The election of 1800 pitted an incumbent, John Adams of the Federalist Party (strong central government) versus his Vice President, Thomas Jefferson of the Republican Party (states’ rights and freedom of the common man).
This election was more personal than political. John Q. Adams was accused of using taxpayers' money for personal benefit while Jackson was accused of being a gambler, a duelist and a slave trader.
Character assassination, rather than a debate of the issues, became the focus of this campaign. Greeley's camp attacked Grant's corrupt administration, and Grant's camp attacked Greeley for his support of spiritualism and vegetarianism.
Roosevelt decided to challenge the incumbent Taft because he believed Taft was too conservative. The election was largely a battle between Roosevelt and Wilson; Taft never emerged as a contender. Major campaign issues included trusts, women's suffrage, and tariffs.
Hoover, as the Republican candidate, promised support for continuing prohibition. The Democratic nominee, Alfred Smith, was anti-prohibitionist and the first Roman Catholic to run for President. Anti-Catholic prejudice against Smith was very strong, especially in the rural South.
In 1948, with the Democratic Party split between the left and right wings of the party, it seemed that Truman would face insurmountable odds to win the election. The Republicans renominated their 1944 candidate, Governor Thomas Dewey of New York.
Although the nomination process for Democrats was a complicated one, the eventual election was between Hubert Humphrey (Democrat), Richard Nixon (Republican) and the controversial former Alabama Governor George Wallace (third-party candidate).