The Most Unlikely Presidential Nominees to Ever Run

In the world of politics, most candidates are expected, but not necessarily required, to have some kind of educational background regarding law and business studies, as well as human and social sciences. And while most of them do, there’s always the oddball or two who no one expects to make it on the presidential ballot. What’s even more shocking is that they make it all the way to the finals, even becoming president of the good ole’ USA. 

1. Donald Trump

What good would this list be without mentioning the controversial Donald Trump who took everyone by surprise when he announced his candidacy in 2016. Most people naturally assumed that he would quickly be voted out of the race, only for him to miraculously pull a complete 180. The former businessman and media personality is well-known for his bombastic and self-serving personality, which seemed to work a little too well in his favor, leading to many of his supporters following his footsteps when it comes to voicing their problematic opinions in a similar manner.

2. Michelle Bachmann

Up next is Michelle Bachmann whose candidacy, like Donald Trump’s, was riddled with a long list of outrageous statements. Like that time when she suggested that the numerous earthquakes and hurricanes in 2011 were caused by God so that Americans would wake up and address government spending. Not to mention that she is a strong supporter of phasing out Social Security, Medicare and minimum wage. Even after dropping after the race, Bachmann’s ridiculous rambling never stopped—she later accused Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood simply because she is a Muslim.

3. Homer Aubrey Tomlinson

Homer Aubrey Tomlinson was a New York City preacher and advertising professional who ran for president five times in a row from 1952 until his death in 1968. And unlike most politicians, his desire to become president seemed to have been fueled by his religious zealousness. He even founded his own political organization called the Theocratic Party with the goal of replacing taxation with tithing and creating a new cabinet post, Secretary of Righteousness. Upon losing his final election, Tomlinson would later declare himself to be the “King of the World” following his journey around the globe.

4. George McGovern

When George McGovern entered the presidential race in 1972, he was a barely-known politician who ranked fifth place among the Democrats in a presidential preference poll. But it was his outspokenness of the Vietnam War that made him one of the party’s top nominees. However, his popularity was short-lived for many reasons, but mostly due to his Vice Presidential requests including Ted Kennedy, who many Democrats were not on the best terms with. His other nominee Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton later withdrew after it was revealed that he underwent electroshock therapy just two weeks earlier.

5. Ralph Nader

Prior to running for president, Ralph Nader had already made a reputation for himself as a champion for government reform causes, consumer rights and protection, and environmentalism. He ran a total of four times: first in 1996 and 2000 as a member of the Green Party, in 2004 with the Reform Party, then as an independent in 2008. However, his most controversial campaign was in 2000, during which it was alleged that his campaign helped Republican George W. Bush who defeated Democrats’ Al Gore by 537 votes. Nader was blamed for Gore’s loss due to the fact that his supporters would have most likely voted Democrat if he never ran.

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