Before Donald Trump, Wendell L. Willkie Upended the GOP Primary in 1940

The Populist Businessman Known as “The Barefoot Wall Street Lawyer” Took Over His Party’s Convention in Philadelphia

Later this week, the historic nomination of the first female candidate for president by a major political party at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is sure to generate considerable hoopla. But, as with all U.S. presidential conventions in recent decades, the outcome is already certain.

Such predictability was not always the case. In fact, three-quarters of a century ago, the City of Brotherly Love played host to a very different convention—one whose outcome was so unexpected it became known as the “Miracle in Philadelphia.”

This was before the age of modern …

More In: Presidential Primaries

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Should Thank Theodore Roosevelt

Outsider Candidates Didn’t Have Much of a Chance Until the Rough Rider Championed Primary Elections

If you’re wondering why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have a shot at representing their political parties in November’s national presidential election, you can thank Theodore Roosevelt.

One of Roosevelt’s …

We’re Better at Picking Oscar Nominees Than Presidential Contenders

Everyone Hates the Way American Primaries Work. Can France or Hollywood Help Fix Them?

In 1912, former President Teddy Roosevelt came out of retirement to seek the Republican nomination for a third term. But rather than supporting the standard way of selecting a candidate …