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Republican Sens. Bob Dole and John McCain, whose humor was a hit with congressional colleagues and reporters, both discovered their sometimes wicked sense of humor could be too cutting for a presidential campaign.

Morris Udall, a Democratic congressman from Arizona, got more laughs than votes in his 1976 run for president and ended up writing a memoir titled, “Too Funny to be President.”

On the other hand, some decidedly unfunny candidates have benefited by exceeding extremely low expectations.

When candidate Richard Nixon went on the TV comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in 1968 and said “Sock it to ME?” he got rave reviews.

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Associated Press writers Ben Feller, Charles Babington and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.