A report on Dark horse

Previously less known person or thing that emerges to prominence in a situation, especially in a competition involving multiple rivals, or a contestant that on paper should be unlikely to succeed but yet still might.

- Dark horse

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Portrait by Mathew Brady, c. undefined 1849

James K. Polk

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The 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849.

The 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849.

Portrait by Mathew Brady, c. undefined 1849
Reconstruction of the log cabin in Pineville, North Carolina where Polk was born
c. 1846–49 daguerreotype of James K. Polk and Sarah Childress Polk
The house where Polk spent his young adult life before his presidency, in Columbia, Tennessee, is his only private residence still standing. It is now known as the James K. Polk Home.
1844 campaign banner for the Polk/Dallas ticket, produced by Nathaniel Currier
Results of the 1844 presidential election
The White House 1846
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President Polk, BEP engraved portrait
The inauguration of James K. Polk, as shown in the Illustrated London News, v. 6, April 19, 1845
Polk and his cabinet in the White House dining room, 1846. Front row, left to right: John Y. Mason, William L. Marcy, James K. Polk, Robert J. Walker. Back row, left to right: Cave Johnson, George Bancroft. Secretary of State James Buchanan is absent. This was the first photograph taken in the White House, and the first of a presidential Cabinet.
Map of Oregon Country, which the Oregon Treaty split between the Americans and British at the 49th parallel
Map of Mexico in 1845, with the Republic of Texas, the Republic of Yucatan and the disputed territory between Mexico and Texas in red. Mexico claimed to own all of Texas.
Polk's presidential proclamation of war against Mexico
Overview map of the war
War News from Mexico (1848)
Antonio López de Santa Anna, 1847
The Mexican Cession (in red) was acquired through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Gadsden Purchase (in orange) was acquired through purchase after Polk left office.
United States states and territories when Polk entered office
United States states and territories when Polk left office
Polk's official White House portrait, by George Peter Alexander Healy, 1858
The California Gold Rush began under Polk.
Associate Justice Levi Woodbury (c. 1850)
Robert C. Grier, one of President Polk's two appointees to the Supreme Court
Results of the 1848 presidential election
James K. Polk's tomb lies on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol
Polk Place, briefly James Polk's home and long that of his widow
Elias Polk depicted later in life was a valet to James Polk, being the only known image of a Polk household slave.
A statue of Polk at the North Carolina State Capitol

He was a dark horse candidate in the 1844 presidential election as the Democratic Party nominee; he entered his party's convention as a potential nominee for vice president but emerged as a compromise to head the ticket when no presidential candidate could secure the necessary two-thirds majority.

1844 United States presidential election

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The 15th quadrennial presidential election, held from Friday, November 1 to Wednesday, December 4, 1844.

The 15th quadrennial presidential election, held from Friday, November 1 to Wednesday, December 4, 1844.

Grand National Democratic banner
Anti-annexation poster, New York City, April 1844. Albert Gallatin (signature on poster), Thomas Jefferson's Treasury Secretary presided over the event.
Martin Van Buren summons spirits to divine the Democratic or Loco Foco prospects for election in 1844.
Political cartoon predicting Polk's defeat by Clay
Grand National Whig banner
Incumbent President John Tyler, the Democratic-Republican Party presidential nominee
Broadside announcing torchlight victory parade in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote
Results by county, shaded according to percentage of the vote for Polk
Results by county, shaded according to percentage of the vote for Clay
Results by county, shaded according to percentage of the vote for Birney
Results by county, shaded according to percentage of the vote for other candidates

The convention instead chose James K. Polk, former Governor of Tennessee and U. S. House Speaker, who emerged as the first dark horse nominee.

Nominees Polk and Dallas

1844 Democratic National Convention

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Presidential nominating convention held in Baltimore, Maryland from May 27 through 30.

Presidential nominating convention held in Baltimore, Maryland from May 27 through 30.

Nominees Polk and Dallas
Former President
Former Governor
Former Vice President
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Secretary of State
Senator
1st Presidential Ballot
2nd Presidential Ballot
3rd Presidential Ballot
4th Presidential Ballot
5th Presidential Ballot
6th Presidential Ballot
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9th Presidential Ballot Before Shifts
9th Presidential Ballot After Shifts
Former Senator
Senator
Captain
Former Governor
Senator
1st Vice Presidential Ballot
2nd Vice Presidential Ballot
3rd Vice Presidential Ballot

He won the nomination on the ninth presidential ballot, thus becoming the first dark horse candidate to win a major party's presidential nomination.

