presidential primary candidates 2016

Here I list the declared candidates for president, with my evolving estimate of their chances to win.  This page established June 4, 2015.  It will be updated during the campaign.   Updated February 11, 2016.

News:  (February 11)  Chris Christie and Pauly Fiorina suspended their campaigns.  Only Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Bush, and Carson remain to challenge Trump.

(February 3) Rand Paul suspended his campaign.  Rick Santorum suspended his campaign.

(February 2) Martin O’Malley, Democrat, and Mike Huckabee, Republican, suspended their campaigns following the Feb. 1 debates. 

(December 30)   George Pataki suspended his campaign.  He’s out.   Eleven candidates remain.

(December 21)   Lindsay Graham suspended his campaign.  He’s out. 

(November 18)  Bobby Jindal has dropped out as of yesterday.

(October 23)  Jim Webb has dropped out, wants to run as an independent, but probably can’t pull it off.   Lincoln Chaffee also dropped out today.   

(September 22)  Walker and Perry have dropped out.   Gilmore was the only one not invited to the CNN debate of September 16, should be considered out.   Circling the drain:  Pataki, Santorum, Graham, Jindal — none of whom have made any impression in the polls.  In trouble:  Paul, and possibly Christie and Huckabee.  For the Democrats, Biden is still wavering.

Note that a list of Republican Candidates, declared and potential, are listed on

There seem to be storm clouds on the Democrat horizon.  See below.



Donald Trump. ****  Declared June 16.  As of July 22, he is leading in the polls.  He claims an astounding personal wealth of about 9 billion dollars.  His message is appealing, in that he says he will put things  right with China and will be a tough negotiator with Iran.   He is uninhibited in his speech which may eventually hurt him.  He strikes some folks as a bit radical and a bit of a blowhard.  I believe his popularity will fade after the first debate.  Website:

Dr. Ben Carson  ***  After Obama, the U.S. may not be ready for another black president — it may take 100 years.  However, he’s very convincing as a conservative and has a great personality.  He has no experience as a politician.  Website:

Marco Rubio  ****  Conservative, very well spoken, Latino.  Website:  His website has his take on most issues.

Chris Christie **   Plain spoken, forceful, but his chance peaked four years ago.  His hug of Obama will not be forgiven.  Website:

Ted Cruz ***  Has been demonized, but very conservative, very intelligent.  If elected, I have no doubt he will be a reformer.  He is my “dark horse”.  Website:‎

Carly Fiorina ***  Sharp as a tack, argues and debates well, conservative.   It would be fun to watch her debate Hilary and I believe she would take Hilary to school.  Website:

Jeb Bush **** –  Declared June 15.  He will be very formidable, due to his personal charm and extensive knowledge of social issues.   Website:

Mike Huckabee ***  Well known from his TV show, very likable.  I believe he would be a superb president.  Website:

John Kasich ***  May be the most highly experienced of all candidates.  Down to earth, very likable, with a very good record in Ohio, a key voting state.  Announced 7/21,   Some consider him too liberal.  Website:

Rand Paul *  Principled Libertarian.  Foreign policy is scary.  Website:

Rick Santorum  * Insufficient experience, but speaks well.  Intelligent.  A favorite of the religious right.  Has made no waves thus far.  Website:

Republicans candidates who ran but dropped out:

Lindsey Graham  **  From the U.S. Senate.  He probably has little chance, but his military service is impressive.  Website:

George Pataki  *  Governor of New York.  I don’t see him as a viable candidate.  Website:

Jim Gilmore. *  Declared July 29.  Former governor of Tennessee.  The 17th major candidate.  Good resume’ — was a counterintelligence agent in the U.S. Army.  Almost unknown nationally.  Website?  Can’t find it.

Bobby Jindal. *  Declared June 24.  Governor of Louisian.  Very well-spoken, religious, conservative.  Website:

Rick Perry  *  Most experienced on immigration, great record as governor.  Failing to secure donations.  Website:  (Website first page is the most impressive — it’s a video)

Scott Walker ****  His willingness to reform and go up against unions makes him very attractive.   My comments: he looks young.   Website:  (If you can get past his first page without donating, I’d like to know how you did it)


Note – there are perhaps a half dozen others who have declared, but no one takes them seriously.  See the website above.

Asterisks give my initial rating of their chances to become the candidate.  * – little, ** – dark horse, *** contender, **** very strong.



For more information on these, see

Lincoln Chafee  *  Has been a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island for 8 years, has been and is now governor.  Has been a Republican but switched parties.  Not a big name nationally.  Website:  Dropped out October 23.

Hillary Clinton  ****  Lots and lots of issues, no real talent or accomplishment, but there may be enough people who vote for a living to elect her.  Corrupt is the operative word in her case.  If she survives the server scandal, her record as Secretary of State, collecting money for the Clinton Foundation in exchange for authorizing sales to other countries will provide plenty of material for criticism.  Website:

Martin O’Mallley  **  Governor of Maryland for 8 years, left office this year.  Website:

Bernie Sanders***  Senator from Vermont.  Openly socialist, wants everything to be free, based on big taxes on the rich.   He is drawing bigger crowds than Hilary in August of 2015.  Website:

Jim Webb*  Former senator from Virginia.  Website:  Dropped out mid-October.

There are about half a dozen other also-rans too unprominent to list here.


With Hilary’s campaign circling the toilet bowl, there are now (August 19, 2015) rumors that either or both Joe Biden or John Kerry will declare.  


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