I found the phrase, “run on a ticket with a man” in the today’s (December 9) Washington Post article titled, “Gingrich run could bring up bad memories for former colleagues.”
The article begins with the following sentence:
“If former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the Republican presidential nominee, many members of Congress will run on a ticket with a man they worked with two decades ago. Judging by some of their public comments, not all of them would necessarily welcome the idea.”
As I’m uncertain of the meaning of “run on a ticket with a man,” I consulted OED, Cambridge, and M-W online dictionary.
Only Cambridge Dictionary registered ‘run on sth.’ as the idiom accompanied with the explanation; ‘If a machine runs on a particular type of power, it uses that power to work; e.g. Some calculators run on solar power,
though I don’t think this definition is applicable to the usage of the phrase in the above quote.
Neither OED nor M-E registers “run on ticket” nor “run on something.”
However, GoogleNgram shows the usage trend of “run on a ticket.” The phrase emerged in
circ.1870, and its usage has been dwindling after peaking around 1930.
What does “run on a ticket with somebody” mean? Is it a well-received English idiom?
It’s not really an idiom, but a combination of two context-specific definitions of “run” and “ticket”.
Here, run means (M-W)
4b: to enter into an election contest
and ticket means (M-W)
3: a list of candidates for nomination or election
Both of these are commonly used and readily understood in the context of political writing. In addition, a google search for run on the Republican ticket, for example, gives over 600,000 results – so although “run on a ticket” is not a stock phrase or idiom per se, the two words are often seen together in the above senses.
many members of Congress will run on a ticket with a man they worked with two decades ago
means that these Congress members and Newt Gingrich will be part of the same group of politicians selected by their party to compete in the upcoming election.