Monday Trivia #79 [TVD Wins!]

Rutherford Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and George W. Bush are the only people to have this in common. (Also John Adams, maybe, depending on precise phrasing.)

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.


  1. Presidents that have taken office despite their ticket winning with less than a 1% advantage of the popular vote.

    (Nixon, and this Ford, winning with about 1/2%, the others all losing the popular but winning the Electoral. Adams election is dependent upon phrasing, because the voting was done by delegates.)

  2. maybe didn’t win a specific state or combination thereof?

  3. I believe all won in the Electoral College but didn’t actually win a majority of the popular vote.

    • Clinton didn’t win a majority of the popular vote in 1992 because of Perot.

      • Getting less than 50% isn’t unusual: Wilson in 1912, Lincoln in 1860, etc. Getting less than someone else but still winning has only happened four times:

        * John Quincy Adams in 1824
        * Hayes in 1876
        * Benjamin Harrison in 1888
        * W in 2000

        1888 was just how the system works: in a close enough election, the popular and electoral votes can give different results. The others all involved some funny business. In 1824, the election went into the House, and JQA made some deals to swing enough votes. In 1876 and 2000, the election was decided by a supposedly objective commission or court that actually voted along party lines.

        Since Ford never won any national election, this would be the answer to this week’s puzzle, except for Nixon.

        • Well, technically Nixon lost the popular vote in 1960. But he lost the entire election that year.

        • OK, here’s my guess:

          Served as president but not both

          A. Starting by having been elected to national office by a plurality of the voters, and
          B. Ending with either the natural end of the term or death.

    • Which suggests that this isn’t about how they were elected to office (because in that case, the list would be all presidents, right?)

      Which makes me want to look at the elections they lost instead. Adams in 1800, Harrison in 1892, Nixon in 1960, and Ford in 1976. But Hayes ran once and won, and Bush ran twice and won both…

      • Could be Will is surprised that Presidential candidates with this attribute all won election, either initially or eventually. So could be something about the nomination, the campaign, the opponent, the VP, the election,…

    • No, to me that suggests that whatever unites them is not necessarily related to their being President in the first place, but as it happens, only these five (maybe six) men are eligible and coincidentally also were Presidents.

  4. Late Wednesday Hint: There is a chance, albeit not a likelihood, that Mitt Romney will join these ranks. Winfield Hancock almost did.

    (Apologies for some delayed responses. See my Zombie Surgeons post.)

      • TVD wins!

        Adams won electoral votes from a majority of states, and Hancock won an equal number of states as Garfield (19 a piece).

        • Actually, I should have excluded Adams altogether since the popular vote wasn’t really a thing at that point. My bad. One of the issues I had to confront early on was that there were many variations to the question.

          For those curious, Nixon did this in 1960. So Nixon and Ford both lost the applicable election, while the other three won with varying degrees of controversy.

          • At last! Never even got close before, you devilish quizmeisters, and this comes from a dude who won Ben Stein’s money. You are simply the best, and I shall treasure this moment always.

Comments are closed.