2016 presidential election
The 58th United States presidential election will be held on November 8, 2016. The 2016 election will be an open field in the Republican Party. Democrats will choose between former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.
Republican Party candidates
A record-breaking total of 17 individuals formally announced their candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election. Their first debate was held on Thursday, August 6th, on the Fox News Channel, and viewed by a record-breaking audience of 24 million people. As of February 14, 2016, after numerous debates and subsequent to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, six candidates remained in the race.
By March 15th, half of the delegates will have been allocated among the candidates, including the key "winner take all" states of South Carolina, Florida and Ohio. The remainder of the states holding early primaries allocate their delegates using a proportional scheme, which marginalizes the influence of the state.
To have a candidate's name placed into nomination at the National Convention, the candidate must win a majority of the delegates from at least eight different states.
With Donald Trump's victory in Indiana, and Ted Cruz and John Kasich subsequently suspending their campaign, Trump remained as the only Republican candidate left, and is now the presumptive nominee for the GOP. He will oppose either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the general election. 
|Donald Trump||Business smart, name recognition, holds some conservative positions. Leads in almost all polls. Has forcefully campaigned on the issues of illegal immigration and international trade.||Celebrity type with a bombastic style that can be a distraction.||Trump won the New Hampshire primary easily, more than doubling the votes of his nearest rival. Won the South Carolina primary, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kentucky. As of March 7, he enjoys a lead in the polls in Florida and Michigan. He originally announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015.|
Other possible Republican candidates
These individuals expressed interest in running or have been mentioned as possible candidates, which could happen if none of the existing candidates attains a majority of the delegates prior to the Republican National Convention.
|Paul Ryan||Endorssed by former Speaker John Boehner and a proven conservative: ran on 2012 national ticket.||Happy being speaker||Boehner withdrew support and shifted to John Kasich|
|Sarah Palin||Very popular with the conservative base, record of cutting the size of government, expert on energy issues. Already experienced on national ticket.||Thanks to the media, the electorate has already made up their minds about her. May prefer the role of commentator and not run for her and her children's sakes.|
|Condoleezza Rice||Articulate, popular, foreign policy experience, takes the race and gender cards off the table, gave impassioned speech at the RNC, inspiring childhood story.||Pro-choice, ties to Bush administration, never elected to any office, just appointed; left-wing immigration stance, had role leading up to Iraq War, single status will mean she won't have the emotional support of a family for a Presidential run as Laura Bush has said; admired by some conservatives, disliked by others like paleoconservatives and from how Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have criticized her, she doesn't even have all the neoconservatives wrapped up.||Some conservatives would think her running would be a good idea, others won't. She declined to run in 2008 and 2012, but from the speculation she was going to be Romney's VP, she might this time.|
|John Thune||Senator who defeated Tom Daschle, relatively conservative for a Senator.||Voted for TARP and often votes for other spending bills the leadership pushes, not well known.|
|Susana Martinez||Gave a good speech at the RNC, conservative Governor of a blue state, Hispanic.||Might not be interested, expanded Medicare in her state.|
|Jan Brewer||Former governor of Arizona. If she were to run, would use potent immigration issue as foil to Rubio. Can take its mantle and change debate to pressure other candidates to tack right on the issue. Outspoken critic of Obama.||Expanded Medicare waiver for Obamacare, and is no longer in elective office. Has lost some support from conservatives.|
|Kelly Ayotte||Represents a swing state||Voted in favor of amnesty||If Rubio is the Presidential nominee, he's likely to make Ayotte his running mate hoping the ticket will appeal to two swing states (Florida and New Hampshire), Hispanics, and women, offsetting Hillary with the last group. Both Rubio and Ayotte have been taken under the wings of McCain and Graham since getting in the Senate.|
