James K. Polk was our country’s first dark-horse candidate to win the presidency. His close political ties to Andrew Jackson earned him the nickname “Young Hickory.” He agreed with Jackson on the importance of territorial expansion.
His main opponent was Whig candidate Henry Clay. Clay was favored, but failed to take a stance on expansion and Texas Annexation. As a result, Polk was elected. He kept his campaign promise to only serve one term in office.