in the running

in the running
in the running
Fig. in competition; competing and having a chance to win. (See also in a bind and the examples.) •

Is Tom still in the running? Does he still have a chance to be elected?

I don't know about Tom, but Gladys is definitely still in the running.

* * *
{adj.} or {adv. phr.} Having a chance to win; not to be counted out; among those who might win. * /At the beginning of the last lap of the race, only two horses were still in the running./ * /A month before Joyce married Hal, three of Joyce's boyfriends seemed to be still in the running./ * /Al was in the running for the trophy until the last hole of the golf tournament./ Contrast: OUT OF THE RUNNING.

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

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