dark horse

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dark horse,

in U.S. politics, a person unexpectedly chosen by a major party as a candidate for public office, especially for the presidency. A presidential dark horse is usually chosen at a party national convention and often has acquired only a local or limited reputation at the time of his nomination. He is invariably the offspring of compromise after rival factions have deadlocked the convention. Probably the best-known example of a dark horse is James K. Polk, who was selected at the Democratic convention of 1844 on the ninth ballot, although he had not been nominated until the eighth ballot.

dark horse

1. a competitor in a race or contest about whom little is known; an unknown
2. US Politics a candidate who is unexpectedly nominated or elected
References in periodicals archive ?
Over 20 celebrities including Xu Xiaoping, Liu Qiangdong, and Zhou Hongyi attends the inauguration ceremony of Dark Horse University.
30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Niu Wenwen is quite happy because Dark Horse University, which he founded, has been officially launched.
ARGENTINA are many pundits' dark horses to win the World Cup.
If you're looking for a dark horse I'd say Cardiff,' he said.
London, June 3 (ANI): England captain Paul Collingwood believes his team can exploit their role as unfancied outsiders and become a dangerous dark horse to lift the Twenty20 World Cup.
The great dark horses of the 1990s were Colombia who, thanks to a 5-0 qualifying tie trouncing of Argentina, a performance crowned by a brilliant goal by Tino Asprilla, went into the 1994 World Cup finals as 9-1 fifth favourites but failed to get past the first round.
Admittedly, they are not quite as dark as the legendary dark horses of recent major tournaments, but the co-hosts still qualify by virtue of being tipped up by such a high proportion of the betting world's self-appointed `faces'.
COSTANTINO ROCCA: Okay, he is not exactly a dark horse, but he is a bit of a forgotten hero.
And, although no one would suggest they'll all go in at 33-1, Dark Horses remains a more likely source of such worthwhile winners than most early-season guides.
3--Color) Among its animal menagerie, the carousel features 30 white horses leaping and 13 dark horses standing.
Historically dark horses have a poor record in the World Cup, on every occasion to date it's been won by a football team.