Portrait by Mathew Brady, c. undefined 1855–1865

Franklin Pierce

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The 14th president of the United States serving from 1853 to 1857.

The 14th president of the United States serving from 1853 to 1857.

Portrait by Mathew Brady, c. undefined 1855–1865
The Franklin Pierce Homestead in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, where Pierce grew up, is now a National Historic Landmark. He was born in a nearby log cabin as the homestead was being completed.
Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, a lifelong friend of Pierce, wrote the biography The Life of Franklin Pierce in support of Pierce's 1852 presidential campaign.
Pious and reserved, Jane Pierce was her husband's opposite in many ways.
Pierce in 1852
The Concord, New Hampshire house where Pierce lived from 1842 to 1848 is now known as the Pierce Manse. The house was restored in the 1970s and is now maintained as a historic attraction.
Pierce in his brigadier general's uniform
Pierce's brief term as a general in the Mexican–American War boosted his public image.
By the 1850s, Pierce had become a de facto leader of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
Campaign poster for the Pierce/King ticket
This anti-Pierce political cartoon depicts him as weak and cowardly.
Electoral map of the 1852 presidential election
Jane Pierce and "Benny", whose death cast a shadow over Pierce's term in office
Vice President William R. King died a little more than one month into his term, leaving a vacancy that could not be filled.
Indian Peace Medal depicting Pierce
The Kansas–Nebraska Act organized Kansas (in pink) and Nebraska Territory (yellow).
Northerners resented Pierce's attempted expansion of slavery through Kansas–Nebraska and Cuba. In this 1856 cartoon, a Free Soiler is held down by Pierce, Buchanan, and Cass while Douglas shoves "Slavery" (depicted as a black man) down his throat.
Partisan violence spilled into Congress in May 1856 when Free Soil Senator Charles Sumner was assaulted with a walking cane by Democratic Rep. Preston Brooks in the Senate chamber.
Portrait by George Peter Alexander Healy. Pierce, seen here in 1858, remained a vocal political figure after his presidency.

Democratic James K. Polk's dark horse victory in the 1844 presidential election was welcome news to Pierce, who had befriended the former Speaker of the House while both served in Congress.

Portrait by Harris & Ewing, c. 1920

Warren G. Harding

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The 29th president of the United States, serving from 1921 until his death in 1923.

The 29th president of the United States, serving from 1921 until his death in 1923.

Portrait by Harris & Ewing, c. 1920
Harding's home in Marion, Ohio
Senator Joseph B. Foraker in 1908, his final full year as senator before his re-election defeat
Harding c. 1919
Harding begins his front porch campaign by accepting the Republican nomination, July 22, 1920.
"How Does He Do It?" In this Clifford Berryman cartoon, Harding and Cox ponder another big story of 1920: Babe Ruth's record-setting home run pace.
Harding campaigning in 1920
Harding takes the oath of office
Charles Evans Hughes, former Supreme Court justice and Harding's Secretary of State
Charles Dawes—the first budget director and later, vice president under Coolidge
Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon advocated lower tax rates.
Harding's official White House portrait, c. 1922 by Edmund Hodgson Smart
Harding addresses the segregated crowd in Birmingham, Alabama, October 26, 1921
Harding (center) with Chief Justice Taft (left) and Robert Lincoln at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, May 30, 1922
Harding aboard the presidential train in Alaska, July 1923, with secretaries Hoover, Wallace, Work, and Mrs. Harding
Harding's funeral procession passing the White House
The Harding Tomb in Marion
Harding made his friend Frank E. Scobey Director of the Mint. Medal by Chief Engraver George T. Morgan.
Albert B. Fall, Harding's first Secretary of the Interior, became the first former cabinet member to be sent to prison for crimes committed in office.
Harry M. Daugherty was implicated in the scandals but was never convicted of any offense.
Charles R. Forbes, director of the Veterans' Bureau, who was sent to prison for defrauding the government
Charles E. Sawyer
Harding memorial issue, issued September 1, 1923
Warren and Florence Harding, c.1922. Florence Harding was highly protective of her husband's legacy.

