to secure the Republican nomination for president on three occasions – 1960, 1964 and 1968 – but failed to win each time.

President Mike Pence?

Is Mike Pence planning to run for president after Donald Trump finishes up or will events allow for the current VP to come to power much quicker than that?