Some states bar candidates who sought, but failed, to secure the nomination of a political party from running as independents in the general election. Ballot access expert Richard Winger has argued that, generally speaking, "sore loser laws have been construed not to apply to presidential primaries." In August 2015, Winger compiled a list of precedents supporting this interpretation. He argued that in 43 of the 45 states with sore loser laws on the books, the laws do not seem to apply to presidential candidates. Winger claimed that sore loser laws apply to presidential candidates in only two states: South Dakota and Texas.

Ballotpedia: "Sore loser" laws for presidential candidates

Alabama (write-in)
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California (write-in)
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware (Dave Johnson)
DistrictOf Colombia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa (write-in)
Kansas (Dave Johnson)
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire (write-in)
New Jersey (write-in)
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon (write-in)
Pennsylvania (write-in)
Rhode Island (write-in)
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont (write-in)
Virginia
Washington (write-in)
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming (write-in)