List of United States presidential candidates by number of primary votes

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In United States presidential politics, voters within both the Democratic and Republican parties select their candidates for the presidential election through a series of primary elections. For this list, any candidate that has won at least one state or territory's primary or caucus for a major party or received at least five percent of the vote since nationwide primaries were instituted in 1972 will be included.

History[edit]

The first state to hold a primary was Florida in 1901. In 1905, Wisconsin was the first state to hold a direct open primary. Five years later, in 1910, Oregon was the first state to hold a primary that bound its state's delegates to the convention based on election results. Between 1932 and 1968, twelve states held primaries consistently, while the remaining states chose which candidate received their delegates through state party bosses. In 1972, both parties held a primary or caucus in every state for the first time. However, Republican Richard Nixon was the incumbent president and was seeking re-election. As such, the Republican primary was uneventful that year, with Nixon winning every state easily. On the Democratic side, six candidates battled for the nomination. George McGovern of South Dakota won the first nationwide primary. Today, the first state to hold a caucus during primary season is Iowa, typically in early February. Shortly after that is the first primary, held in New Hampshire.

List[edit]

  Became their party's nominee
  Became President
Rank Candidate Party Home State Votes Received Year Source
1 Hillary Clinton Democrat New York 17,857,501 2008
2 Barack Obama Democrat Illinois 17,584,692 2008
3 Hillary Clinton Democrat New York 16,847,084 2016
4 Donald Trump Republican New York 14,009,107 2016
5 Bernie Sanders Democrat Vermont 13,168,222 2016
6 George W. Bush Republican Texas 12,034,676 2000
7 Al Gore Democrat Tennessee 10,885,814 2000
8 Bill Clinton Democrat Arkansas 10,482,411 1992
9 Jimmy Carter Democrat Georgia 10,043,016 1980
10 Mitt Romney Republican Massachusetts 10,031,336 2012
11 Michael Dukakis Democrat Massachusetts 10,024,101 1988
12 John Kerry Democrat Massachusetts 9,930,497 2004
13 John McCain Republican Arizona 9,902,797 2008
14 Bill Clinton Democrat Arkansas 9,706,802 1996
15 George H. W. Bush Republican Texas 9,199,463 1992
16 Bob Dole Republican Kansas 9,024,742 1996
17 George H. W. Bush Republican Texas 8,253,512 1988
18 George W. Bush Republican Texas 7,853,863 2004
19 Ted Cruz Republican Texas 7,810,479 2016
20 Ronald Reagan Republican California 7,709,793 1980
21 Ted Kennedy Democrat Massachusetts 7,381,693 1980
22 Jimmy Carter Democrat Georgia 6,971,770 1976
23 Walter Mondale Democrat Minnesota 6,952,912 1984
24 Jesse Jackson Democrat South Carolina 6,941,816 1988
25 Gary Hart Democrat Colorado 6,504,842 1984
26 Ronald Reagan Republican California 6,484,987 1984
27 Barack Obama Democrat Illinois 6,158,064 2012
28 John McCain Republican Arizona 6,061,332 2000
29 Gerald Ford Republican Michigan 5,529,899 1976
30 Richard Nixon Republican California 5,378,704 1972
31 Ronald Reagan Republican California 4,760,222 1976
32 Mitt Romney Republican Massachusetts 4,699,788 2008
33 John Kasich Republican Ohio 4,287,326 2016
34 Mike Huckabee Republican Arkansas 4,276,046 2008
35 Hubert Humphrey Democrat Minnesota 4,121,372 1972 [1]
36 Jerry Brown Democrat California 4,071,232 1992
37 George McGovern Democrat South Dakota 4,053,451 1972 [1]
38 Rick Santorum Republican Pennsylvania 3,932,069 2012
39 George Wallace Democrat Alabama 3,755,424 1972 [1]
40 Paul Tsongas Democrat Massachusetts 3,696,010 1992
41 Marco Rubio Republican Florida 3,513,879 2016
42 Jesse Jackson Democrat Illinois 3,282,431 1984
43 Al Gore Democrat Tennessee 3,190,992 1988
44 Pat Buchanan Republican Virginia 3,184,943 1996
45 John Edwards Democrat North Carolina 3,162,337 2004
46 George H. W. Bush Republican Texas 3,070,033 1980
47 Bill Bradley Democrat New Jersey 3,027,912 2000
48 Pat Buchanan Republican Virginia 2,899,488 1992
49 Newt Gingrich Republican Georgia 2,734,570 2012
50 Jerry Brown Democrat California 2,449,374 1976
51 Bob Dole Republican Kansas 2,333,375 1988
52 George Wallace Democrat Alabama 2,236,186 1976
53 Ron Paul Republican Texas 2,095,795 2012
54 Edmund Muskie Democrat Maine 1,840,217 1972 [1]
55 Steve Forbes Republican New York 1,751,187 1996
56 Mo Udall Democrat Arizona 1,611,754 1976
57 John Anderson Republican Illinois 1,572,174 1980
58 Dick Gephardt Democrat Missouri 1,452,331 1988
59 Ron Paul Republican Texas 1,160,403 2008
60 Henry Jackson Democrat Washington 1,134,375 1976
61 Paul Simon Democrat Illinois 1,107,692 1988
62 Pat Robertson Republican Virginia 1,097,446 1988
63 John Edwards Democrat North Carolina 994,029 2008
64 Alan Keyes Republican Maryland 985,819 2000
65 Howard Dean Democrat Vermont 903,460 2004
66 Frank Church Democrat Idaho 830,818 1976
67 Wesley Clark Democrat Arkansas 547,349 2004
68 Henry Jackson Democrat Washington 505,198 1972 [1]
69 Shirley Chisholm Democrat New York 430,703 1972 [1]
70 Bob Kerrey Democrat Nebraska 318,457 1992
71 Tom Harkin Democrat Iowa 280,340 1992

References[edit]