Your (Continuously Growing) Presidential Candidate Cheat Sheet
As the field of 2016 presidential candidates grows, it might become difficult for you to keep track. Well, we have you covered! Here is your cheat sheet for all the presidential hopefuls who have announced their candidacies for both the Republican and Democratic nominations. We will keep this updated as more people inevitably announce their candidacy.
Democrats (In order of announcement)
Announcement: April 12
Who is she? Former First Lady of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992; Former First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001; Former Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009; Former Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Arguably the most recognizable female politician in the entire country.
Can she win the nomination? Right now she is the rare presumptive nominee, winning imaginary primaries before the first vote in Iowa.
Fun Fact: Hillary Clinton was a staunchly conservative supporter of Barry Goldwater as a high school student in 1964.
Announcement: April 30
Who is he? One of two Independents serving in the US Senate; Junior Senator from Vermont since 2007; US Representative from 1991 to 2007; Mayor of Burlington, Vermont from 1981 to 1989. Sanders declared income and wealth inequality to be one of his main platform issues, stating “This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans.”
Can he win? It is a definite possibility. The weekend following his announcement, over 100,000 people sign up to volunteer for his campaign. He could be the Democrat’s alternative to a centrist Clinton. It also doesn’t hurt that The New York Times believes he is gaining momentum in Iowa.
Fun Fact: Bernie Sanders recorded an album of folk covers in 1987 titled We Shall Overcome.
Announcement: May 30
Who is he? Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007; Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. O’Malley accomplished a lot during his tenure as Governor, including immigration reform and legalization of gay marriage in Maryland. However, his time as Mayor has come under scrutiny since the recent racial unrest in Baltimore..
Can he win the nomination? Maybe, but Hillary is too strong right now. Any other year and he would have been a strong contender. He did just announce, so we will see.
Fun Fact: O’Malley’s storied “feud” with David Simon started years ago when many claimed O’Malley was the inspiration for The Wire character Tommy Carcetti, much to the governor’s chagrin.
Announcement: June 3
Who is he? Former Republican Senator from Rhode Island from 1999 to 2007; elected Governor of Rhode Island as an Independent in 2010. He switched to the Democratic Party in 2013, in the middle of his four-year term. During his tenure as governor, he signed the bill that legalized gay marriage in Rhode Island. In 2002 he was the only Senate Republican to vote against authorizing the use of force in Iraq. He even wrote in “George H.W. Bush” during the 2004 election.
Can he win the nomination? Probably not. He doesn’t have the name recognition.
Fun Fact: He is a trained farrier and worked as one for over seven years at numerous horse racetracks in the US and Canada.
Republicans (In order of announcement)
Announcement: March 23
Who is he? Junior Senator from Texas since 2013. Out of all the candidates currently holding political office, he has the least experience. In his short Senate career he has been a strong voice for the far conservative branch of the Republican Party, speaking out against gay marriage, climate change, and the Affordable Care Act. Cruz is alsoa strong proponent of the Keystone XL Pipeline, gun rights, and the abolition of the IRS.
Can he win the nomination? There are a whole lot of social conservatives that really want him to. But probably not.
Fun Fact: Cruz was born in Canada but is not technically Canadian.
Announcement: April 7
Who is he? Junior Senator from Kentucky since 2011. He is critical of the Affordable Care Act, citing his experience as an opthamologist. He is quite outspoken against the PATRIOT Act and NSA surveillance. On May 20, he spoke for almost 11 hours in opposition to the reauthorization of Section 215 (the so-called“Library Records” provision) of the PATRIOT Act, and later prevented its reauthorization on June 1.
Can he win the nomination? He inherited a libertarian following from his father Ron Paul, but has a chance of winning that his father could never achieve. He also has a huge younger voter base, which is a big plus for a Republican candidate. He has won the last three CPAC straw polls.
Fun Fact: He recently told Jon Stewart he was not allowed to pee at all during his entire 11-hour PATRIOT Act filibuster.
Announcement: April 13
Who is he? Junior Senator fromFlorida since 2011. Born in Miami to Cuban immigrants. He has spoken in favor of many conservative issues, including limiting federal spending and questioning the validity of climate change. He has been critical of the Affordable Care Act. He was a member of the “Gang of Eight”, a bipartisan group of Senators for comprehensive immigration reform.
Can he win the nomination? Rubio is a skilled orator, and many believe his rhetoric can get him far in the Republican race. Several pundits have named him as their likely Republican front runner.
Fun Fact: He considers himself the only member of the “hip hop caucus” in the Senate.
