We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Many US Presidents Lost Their Run for a Second Term?

As of 2012, 13 US presidents who sought reelection after their first full or partial term in office had lost their bid for a second chance at the presidency. One of those 13 was Grover Cleveland, who was not reelected after his first term as president but was elected again four years later. Franklin Pierce, Chester Arthur, John Tyler and Andrew Johnson did not receive their parties' nominations after their first terms. From World War II to the 2008 election, only three US presidents — Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush — who received their parties' nominations after full or partial first terms lost their respective elections. In other words, incumbents usually win.

More about the reelection of US presidents:

  • Seven presidents have declined the opportunity to run for a second full term, as of 2012.

  • As of 2012, eight US president had died while in office. Four of them — Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John Kennedy — were assassinated.

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office for 4,422 days, the most time in office of any US president. William Henry Harrison had the shortest term, 31 days, which was ended by his death from complications of pneumonia.

  • As of 2012, Ford was the only US president who was never elected to the office of president or vice-president. Ford was appointed vice-president when Spiro Agnew resigned, and he became the president when Richard Nixon resigned.

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.