Senators who became president

  • The dome of the US Capitol is seen January 4, 2013 on a cold day in Washington. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

    Is the U.S. Senate a pathway to the presidency? Sixteen presidents were once senators and three moved directly from the U.S Senate to the White House.

    As the 2016 election unfolds, there is no shortage of current or former senators who are hoping to capture the presidency. In the Democratic field, former Senator Hillary Clinton and current Senator Bernie Sanders are leading the race. On the Republican side, a handful of the candidates in the running are serving or once served in the Senate, including Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.

    Here's a look at the presidents who once served in the senate, along with two senators who nearly won the presidency - but not quite.