Reporters considered Harding unlikely to be nominated due to his poor showing in the primaries, and relegated him to a place among the dark horses.

1852 United States presidential election

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The 17th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1852.

The 17th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1852.

Pierce/King campaign poster
Scott/Graham campaign poster
Political cartoon favoring Winfield Scott
Map of presidential election results by county
Former Senator Franklin Pierce from New Hampshire
Senator Lewis Cass from Michigan
Former Secretary of State James Buchanan
Former Secretary of War William L. Marcy
Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois
Commanding General Winfield Scott
President Millard Fillmore
U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster
Senator John P. Hale from New Hampshire
Former senator George Troup from Georgia
Map of Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of Whig presidential election results by county
Map of Free Soil presidential election results by county
Map of "Other" presidential election results by county

On the 49th ballot, dark horse candidate Franklin Pierce won nomination by consensus compromise.

1920 United States presidential election

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The 34th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1920.

The 34th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 2, 1920.

A ticket purchased by a guest of the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
Poster for the 1920 Democratic presidential ticket
Roosevelt and Cox at a campaign appearance in Washington, D.C.
Clifford Berryman's cartoon depiction of Eugene V. Debs' campaign from prison.
Map of presidential election results by county
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Senator
Major General
Governor
Senator
Governor
Columbia University President
Senator
Theodore Roosevelt
First Presidential Ballot
Second Presidential Ballot
Third Presidential Ballot
Fourth Presidential Ballot
Fifth Presidential Ballot
Sixth Presidential Ballot
Seventh Presidential Ballot
Eighth Presidential Ballot
Ninth Presidential Ballot
'''Tenth Presidential Ballot
'''Tenth Presidential Ballot
William Gibbs McAdoo
Alexander M. Palmer
Governor
John W. Davis
Governor
Senator
Vice President
Edwin T. Meredith
Senator
DNC Chairman
Senator
James W. Gerard
Senator
Senator
Governor-General
President
Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote
Map of Republican presidential election results by county
Map of Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of "other" presidential election results by county
Cartogram of presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Republican presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Democratic presidential election results by county
Cartogram of "other" presidential election results by county

With both Wilson and Roosevelt out of the running, the major parties turned to little-known dark horse candidates from the state of Ohio, a swing state with a large number of electoral votes.

Nominees
Harding and Coolidge

1920 Republican National Convention

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The 1920 Republican National Convention nominated Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding for president and Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge for vice president.

The 1920 Republican National Convention nominated Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding for president and Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge for vice president.

Nominees
Harding and Coolidge
Inside the convention hall
Delegates gathered on the convention floor
After being nominated, Harding delivers an acceptance speech from the front porch of his home
<center>Senator
<center>Major General
<center>Governor
<center>Senator
<center>Senator
<center>Columbia University President
<center>Governor
<center>Senator
<center>Circuit Judge
<center>Senator
<center>Governor

Dark horse Harding, however, was nominated.

US picture sleeve

Dark Horse (George Harrison song)

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Song by English rock musician George Harrison and the title track to his 1974 solo album on Apple Records.

Song by English rock musician George Harrison and the title track to his 1974 solo album on Apple Records.

US picture sleeve
Logo for Harrison's record label, which he named after his song "Dark Horse"
Trade ad for the Dark Horse album, December 1974

The term "dark horse" had long been applied to Harrison due to his unexpected emergence as the most accomplished solo artist of the four former Beatles following the band's break-up in 1970.

William Jennings Bryan carried on the shoulders of delegates after giving the speech

Cross of Gold speech

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Delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former United States Representative from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896.

Delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former United States Representative from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 9, 1896.

William Jennings Bryan carried on the shoulders of delegates after giving the speech
Congressman Richard P. Bland
The Chicago Coliseum
Former Iowa Governor Horace Boies was a major contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 1896.
In a 1900 engraving, former Massachusetts Governor William E. Russell is shown preceding Bryan in addressing the convention.
The 1896 Democratic National Convention
Judge magazine criticized Bryan for sacrilege in his speech. He is shown with crown and cross, but trampling the Bible.
Bryan campaigning on stage a few months after the speech
A "Bryan dollar" issued by his opponents to illustrate the difference between the size of a silver dollar and the amount of bullion that could be purchased with a dollar.

Bryan had been a dark horse candidate with little support in the convention.