Barack Obama’s time in office is winding down, and in November 2016 a new president-elect will be named. He or she will be sworn into office in January 2017 to become the most powerful person in the world. Even though the GOP and Democratic primaries are still a long time away, and the actual election is even farther away, there are already quite a few names being mentioned by political pundits as to who the next leader of the United States could be.
Each party has a few frontrunners, and of course there are the perennial long shots and spoilers that always announce their candidacy no matter how minute a chance they actually have.
Some potential candidates like John Kasich and Elizabeth Warren are steadfastly claiming they won’t run, but that doesn’t always mean they won’t. Others like Donald Trump or Sarah Palin say they are considering or very serious about running, but that certainly doesn’t mean they have a chance. The list of potential Republican nominees is almost as long as the constitution, while the number of Democratic candidates is as short as the Gettysburg Address. Would you vote for any of these potential nominees?
10. Ted Cruz
He’s currently a long shot and one of the most bizarre choices for president of all the current potential republican nominees. However, he has strong Tea Party support, and that can go a long way. Unfortunately for Cruz, he faces a huge hurdle if he hopes to become president. Because Cruz was born in Canada, he might not be eligible to become president. He is an American citizen because his mother is an American citizen, but only natural born citizens can become president. However, John McCain was born on a Naval base in Panama and he was allowed to run for president so there may still be hope for Cruz.
9. Bobby Jindal (GOP)
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is another Republican on the very long list of potential nominees, and like many of the others he seems closer and closer to announcing his intention to run each day.
His allies are raising money and starting super PACs, and he has been talking a lot about national security, the economy and other key issues as of late. A recent CBS poll found that 14% of Republicans would like to see him run for president, and his far right stance and religious beliefs could make him a contender with the Republican base, even if he is a long shot.
8. Marco Rubio (GOP)
At a recent fundraising campaign in South Beach, Fla. the U.S. senator from Florida told his aides to be ready for a presidential campaign. It has been reported that he has already appointed advisors for a potential run and is contacting top donors in the Republican Party to help fund his campaign.
A senior Rubio advisor recently told ABC News that his advisors were told to proceed as if he is running for president. He has been traveling to all the early primary states as of late, and some Republicans see him as good choice because he’s more conservative than moderate Jeb Bush.
7. Rand Paul (GOP)
Rand Paul just might be what the Republican Party needs to shake things up. His father, Ron Paul, has famously sought the Republican nomination in the past, and this might be the time for Rand to do the same.
While bigwigs in the party all are talking about Bush, Romney or Christie, there is a grassroots interest in seeing Rand Paul get the nomination. The senator recently said that Romney should never run for president again, and Paul’s libertarianism is seen as a quality that is highly valued in the current political climate. However, Paul has already announced that he will seek senate reelection in 2016 for Kentucky, and if he is named a presidential or vice presidential nominee he will have to drop the senate race because state law forbids running for both.
6. Elizabeth Warren (Democrat)
Elizabeth Warren, the senior senator for Massachusetts, could be the dark horse in the Democratic Party just as Barack Obama was in 2008. She has said time and time again that she will not be running. However, if she does, her chances of surpassing Hilary are reasonable.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that if Warren enters the race for the Democratic nomination she could have a sizeable amount of votes in key battleground states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. However, a poll recently conducted by CNN/ORC shows that Clinton has a 66%-9% advantage over Warren on the national level. Many Democratic faithfuls are secretly hoping for a Clinton-Warren ticket. It would certainly be something to have the first female president and vice president in the same year.
5. Mitt Romney (GOP)
On the side of the Grand Old Party the field is much wider than that of the Democrats. There are quite a few potential candidates for Republicans to consider. One of the frontrunners for the Republican nomination seems to once again be Mitt Romney, despite the fact he remains coy about running.
If he officially joins the race it would be his third attempt to become president. Romney was, of course, the Republican Party’s nominee in 2012, and his chances in 2016 look pretty good at the moment because he has an excellent approval rating among the Republican base.
4. Chris Christie (GOP)
Just six months ago it seemed that it would be Chris Christie that would be the eventual nominee for the Republican Party. However, recent scandals and faux pas have made him lose his stranglehold on the nomination if he were to seek it.
He’s still one of the frontrunners for the Republicans, though, and he has a lot of supporters. The Associated Press reports that Christie recently launched a political action committee. This committee, while not an official announcement of his intent to run, is a strong indication he might be. The committee would allow him to raise money and hire staffers for a presidential run.
3. Joe Biden (Democrat)
After eight years as the vice president to Barack Obama, Biden is showing signs that he wants the top job. He has not ruled out a run despite the party and media practically crowning Hillary Clinton as the nominee already.
He told ABC News in January that there is still a chance he will run for President in 2016. If he were to win the nomination and the election he would be the oldest president ever at 74 when he took office. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released in December showed that 61% of likely Democratic voters would vote for Hillary while Joe Biden was a distant second with 14%. Elizabeth Warren placed third with 13%.
2. Jeb Bush (GOP)
If the frontrunners for both parties hold their position, then the 2016 U.S. presidential election could very well be Bush v. Clinton. It was always Jeb Bush that wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps to become president, but instead it was George W. Bush that became the second Bush to sit in the Oval Office.
Jeb Bush has recently said he’ll be actively exploring a 2016 run, and late last year he stepped down from a number of corporate boards, further increasing speculation that he will seek the Republican nomination.
In October of last year, George W. said his brother “wants to be president,” and Republican brass have been urging him to run for many years now. Recent public appearances have him talking about the economy, which will be a big issue in 2016. “Portfolios are strong, but paychecks are weak”, he said, while speaking at the National Auto Dealers Association conference in January. Bush has already formed a political action committee (PAC), which will be exploring a presidential bid.
1. Hillary Clinton (Democrat)
Just as in 2008, it looks like this is Hillary Clinton’s election to lose. She is the Democratic frontrunner, and many believe no GOP candidate would be able to beat her. She’s one of the most experienced, if not the most experienced, of all of the current potential candidates.
Her time as New York Senator, First Lady, and more recently her term as Secretary of State make her extremely qualified. However, nothing is set in stone. She has not officially announced she is going to run, but she had a huge lead in 2008 before Barack Obama challenged her to become the eventual Democratic nominee.