The Liberal party was created in 1940 to support Henry A. Wallace's bid for the presidency and his attempt to split the democratic vote and prevent John N. Garner from becoming president.

Wallace again ran as the Liberal candidate in 1944 and 1948, but proved less successful than in 1940. The party came to be viewed as an alternative to the increasingly conservative and southern dominated democratic party. It advocated civil rights, detente with the soviet union, social welfare programs and reduction in the size of the military.

With the nomination and election of Kennedy in 1960 the party fell into the shadows, and didn't even nominate a candidate in 1964. From 1966 onwards the party became much less official, and became a vehicle for liberal democratic politicians to run for office. In 1996 and 2000 the party didn't nominate a candidate to prevent splitting the democratic vote.

Election Presidential Nominee Home State Vice Presidential Nominee Home State
1940 Henry A. Wallace Iowa Norman Thomas New York
1944 Henry A. Wallace Iowa Glen H. Taylor Idaho
1948 Henry A. Wallace Iowa Glen H. Taylor Idaho
1952 Lewis Laurence Quebec Hubert Humphrey Minnesota
1960 Wayne Morse Oregon
1964 Hubert Humphrey Minnesota
1968 Eugene McCarthy Minnesota
1972 Eugene McCarthy Minnesota George McGovern South Dakota
1976 George McGovern South Dakota Frank Church Idaho
1980 George McGovern
1984 Bill Bradley New Jersey
1988 Michael Dukakis Massachusetts
1996 Ralph Nader Connecticut Bill Bradley New Jersey
2000 Bill Bradley
2008 Barrack Obama

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