With the final pairing set — John McCain vs. Barack Obama — here’s a quick look back on the fallen campaigners of 2008:
First in: Alaska Democrat Mike Gravel announced for the presidency wayyy back in April 2006. Never quite taken seriously by his Democratic party, he jumped to the Libertarians in March of this year, then was eliminated in the fourth round of voting at that party’s convention in May. (Bob Barr is the Libertarian nominee.)
First out: Tom Vilsack. The former governor of Iowa dropped out nearly a year before the primaries, on 23 February 2007.
Last in: Actor and former senator Fred Thompson jumped into the race with much fanfare in September of 2007. His heart never seemed in it, and he was out by the end of January.
Last out: Hillary Clinton dropped out just yesterday.
Quickest exit: Vilsack again. He lasted 106 days, from 9 November 2006 to 23 February 2007. His parting shot: “It is money and only money that is the reason we are leaving today.”
Fred Thompson was the runner-up here, with a 138-day campaign.
Longest run: Gravel again. His Democratic run lasted 708 days, from April ’06 to March of ’08. Clinton was the runner-up, campaigning for 504 days before conceding.
Hungry for more? See our loop on Candidates 2008.