My first presidential election cycle (at 19) was in 1980. I voted for Ted Kennedy in the primary. Come November, as I was driving from work to my poling place, a little before 7 PM, Pacific Time, President Carter conceded the election to Ronald Reagan. I went in and voted for Carter anyway, just for the hell of it, even though the election was technically over.
In 1984 I became an early fan of Gary Hart and he was my primary choice. He was way in the back of the Democratic field that year (when the time came, I got behind the Mondale-Ferraro ticket, like any good little Democrat would), but for the next four years I read all I could by and about Hart, and was ready for him in '88.
Although an early leader in 1988, the Hart campaign went down in flaming hubris. Talk about disappointment: I'd just spent four years promoting the jerk who dared the press to follow him and "accidentally" discover him with his mistress. My second choice, Jesse Jackson, got my primary vote. Jackson didn't get the nomination either. I voted for third choice, third-rate, Mike Dukakis, in the 1988 general election. He didn't win.
In 1992 I distrusted Bill Clinton and the whole Democratic Leadership Council gang, but once my primary choice, Jerry Brown, was out of the race, I watched the Democratic Convention, drew a deep breath, and volunteered to help elect Bill. After a dozen years of voting, I finally backed a winner!