Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton Both Blew Large Leads Prior to The Start of Primary Voting

United States election insights.  Primaries and candidates that blew their leads.Primary voting is upon us for the 2024 US Presidential election.

President Trump is currently polling at roughly 60% in national primary polling, which bodes extremely well for him winning the Republican nomination in 2024.

In fact, four people - Trump (2023), George W. Bush (1999), Al Gore (1999) and Hillary Clinton (2015) have been polling at 55% or above in the year-end prior to the primary election, and Bush, Gore and Clinton all ended up securing the nominations for their parties.

There is no reason to think that Trump will be any different, barring some sort of legal issue preventing him from winning the nomination or being named on ballots.


This begs the question - who has enjoyed a massive lead in the past in primary polling and ended up missing out on the nomination?

There are two clear "winners" here:

1. Ted Kennedy, 1979.

In the summer of 1979, Senator Ted Kennedy was polling at around 58% to win the Democratic nomination in 1980.

President Jimmy Carter was struggling in the polls, largely due to high inflation and sluggishness in the US economy. This gave Senator Ted Kennedy an opening to challenge for the Democratic nomination.

In November of 1979, Ted Kennedy officially announced his bid for President, and sat for an interview on CBS to announce his candidacy.

The interview did not go well, with many calling Kennedy "confused".

Despite this, Kennedy still led in the polls.

There were issues over Kennedy's ethics, mainly surrounding the infamous "Chappaquiddick Incident". Democratic voters worried that Ronald Reagan would use this to his advantage if Kennedy were to secure the nomination.

Carter managed to rally, eventually winning 24 of 34 primaries, though it was certainly an unusually close primary race for an incumbent President.

In the end, Carter secured 2,129 primary votes, while Kennedy managed to secure 1,146.

2. Hillary Clinton, 2007.

With the US economy reeling in 2007, many people felt as though Hillary Clinton was a lay-up to win the 2008 Democratic nomination.

After all, the line of thinking went - the economy roared under President Bill Clinton, so why not install another Clinton in the Oval Office?

At the end of 2007, Hillary Clinton was polling at roughly 45%.

We all know what happened in 2008, as Barack Obama started to surge in the polls, buoyed by the younger generations of voters who wanted "change".

The race for the Democratic nomination ended up being extremely close, as Obama received 2,272.5 delegates, while Hillary Clinton received 1,978.

Barack Obama would end up winning the nomination and the general election.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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