Seabiscuit candidate
n. A political candidate who comes from behind to win an election.
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Max Cleland, the former Georgia senator, has been out campaigning for John Kerry, the Massachusetts senator almost written off two months ago who has dubbed himself the "Comeback Kerry" since his win at the Iowa caucuses last week.

"I have always seen John Kerry as the Seabiscuit of this race. He's back at the third corner and he sees the wire and there goes Seabiscuit - by the time they see him, nobody can catch him," said Mr Cleland.

Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio congressman, has also portrayed himself as "the Seabiscuit candidate", saying that, like the racehorse made famous by a book and then a film last year, he will burst "from the back of the pack".

When Howard Dean's campaign faltered last week as he lost his lead in the opinion polls following a third place showing in Iowa and a rallying rant to his supporters, Mr Dean's staff also were making the Seabiscuit analogy.

Elections are always something of a horserace. And it was New Hampshire where a discredited Bill Clinton in 1992 had the better-than-expected showing that prompted him to claim he was the "comeback kid". He went on to oust an incumbent President George H. W. Bush.

So perhaps it is no surprise that the first primary election will be held in New Hampshire today and before the first ballot is cast, the 2004 presidential election has already coined its first, over-used political term: the Seabiscuit candidate. (The Seabiscuit analogy has the extra advantage of allowing political aides to put the best possible spin on a candidate who is last in the opinion polls.)
—James Harding, “Horseracing cliche really takes the biscuit,” Financial Times (London, England), January 27, 2004
Recently the film "Seabiscuit" has opened in theaters across the country. It is about a racehorse that the experts said couldn't win, but it did win. It inspired a nation faltering amid the depression. Kucinich is the "Seabiscuit" candidate for the Democratic nomination.
—Angela Parker-Simkin, “Kucinich's stands merit support,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 20, 2003
2003 (earliest)
You should probably also know that Kucinich is dead last in most recent polls, with fewer than 3 percent of potential Democratic voters picking him as their standard bearer. But supporters are calling him the Seabiscuit candidate, by which I don't think they mean he's been ridden by a one-eyed jockey, but that he's a come-from-behind champion.
—Jim Washburn, “Don't bitch, vote Kucinich!,” The OC Weekly, August 01, 2003
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