2016 Presidential Election

Sophie Condron

March 31, 2015

Who is Running for President in 2016?

Many people are wondering who the candidates will be in the 2016 presidential election. While no one knows for sure who is definitely running, many potential nominees have hinted at their possible presidential runs.

The field of Republican potential nominees is heavily populated. While the names Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, and Ben Carson have been mentioned as potential presidential nominees, they are overshadowed by bigger political figures.

Still early in the election, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz look like the forerunners. And though many have speculated about another Mitt Romney run, he has already announced that he will not be running for president in 2016, saying in an early 2015 speech, “I did not want to make it more difficult for someone else to emerge who may have a better chance of becoming the president.”

For those of you who haven’t heard of these potential presidential candidates for the Republican party, here is what you need to know:

Chris Christie is a New Jersey attorney turned governor. It was rumored that he would run for president in 2012 due to his popularity, but he ended up declining to run. Although he has been a long-time 2016 potential candidate, many questioned him in 2014 after the Bridgegate scandal and a popularity decline in his home state. He is, however, definitely considering running in 2016.

Scott Walker is a two-term governor of Wisconsin. Known for his controversial budget repair plans and his victory in the first ever Wisconsin recall election, many turned to Walker as a strong alternative candidate after Christie’s Bridgegate scandal. Walker is viewed as someone who is able to ease tensions within the Republican party, and due to his diverse appeal, is likely to perform well in a presidential election.

Jeb Bush is from the well-known Republican family who has already had two in office. He served as governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is thought to appeal to the Hispanic voters in particular, but many question him due to his recent hiatus from the political world. He is, however, a favorite among major Republican donors due to his family’s long-time political involvement, making him an attractive and powerful candidate.

Ted Cruz is a Tea Party Republican who serves as a United States Senator for Texas. Last year, he was a part of the Affordable Care Act which shut down the government for sixteen days. His strong conservative stances on gun control, abortion, and same-sex marriage will attract traditional Republican voters, but may limit his widespread appeal. On Monday, March 24, 2015, Cruz announced that he will be running for president over Twitter.

The number of potential Democratic candidates for the 2016 election is far fewer than that of the potential Republican candidates. Though Hillary Clinton is currently the obvious choice, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and even Joe Biden have been mentioned as well. After a tough loss of the democratic majority in the Senate last fall, many question a Democratic win for president in 2016.

Hillary Clinton is actively exploring the Democratic bid. Having served as First Lady for eight years, governor of New York for eight years, and Secretary of State for four years, she has the notoriety and leadership experience to make for a strong Democratic nominee. However, many started to question Clinton’s integrity after it was revealed that she had used her personal email to conduct state department business. More information is coming out daily about the details of this mistake.

Martin O’Malley is the current governor of Maryland. He has served in many offices in Maryland politics. He known in Maryland for legalizing same-sex marriage and raising the minimum wage. In fact, O’Malley said during a talk at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, “I’m very seriously considering running in 2016.”

Jim Webb was a United States Senator for Virginia from 2007 to 2013. He served in the navy and is a dedicated veteran. According to’s Catherine Dodge, “Webb isn’t a typical Democrat. His family hails from the rural southern part of the state. He’s pro-gun ownership, and he takes a harder line on illegal immigration than many Senate Republicans.” A 2016 presidential run is likely on the charts for Jim Webb.

Joe Biden is current vice president of the United States for President Barack Obama. He already has a great amount of experience, having served in the Senate for 35 years and dealing with international affairs. However, Biden has expressed reluctance and is not likely to make a run for president in 2016.

The hot topics for the 2016 presidential election will likely be same-sex marriage, the keystone XL pipeline, and health care, as well as how to ease tensions in the Middle East.

It will be interesting to see which of these many candidates decide to run in the end. The election will be held on November 8, 2016, though potential candidates will begin their campaigns well before that. The winner of the election will be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2017.

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