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Cleveland lost his re-election bid in 1888 but won again in 1992. Nixon ran for president and lost in 1960 but won in 1968 and again in 1972. Jackson lost in a 4-man race in 1824, then won in 1828 and again in 1832. Jefferson came in second in 1796 but won in 1800 and 1804. I think these are all the losing presidential candidates who came back to win. Lincoln, Hayes and maybe others lost an election before winning the big one.

Also, William Henry Harrison lost to Martin Van Buren in 1836 but beat him in 1840.

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Q: Who is the only president ever reelected after defeat?
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James Knox Polk is the only US President to have held that office.


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FDR was reelected for his second term because he was saving the nation. He created government agencies and helped the country out of the despair caused by the Great Depression. People thought of him as a friend. For his third term he was reelected because he told people he had a plan to lead them out of the war. People obviously needed him so he won by a landslide again. For his fourth World War II was still on so he was reelected. He was the only president ever elected for four terms and nowadays there's a law against more than two terms.


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