|Allen West||Conservative black Congressman from Florida who speaks his mind, some conservative activists insist that he run.||Lost his race for re-election to the House two years after getting voted in.||Has compared his loss to Abraham Lincoln's before he became President in a radio interview.|
|Brian Sandoval||Hispanic, fiscal conservative||Pro-choice, expanded Medicare in his state, Harry Reid doesn't seem to mind his performance as Governor. ||Sandoval has announced he will not run for President. He is capable of winning Reid's seat for the U.S. Senate instead.|
Republican candidates who dropped out of the race
|Jeb Bush||Unable to win Florida, has Hispanic wife and kids, multilingual, backing of Karl Rove. Had the backing of most Bush family members, despite the comment from his mother, Barbara, who stated, "We've had enough Bushes" during an April 2013 interview.||Outspokenly supports amnesty and Common Core, neither Tea Partiers or independent voters want a third Bush, told GOP primary voters they wouldn't elect Reagan today.||Bush officially announced his candidacy on June 15, 2015.|
|Rick Perry||Strong record of experience as Governor of Texas. Supports Second Amendment. Before the next election he might see a debating coach. Strong fundraiser. Not expanding Medicare to adjust for Obamacare like some other Governors are doing.||Performed poorly in the last time, is an also-ran without Rick Santorum's likely momentum in a race that will probably also have multiple other Republican Governors, also signed a state version of the DREAM Act and mandated vaccines for schoolgirls.||Perry announced his candidacy on June 4, 2015. Perry became the first candidate to drop out of the race in September 2015. |
|Scott Walker||A once-seeming movement conservative who defeated a recall that was pushed by George Soros and the unions, exhibited conservative determination in passing right-to-work in his state and surviving the relentless union attacks that followed.||AFL-CIO and the other union special interests have him as a top target, but he stood his ground until recently where he's starting to adopt RINO stances on issues, such as refusing to speak out against same-sex marriage in a meaningful way and not taking a strong stance against the Obergefell decision.||Walker formally announced his candidacy on July 13, 2015. To announce dropping out Sept. 21st, 2015.|
|Bobby Jindal||Populist conservative who says conservatives should be skeptical of big business, Indian-American, cleaned up Louisiana after Katrina and Governor Blanco, evangelical who also focuses on energy issues like Perry before him.||Severely lacking in charisma.||Jindal announced the formation of an exploratory committee on May 18, 2015. Jindal announced his candidacy on June 24, 2015.|
|Lindsey Graham||Moderate Senator from South Carolina. Is pro-military and an advocate for a strong national defense. Good public speaker.||Widely seen as a liberal on immigration issues. Is considered a clone of Sen. John McCain in the Senate.||Announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee in January 2015. Graham announced his candidacy on June 1, 2015.|
|George Pataki||Former governor of a large state.||Very low name-recognition nationally.||Pataki announced his candidacy on May 28, 2015.|
|Mike Huckabee||Former Arkansas governor who ran well in the 2008 primaries, and is particularly popular with evangelicals. He is the strongest candidate against judicial supremacy and the homosexual agenda. Huckabee has kept himself in the public eye for the past six and a half years as the host of a news-and-commentary show on the Fox network.||His record on social issues is rock solid, but some question his record on fiscal issues.||On September 2, 2015, he announced his support for the Christian Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, and telephoned her as other candidates were either ducking the issue, or speaking out against her. Huckabee launched an exploratory committee on April 17, 2015.  He announced his candidacy on May 5, 2015.|
|Rand Paul||Son of Ron Paul, voted against GOP establishment's spending compromise bills, advocate for cutting spending, can unite libertarians and conservatives, voted against NDAA. Made waves with historic filibuster against CIA director John Brennan over the Obama administration's claimed authority to use drone strikes against US citizens on American soil.||Some of his father's more hardcore followers think he's a "traitor" for endorsing Mitt Romney in 2012, voted for Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary. Supported the Supreme Court's liberal wing when it struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, suggesting he's somewhat supportive of the Homosexual Agenda.||Has criticized Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie as a candidate might, delivered 2013 Tea Party response to the SOTU, which the news media didn't cover. Announced candidacy on April 7, 2015.|
