Meet the 2016 Presidential “Hopefuls”


Some of you reading this will have another birthday and even become eligible to vote before the presidential race even enters the post-convention home stretch. As of early May, no fewer than 8 men and women are already jockeying for the opportunity to become our next president, and another dozen or so “hopefuls” are likely to jump into the race.

Before the general election to decide who wins the presidency, candidates compete to win the nomination of their political party: Democrats run against Democrats, and Republicans against Republicans. The primary election season begins on February 1, 2016, with the Iowa caucuses, followed soon by elections in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. The primaries are like a state-by-state tournament, except no one gets knocked out just for losing once. Candidates keep competing until the political parties hold their national conventions to put the official nomination stamp on whichever consistent winner has emerged. Only then will each party’s nominee square off directly against each other party’s candidate.

The Republican Party’s crowded field includes current U.S. senators Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), and Marco Rubio (FL) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Also running are neurosurgeon Ben Carson and business executive Carly Fiorina. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son of a former president and brother of another; Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin; former Governor Rick Perry of Texas; and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (PA) are expected to enter the race.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the early favorite to win the nomination for the Democratic Party. Clinton, the First Lady during husband Bill Clinton’s two-term presidency, served a term as a U.S. senator from New York. She lost a bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama. Also seeking the Democratic nomination is U.S. Senator Bernie Saunders (VT), an Independent. Others who may run include Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Senator Jim Webb (VA), and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

Image credit: © jimmyjamesbond/Getty Images

Related Links

  • The 2016 Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet
    This article provides a thorough “roll call” of the candidates, not only those who are off and running for their party’s nomination, but also others fairly certain to join in.
    (Source: The Atlantic, May 5, 2015)
  • Poll: The 2016 Presidential Race
    Check out the early polling data on various candidates already running or likely to run.
    (Source: CBS News, May 5, 2015)
  • Who Will Live Here Next?
    This article provides a simple overview of the presidential race, though more candidates have thrown their hats into the ring since it was written.
    (Source: Scholastic News, April 17, 2015)
  • 2016 Presidential Race
    Dive into the political “weeds”: polls pitting more than half a dozen prospective Republican candidates vs. Hillary Clinton.
    (Source: RealClearPolitics; accessed May 6, 2015)

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