Announcement: May 4
Who is he? Retired from a prestigious career as a neurosurgeon and former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. Carson was the first surgeon to successfully separate two conjoined twins joined at the head.
Can he win the nomination? Probably not. He doesn’t have any executive or political office experience. He also has a problem with politically incorrect gaffes, including one where he claimed being gay is “absolutely a choice” and that “a lot of people go into prison straight and come out gay.”
Announcement: May 4
Who is she? Former CEO of Hewlett Packard from 1999 to 2005. She played a major role in the merger between HP and Compaq, which at the time made the company the largest personal computer manufacturer but subsequently caused the company’s stocks to plummet and an estimated 30,000 people to be laid off. Fiorina’s most recent foray into politics was in 2010, when she ran against incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer from California as the Republican nominee.
Can she win the nomination? No.
Fun Fact: She appears on numerous lists cataloging the worst tech CEOs ever.
Announcement: May 5
Who is he? Former Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He ran for the nomination in 2008, but lost to John McCain. Since then he has been a political commentator and pundit for Fox News.
Can he win the nomination? He had a better chance of getting the nomination in 2008. He is just too socially conservative for the Republican field in 2016. His continued support of Josh Duggar, the disgraced eldest son of a family prominent in socially conservative circles, won’t help his chances either.
Fun Fact: Huckabee plays the bass in a classic-rock cover band called Capitol Offense.
Announcement: May 28
Who is he? Governor of New York for three terms from 1995 to 2006, ousted liberal icon Mario Cuomo (father of current NY Governor Andrew Cuomo). He was lauded for his leadership post-9/11, but is often overshadowed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and President George W. Bush.
Can he win the nomination? No.
Announcement: May 27
Who is he? Former Senator from Pennsylvania, 1995 to 2006; ran for president unsuccessfully in 2012, losing the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney. In 2003 his anti-gay comments came under fire from many, including columnist Dan Savage who successfully campaigned to redefine Santorum’s last name.
Can he win the nomination? Unsure. He is a rare fiscally liberal, socially conservative Republican.
Fun Fact: In his free time, Santorum is an avid fantasy baseball player.
Announcement: June 1
Who is he? Senator from South Carolina since 2003, succeeding Strom Thurmond; previously a member of the US House of Representatives from 1994 to 2003. He describes himself as a Reagan-style Republican. He’s showed bipartisan support for Obama-appointed Supreme Court nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. In response to the 2013 Global Surveillance Disclosures, he spoke in favor of NSA surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals. He supports interventionist foreign policy and is often considered a war hawk. He is a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform and critical of the Affordable Care Act.
Can he win the nomination? Maybe, but unlikely. His status as South Carolina’s favorite son could gain him leverage in an eventual nomination fight.
Fun Fact: He has never married and if elected would be only the second bachelor president.
Announcement: June 4
Who is he? Former Governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015; Lieutenant Governor of Texas under George W. Bush from 1994 to 2000. Shortly after choosing to not seek reelection in 2014, he was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges for abuse of power. Perry previously ran for the Republican nomination in 2012, but his campaign suffered after he forgot the third federal agency he would eliminate during a nationally televised debate. Perry is very outspoken against healthcare and government spending. In 2007 he signed a law ending automatic arrests for cannabis. While governor he claims he never raised taxes.
Can he win the nomination? He was an early frontrunner in 2012, but he doesn’t have the traction anymore. On the other hand, Perry has the most executive office experience of anyone in the Republican field.
Fun Fact: In 1984, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat for three terms, and even supported Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 1988.
Announcement: June 15
Who is he? Former Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007; Son of President George H.W. Bush; Brother of President George W. Bush. Prior to entering politics, Jeb had a very successful career in real estate. His social and fiscal policies as governor leaned to the right, including reducing taxes by $19 billion. His position on immigration, however, has been more moderate. He even supported an unsuccessful bill to allow illegal immigrants to be issued driver’s licenses.
Can he win the nomination? He has arguably been the frontrunner since well before his announcement, but lately his candidacy has lost some momentum after a series of unforced errors and gaffes.
Fun Fact: Jeb is actually an acronym for John Ellis Bush.
Announcement: June 16
Who is he? Real estate mogul and wannabe political pundit. He has hinted at running in the past, specifically in 2012, but never entered the race. He is pro-life, against gun control, and has stated vaccines lead to autism.
Can he win the nomination? No
Fun Fact: In 2000 he ran on the Reform Party ballot in the California presidential primary and won.