|Rick Santorum||Strong social conservative base, runner-up in the 2012 primary, by 2016 endorsing RINO-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter will be a distant memory for many because he died in 2012. Strongly opposed to homosexual agenda.||May have been a stalking horse for Romney in the last election, which he'll vehemently deny; in 2016 voters may want a new face to lead the party instead of an also-ran, media portrays as fanatic, voted for Bush's spending to be 'part of the team'.||Has founded an organization called Patriot Voices which may serve as a fulcrum for his campaign. Santorum announced his candidacy on May 27, 2015. Is currently near the bottom of the field of 17 Republican candidates.|
|Chris Christie||Blunt criticism of teacher's unions won conservatives over for about a year, Ann Coulter supported him.||Unprofessional style, abrasive, overweight, praised Obama's Hurricane Sandy efforts only days before the 2012 election, has gotten heat for appointing Sharia judge and having pro-abortion Lieutenant Governor. Not endearing himself to conservatives with his statements on things like gun control. ||Dropped out and endorsed Donald Trump.|
|Carly Fiorina||Former CEO, a good track record of attacking liberalism. Has gained support and attention since the first debate. She was widely considered the winner of the preliminary debate held for those not in the Top Ten as rated by the polls.||Failed to win an election as a candidate for Senator, rejected Tea Party support, embraces the establishment GOP.||Her entrance in the 2016 campaign would deny Democrats and Hillary Clinton the image of men vs. a women argument, aka 'war on women'. Fiorina formally launched her campaign for the Republican nomination on May 4, 2014.|
|Ben Carson||Plain-spoken, with common-sense solutions to the country's problems.||Has said states can enact gun control. Much of his time during debates has been spent on humor or general apolitical remarks.||The world-renowned surgeon made waves by skewering Obama's policies at the White House correspondent's dinner. Carson formally announced his candidacy on May 4, 2015, in Detroit, saying ""I'm Ben Carson, and I'm a candidate for president of the United States." Dropped out on March 4, 2016 at CPAC.|
|Marco Rubio||Favorite of Fox News, articulate, Hispanic, able to win key battleground state of Florida since he's from there, was on Romney's shortlist in 2012.||Rubio used to be a Tea Party favorite when he defeated RINO Charlie Crist, but some soured on his actions beginning with his efforts with Chuck Schumer as part of the so-called "Gang of Eight" to enact pro-immigration legislation.||Visited Iowa in December 2012 to speak at Jack Kemp library, delivered GOP response to Obama's 2013 SOTU, put his capital on the line working with seven other Senators on a controversial amnesty plan many conservatives oppose but has now eased away from it. Announced candidacy on April 13, 2015. Won in Minnesota and Puerto Rico. Dropped on out March 15, 2016 after losing the Florida Primary.|
|Ted Cruz||Previously active in the tea-party movement, solid on opposition to Obamacare and gun control. Good debater.||Like Obama, some question as to eligibility. As a first-term Senator, relatively inexperienced. Alienated some due to role in government shutdown.||Bypassed the exploratory committee process and instead made his formal announcement of candidacy on March 23, 2015. Has gained in the polls since the first debate. By March, he'd won in Iowa, Maine, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Alaska.|
|John Kasich||Two-term Ohio Governor, former U.S. Congressman. Popular with establishment types after Jeb Bush's withdrawal from the race.||Expanded Medicare in his state, said the Bible supports Obamacare, D.C. beltway insider, and will not oppose same-sex marriage.||On July 21, 2015, Kasich officially declared his candidacy, stating, "I have decided to run for president of the United States."|
An NBC News exit poll taken at the Republican Primary in South Carolina found that voters have become more conservative:
|“|| Nearly four in 10 Republicans casting votes in the primary today described their political ideology as "very conservative"—an increase of 3 points over those who identified as "very conservative" in 2012 and up 5 points from 34 percent during the 2008 Republican presidential primary.
