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For other uses, see Frontrunner (disambiguation).

Front-runner or frontrunner is a term used to describe the leaders in a race, whether political or athletic. The term arose from the close symbolism between political campaigns and athletic running events. The term is used in the U.S. presidential primary process to label the potential nominee with the lead in the polls, the most name recognition, or the most funds raised (or a combination of these).

The front-runner is most often declared by the media who are following the race, and is written about in a different style than his or her challengers.

Front-runner can also be used to describe a type of sports fan who likes only the team that is winning. Also known as a fairweather or bandwagon fan, the person will quickly, and repeatedly, change allegiance with athletes and teams as teams and players become "good" or "bad" based on records.