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The long race to the white house

April 26, 2015

We are nearly two years away from the US having a new President, but the race for the white house is already heating up with several announced candidates and plenty of people positioning themselves for a run. The Democratic nomination doesn’t look very interesting at the moment with Hillary Clinton having a large lead, but even if the Democratic race heats up my main interest is the Republican Party and specifically the campaign of semi-libertarian Rand Paul.

The list of candidates for the Grand Old Party (GOP) is absurdly long… even after several people withdrawing from the race (including Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rob Portman, John Thune, Mitch Daniels) and ignoring some of the no-hopers, it is still fairly easy to come up with a list of over 20 serious candidates. Damn. Here is my list of 20 players (+1), split into different categories, with the brackets indicating where I put them in the race to the nomination.

Establishment governors 

Jeb Bush = Florida (1999-2007) the current front-runner (1)
Chris Christie = New Jersey (2010-) early attention, but now in the middle of the pack (6)
John Kasich = Ohio (2011-) a backup option for the establishment (13)
Rick Snyder = Michigan (2011-) a backup to the backup (16)

Semi-conservative governors

Scott Walker = Wisconsin (2011-) currently the main challenger to Jeb Bush (3)
Rick Perry = Texas (2000-15) solid & serious but not catching fire (7)
Bobby Jindal = Louisiana (2008-) struggling to get attention or support (10)

Last chance governors 

George Pataki = New York (1995-2006) maybe too late (15)
Bob Ehrlich = Maryland (2003-07) little money or support (17)
Jim Gilmore = Virginia (1998-2002) little money or support (18)

Big-government conservatives 

Mike Huckabee = populist and fairly popular, doing well in Iowa (5)
Rick Santorum = Huckabee has taken his niche (11)
Lindsey Graham = the most serious of the war candidates (12)
John Bolton = Graham has taken his niche, but funky mustache (19)

Small-government Senators

Marco Rubio = acceptable to establishment and activists (2)
Rand Paul = the semi-libertarian option (4)
Ted Cruz = eloquent, can be inspiring, but also divisive (8)

Business candidates

Ben Carson = popular with Tea Party but unpredictable (9)
Carly Fiorini = trying to buy herself a place in the top tier (14)
Donald Trump = suffering delusions of adequacy (20)

And my favourite… Vermin Supreme.

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