When The Runner-Up Endorsed The Presumptive Nominee

Bernie Sanders’ decision to endorse Joe Biden on April 13th came sooner than many expected, considering that he said less than a week ago he was still hoping to win more delegates and that four years ago he didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton until July 12th — well after Clinton became the presumptive nominee.

Of course, no one in recent history topped what Eugene McCarthy did in 1968:  He didn’t endorse Hubert Humphrey until October 29th of that year, just a week before the election.  Then again, I still don’t know if Jerry Brown ever endorsed Bill Clinton in 1992.  And neither Nelson Rockefeller nor William Scranton endorsed Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Here’s a look at some memorable battles for the nomination and when the runner-up endorsed the winner:


1988:  Bob Dole endorses George Bush, 3/29.


2000:  John McCain endorses George W. Bush, 5/9.

1980:  George Bush endorses Ronald Reagan, 5/27.


2008:  Hillary Clinton endorses Barack Obama, 6/7.


2016:  Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton, 7/12.

2000:  Bill Bradley endorses Al Gore, 7/13.

1988:  Jesse Jackson endorses Michael Dukakis, at the convention.

1984:  Gary Hart endorses Walter Mondale, at the convention.

1972:  Hubert Humphrey endorses George McGovern, at the convention.


1992:  Pat Buchanan endorses George Bush, at the convention.

1976:  Ronald Reagan endorses Gerald Ford, at the convention.


2016:  Ted Cruz endorses Donald Trump, 9/23.


1968:  Eugene McCarthy endorses Hubert Humphrey, 10/29.


2 thoughts on “When The Runner-Up Endorsed The Presumptive Nominee”

    • Yes, and that was also the case with Hart and Mondale, Humphrey and McGovern, Jackson and Dukakis, and Buchanan and Bush. I listed them all.


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