The 2016 presidential prospects — so far

The 2016 presidential prospects — so far

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 23, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

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by USA TODAY

NWCN.com

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 7:35 AM

The 2016 presidential election is a thousand days away, but that doesn't stop the speculation that's rampant over who will run and how they'll do. Democrats have a dominant front-runner. The Republican field is wide open. Here's an early look.

Democrats:

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Former first lady, former New York senator, former secretary of State and leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2016. She hasn't announced whether she will run. She was the front-runner in 2008, too, though not with the sort of overwhelming margin she scores now.

Democrats:

Not Hillary Clinton

Vice President Biden. He's indicated he'd like to make a third bid, but some of Barack Obama's top political strategists have joined forces with groups pushing for Clinton.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. He's laying groundwork to run if Clinton doesn't.

Former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer. He's flirting with a campaign and has criticized Clinton.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She says she won't run, but some of the most liberal and populist forces in the party wish she would.

Republicans:

Famous faces

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. The GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012 and chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush. The son of one president, the brother of another, and the past two-term governor of a key state. Could we actually have another election with a Bush and a Clinton on the ballot?

Republicans:

The senators

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. He won the admiration of many in the Tea Party during his showdown with the White House last fall over the budget and the Affordable Care Act; it led to the government shutdown for 16 days.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Hero to libertarian Republicans and heir to support from some who backed his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, in his presidential bids.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. The Senate immigration bill he helped broker is stalled, but the son of Cuban immigrants could boost the GOP among Hispanics.

Republicans:

The governors

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He argues governors are better suited to serve as president than legislators – such as all those senators who want to run. He faces re-election this year.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. He created a Washington-based non-profit group, America Next, last October. The AP reports he visited Iowa, site of the opening caucuses, seven times in 2012.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Then a congressman, he ran a little-noticed 2000 presidential bid. Now he's the chief executive of the quintessential swing state who has cut taxes and presided over declining unemployment. He faces re-election this year.

Republicans:

Reruns and wild cards

Former Texas governor Rick Perry. He's exploring a do-over from his gaffe-prone 2012 presidential campaign.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. He won the Iowa caucuses in 2012 and stayed in the race until Mitt Romney was close to clinching the Republican nomination.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Now a talk-show host on Fox News, he won the Iowa caucuses in his 2008 presidential bid and finished second in the delegate count that year to Sen. John McCain.

New York Rep. Pete King. He says he's considering the race, and he's visited New Hampshire, which holds the first primary.

Real estate developer Donald Trump. The reality TV star says he is "looking very seriously" at another bid.

Republicans: And then there's Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who at the beginning of the year was leading in national polls, has been forced to deal with a burgeoning scandal at home over the closing of lanes to the George Washington Bridge in apparent retribution to a mayor who refused to endorse his re-election. Stay tuned on his future.

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