Tim Pool has theorized that Tara Reade's allegations against Joe Biden could be good news for the DNC; it provides an excuse for them to ditch Biden and run someone else in the general election. Has this ever been successful? Has a party ever ignored their primary results (during the period where they employed primaries and caucuses) and nominated someone else who went on to win in the general election?

I'm interested in any situation in which the states' votes are ignored. Whether that is because the delegates are faithless or if the convention vote is ignored.

  • You'll need to clarify the exact stage you're talking about. Are you referring to a vote at the convention being ignored? Or are you talking about delegates not voting according to the wishes of their state? (It must be noted that Biden has not secured a majority of delegates yet.)
    – Joe C
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 21:56
  • Open, democratic primaries are a relatively recent election. For most of the US' history, parties' candidates were chosen directly by party officials and delegates, not by voters. Are you asking about since the modern primary system started?
    – divibisan
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 22:00
  • @divibisan yes, but that wouldn't fit in the question title.
    – Ryan_L
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 22:01
  • @divibisan yes, go ahead
    – Ryan_L
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 22:13
  • @puppetsock I do too.
    – Ryan_L
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


Robert Torricelli won the Democratic nomination for Senator of New Jersey in June 2004 (he was unopposed.) He dropped out on September 30 and was replaced by Frank Lautenberg who ended up winning the general election.

Wikipedia article

  • 4
    But this was a case where the candidate dropped out and was replaced, not a case where the party overruled their voters to pick a different candidate
    – divibisan
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 22:02
  • 1
    @divibisan I think that is a distinction without a difference. In your OP example, if the DNC replaces Joe Biden for whatever reason there will be some behind the scenes work and someone will approach him and give him the chance to step down. Officially He will have withdrawn. If your question is has a party ever just outright overruled the election against the candidate’s assent, that is not how it goes. I guess there was talk of can that happen with Trump in 16 but it went nowhere.
    – Damila
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 18:49

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