In our nation’s history, ten incumbent Presidents have been defeated at the polls when seeking a second term in the White House.
Here’s the list of the unfortunate Presidents who were rejected by the voters:
Election Year Defeated President Defeated by
1800 John Adams Thomas Jefferson
1828 John Quincy Adams Andrew Jackson
1840 Martin Van Buren William Henry Harrison
1888 Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison
1892 Benjamin Harrison Grover Cleveland
1912 William Howard Taft Woodrow Wilson
1932 Herbert Hoover Franklin D. Roosevelt
1976 Gerald R. Ford Jimmy Carter
1980 Jimmy Carter Ronald Reagan
1992 George H.W. Bush Bill Clinton
Non-Consecutive Presidency: Of the ten defeated presidents, only Grover Cleveland ended up serving two terms. After he was defeated in 1888 for re-election by Benjamin Harrison, he came back four years later to toss Harrison out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He thus became the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, and is known as both the 22nd and 24th president.