Top 10 Most Controversial American Presidential Candidates

Throughout the history of democracy, American elections are held for every four years for the people to elect a new president. While it is always good for the masses to have a say inside their government, these occasions just bring out the most contentious of people.

The Top Ten

1 George Wallace George Wallace George Corley Wallace Jr. was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Alabama, having served two nonconsecutive terms and two consecutive terms as a Democrat: 1963–1967, 1971–1979 and 1983–1987. Wallace has the third longest gubernatorial tenure in post-Constitutional U.S.

Aside from Goldwater, Wallace was the presidential candidate who was all for segregation of whites and people of color which obviously didn't go well with some Americans at the time. A committed segregationist, he tried to block the entrance of the University of Alabama to prevent black people from enrolling. He was quite successful in several southern states in 1968. - Bolshoy_Brat

2 Barry Goldwater Barry Goldwater

Most likely the victim of an early version of the Liberal Hit Squad. Not coincidental that once the election was over, he returned to being the senior Senator from Arizona for the rest of his life, and was venerated as an elder statesman by virtually all members of both parties.

Your stereotypical Republican; anti-big government and laissez-faire capitalist and all that stuff. An opponent of LBJ, he was against the Civil Rights Act which earned him the support of the Ku Klux Klan. Fortunately, LBJ won the elections and America didn't had a literal racist in office. Possibly exacerbating race tensions there. - Bolshoy_Brat

3 Earl Browder Earl Browder

It was only in 1930s America that a communist could contend in elections. Earl Browder did just that and he was no saint either. A pro-Soviet Stalinist and anti-capitalist, obviously this didn't sound too appealing for Americans at that time. - Bolshoy_Brat

4 George Edwin Taylor George Edwin Taylor

Of course a black man wouldn't possibly win in racist America in the 1900s which made him a rather controversial figure for his time. - Bolshoy_Brat

Bless him

5 Grover Cleveland Grover Cleveland Stephen Grover Cleveland was an American politician and lawyer who was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office.

Was involved in a controversy where he fathered a secret love child which nearly costed him his re-election bid. Certainly this didn't sound well in America back then. His opponent candidate's unpopularity was the only thing that made him win. - Bolshoy_Brat

6 Pat Buchanan Pat Buchanan

A Reform Party candidate in 2000; his over the top campaign promises included barring non-whites into entering America and he was openly homophobic as well. We have Dubya won the election but at least he was marginally better than this bigot. - Bolshoy_Brat

7 John Charles Frémont John Charles Frémont

A brave adventurer and millionaire, John Fremont was the first Republican candidate. The only problem surrounding him was his cannibalism which costed his chances in winning. - Bolshoy_Brat

8 Eugene V. Debs Eugene V. Debs

A socialist candidate, he was the Bernie Sanders of the 1900s. This gave him a lot of appeal for workers back then. But his most controversial act was to dodge the draft which landed him in prison in WWI. - Bolshoy_Brat

9 Huey Long Huey Long

Granted that Long attempted to run for the presidency in 1936 before being assassinated but I'll just count my man in anyways. Known as a populist demagogue and for his intimidation policies to further his agenda, his policies helped the state of Louisiana a lot especially in the fields of infrastructure and education. There are more things to list about him but for his time, he was a de-facto "benevolent" dictator of an American state. - Bolshoy_Brat

The Kingfish was a hoot

10 Victoria Woodhull Victoria Woodhull

In the 1870s, a woman like Victoria obviously she stood no chance during an era of traditionalist sexism which made her a controversial figure at the time. Winning only a few thousands supporters along the way. - Bolshoy_Brat

The Contenders

11 Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, politician, and the 45th President of the United States. Born and raised in Queens, New York City, Trump received an economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. In 1971, more.
12 David Duke David Duke David Ernest Duke is an American white supremacist, white nationalist politician, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

"Ex" klan member. Former grand wizard of the klan. "Former" member of the American nazi party. He was a candidate in the 1988 presidential primaries as a Democrat and in 1992 as a Republican. - THC13

13 Bernie Sanders Bernie Sanders Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is an independent American Senator from Vermont and was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election.
14 Jill Stein Jill Stein Jill Ellen Stein is an American physician, activist, and politician. She was the Green Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections and candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010.
15 Pat Paulsen

Ran several times, always getting attention and thousands of votes. Best ever finish was coming in second to Bill Clinton is a state Democratic primary. Campaign slogan: Picky, Picky, Picky.

16 Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is an American politician who was a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2008 and 2016 elections.
17 John McCain John McCain John Sidney McCain III was an American politician and military officer who served as a United States senator from Arizona from January 1987 until his death.
18 Bill Clinton Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton (Born August 19th 1946) is an American politician who was the 42nd President of the United States. He previously served as governor of Arkansas. He became president after unseating incumbent president George H.W. Bush in 1992. He was re-elected in 1996 after defeating Senator more.

Had virtually no chance to win against an incumbent George H.W. Bush, until third-party candidate Ross Perot entered the race, and siphoned off almost 20 million Republican voters.

19 Ross Perot
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