The increase among Republicans voters identifying as "somewhat conservative" is even more significant—now at 43 percent of Republican primary voters and up 11 points from 2012 and 9 points from 2008.
Democratic Party candidates
Announced Democratic candidates
These individuals have formally announced their candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.
|Hillary Clinton||Has wanted to be President for decades, has Clinton machine and big money behind her, teflon image helped along by the media, quitting Secretary of State position lets her run, she will have the "sexist" card at her disposal.||Role in Benghazi and decades worth of scandals going back to the 90s, cheerleaded for the Iraq war, facing corruption chargesfeminist. Bill Clinton may be a distraction.||Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015.|
|Bernie Sanders||Independent that is lockstep with the Democrat party. Popular among socialists.||As head of the Veterans Affairs Committee, he has done nothing to fix scandals and help veterans. Endorses Obama's policies.||At a press conference on April 30, 2015, Sanders announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination.|
Democrats will not have a choice other than liberal Hillary Clinton. If a competitive race were allowed by the party bosses and Superdelegates (and it won't be), the candidates mentioned below her could be contenders:
Other possible Democratic candidates
These individuals have expressed interest in running or have been mentioned as possible candidates.
|Joe Biden||Tries to set image as he's "one of the folks" even though he's a millionaire. He'll have Obama's Chicago machine. Incumbent VPs often receive the party nomination||Very gaffe-prone, VP to an unpopular administration.||Currently yukking it up as Obama's Vice-President and has openly expressed some interest in running. Hasn't talked about running...yet. Should be good seeing how he and Hillary deal with each other on the stage if they both run.|
|Andrew Cuomo||Tried to make himself look like a fiscal conservative, he's part of a political family like Jeb and Hillary, governor of a large state.||Uncompelling, declared intentions to seize guns from lawful gun owners, which he's used executive orders to do.||His late father, the former Governor, said he expected him to run. His gun confiscating executive orders are not sitting well with the American people by and large.|
|Mark Warner||Senator from a swing state with a relatively moderate record compared to others, might try to get points with independents that the other Democrats won't have.||He votes with his party most of the time, voted for gun control even though he claims to be pro-gun.|
|Elizabeth Warren||Popular in Occupy Wall Street and other progressive circles, elected in very competitive Senate race.||Caught lying about being a Native American so she could get affirmative action at Harvard, her very liberal views and rhetoric probably won't resonate in states less liberal than Massachusetts.||Won election to the Senate in November 2012 against Scott Brown.|
|Al Gore||Former Senator and Vice-President. Represented a state that generally votes Republican. Since leaving office, Gore has made a career out of lecturing the world on the dangers of "Climate Change."||Is being talked up as a possible candidate by Democrats worried about the scandals attached to Hillary Clinton.|
Democratic candidates that dropped out of the race
|Lincoln Chafee||Former governor of Rhode Island, former Republican||Chafee announced his candidacy on June 3, 2015.|
|Jim Webb||Former Virginia Senator and Secretary of the Navy||Webb's surprise candidacy looks like a public relations stunt by party bosses to make the Democratic Party look more mainstream than it is. It is doubtful that this is a serious attempt to win the nomination.||Announced his candidacy July 2, 2015 |
|Martin O'Malley||Former governor of Maryland. Partisan and aggressive liberal.||Martin who? He has low name recognition. Fiercely supports raising taxes and other very liberal stances, although that might help in the primary.||O'Malley announced his candidacy on May 30, 2015.|
- Rule 40. Retrieved on March 4, 2016.
- John Boehner Withdraws 2016 Support for Paul Ryan, Backs John Kasich Until First Vote (March 16, 2016). Retrieved on March 17, 2016.
- RICK PERRY DROPS OUT OF 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE, Breitbart, September 11, 2015
- Rubio has also been criticize for denouncing Michele Bachmann's investigation into Huma Abedin an for sending troops into Syria.
- "SC Exit Poll Results: GOP Voters Grow More Conservative", NBC News, Feb. 20, 2016. Retrieved on Feb. 21, 2016.