Race for the White House

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Race for the White House
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes12
Executive producers
Running time60 minutes
Original release
ReleaseMarch 6, 2016 (2016-03-06) –

Race for the White House is an American political television show that discusses various US presidential election campaigns throughout United States history. It premiered on March 6, 2016, on CNN.[1] The series is narrated by Kevin Spacey, well known at the time of production for playing fictional President Frank Underwood in the US version of House of Cards. After Spacey faced allegations of child sexual abuse, the narration was re-recorded by Spacey's House of Cards co-star Mahershala Ali. Netflix Canada still streamed the original version with Kevin Spacey's audio narration until September 1, 2020, when the show was removed in Canada.[2]

On January 9, 2020, it was announced that the second season would premiere on February 16, 2020.[3]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
16March 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)April 10, 2016 (2016-04-10)
26February 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)December 20, 2020 (2020-12-20)

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
11"1960: John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon"Christopher SpencerChristopher SpencerMarch 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)2.56[4]
Republican Vice President Richard Nixon hopes to win the presidency in the 1960 election, but faces a tough challenge from Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy.
22"1860: Abraham Lincoln vs Stephen A. Douglas"Christopher SpencerChristopher SpencerMarch 13, 2016 (2016-03-13)1.98[5]
Former Republican Representative Abraham Lincoln seeks to win the 1860 election by defeating Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas, as well as Southern Democratic Vice President John C. Breckinridge, and former Constitutional Unionist Senator John Bell.
33"1988: George H.W. Bush vs Michael Dukakis"David BartlettDavid BartlettMarch 20, 2016 (2016-03-20)0.91[6]
Republican Vice President George H. W. Bush seeks to prevent Democratic Governor of Massachusetts Michael Dukakis from winning the 1988 election through dirty campaign tactics. Dukakis himself appears in the episode.
44"1948: Harry Truman vs Thomas Dewey"Kim FlitcroftKim FlitcroftMarch 27, 2016 (2016-03-27)0.84[7]
Democratic President Harry S. Truman attempts to defeat Republican Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in the 1948 election.
55"1828: Andrew Jackson vs John Quincy Adams"David BartlettDavid BartlettApril 3, 2016 (2016-04-03)0.80[8]
National Republican Party President John Quincy Adams faces off against Democrat Andrew Jackson again in 1828, four years after defeating Jackson in controversial election.
66"1992: Bill Clinton vs George H.W. Bush"Kim FlitcroftKim FlitcroftApril 10, 2016 (2016-04-10)0.96[9]
Democratic Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton looks to unseat Republican President George H. W. Bush and defeat independent politician Ross Perot in the election of 1992.

denotes an extended episode.

Season 2 (2020)[edit]

No. in
Title [10]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [11]U.S. viewers
71"2008: Barack Obama vs John McCain"Tim KirbyTim KirbyFebruary 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)N/A
The 2008 race sees freshman Senator Barack Obama go up against “maverick” Republican Senator John McCain.
82"1980: Ronald Reagan vs Jimmy Carter"Andrew SaundersUnknownFebruary 23, 2020 (2020-02-23)N/A
The 1980 race sees President Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan having to fight off fierce challenges from within, as both parties struggle to re-invent themselves and use the global media spotlight to their advantage.
93"1964: Lyndon B. Johnson vs Barry Goldwater"UnknownUnknownMarch 1, 2020 (2020-03-01)N/A
The 1964 race was held in a country still reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and pits incumbent Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson against conservative Republican Barry Goldwater.
104"1912: Woodrow Wilson vs Theodore Roosevelt vs William Howard Taft vs Eugene Debs"Robin DashwoodUnknownMarch 8, 2020 (2020-03-08)N/A
The 1912 race is an election between three remarkable candidates – former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, his anointed heir President William Howard Taft, scholarly and religious Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
115"1976: Jimmy Carter vs Gerald Ford"UnknownUnknownSeptember 13, 2020 (2020-09-13)N/A
The presidential election of 1976 pits the political establishment, personified by Republican President Gerald Ford, against the untainted idealism of Democrat Jimmy Carter, the relatively unknown governor of Georgia.
126"1952: Dwight D. Eisenhower vs Adlai Stevenson"Tim KirbyTim KirbySeptember 20, 2020 (2020-09-20)N/A
Republican General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson both were persuaded to run for the White House, but as the gloves come off this becomes a fierce battle for hearts and minds.


Internationally, the series premiered in Australia on History on October 3, 2016.[12]


  1. ^ "Race for the White House". CNN.com. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  2. ^ "Netflix Canada".
  3. ^ "New CNN Original Series "The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty" and Season Two of "Race for the White House" Debut Sunday, February 16". The Futon Critic. January 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Kissell, Rick (March 7, 2016). "CNN's 'Race for the White House' Opens Well Behind Debate". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  5. ^ Porter, Rick (March 15, 2016). "Sunday cable ratings: 'The Walking Dead' off slightly, 'Shameless' ticks up". TV by the Numbers. zap2it.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  6. ^ Metcalf, Mitch. "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.20.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  7. ^ Metcalf, Mitch. "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.27.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Metcalf, Mitch. "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.3.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Metcalf, Mitch. "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.10.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Archived from the original on April 13, 2016. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "Race for the White House – Schedule". CNN Creative Marketing. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  11. ^ "Race for the White House – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  12. ^ Purcell, Charles (29 September 2016). "New This Week (Oct 3): Westworld, The Flash, Arrow, Quarry, A-League, Bathurst 1000 and live sport". The Green Room. Archived from the original on 29 September 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.

External links[edit]