Although there are still nearly two years until a new president takes office, many figures in electoral politics are already preparing for the election. The presidential election of 2016 is already heating up. However, no major potential candidates have officially announced their bid for the White House.
All eyes remain on Hillary Rodham Clinton. Many believe Clinton’s potential run for president is Washington D.C.’s worst-kept secret. Clinton will likely secure the Democratic Party nomination, according to The Washington Post.
According to the latest Real Clear Politics polls, if the Democratic primary were to occur today, it would be a runaway victory for Clinton. When last measured on Dec. 28, Clinton held a 57-point lead over other rumored Democratic hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Clinton’s edge does not stop in the primaries, however. Real Clear Politics shows that Clinton would easily beat out any Republican contender, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by at least 13 points.
All of these polls, however, are speculative. None of the candidates listed above have actually announced their candidacy or filed the proper paperwork through the Federal Elections Commission.
However, The Washington Post reports there are at least 25 potential nominees within the Republican Party alone. Romney and Bush recently met for a “powwow” in Salt Lake City to discuss the future, in very vague terms. Romney also said he is considering a 2016 run to a group of longtime supporters, according to Politico.
The former Massachusetts governor has run for president twice. His official announcement has the potential to shake up the Republican Party, given the fact that some of his key supporters from 2012 have already pledged to support Bush.
It is no secret that Bush wants to gain control of the donor base that helped get both his father and brother into the White House previously, so a Romney decision will “be coming sooner rather than later,” according to The New York Times.
It’s not just Romney and Bush who are looking to duke it out in the primary. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio recently held a strategy session with his finance team in order to explore his possibilities, according to The Washington Post.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently hired David Polyansky, who served as one of the key strategists in Sen. Joni Ernst’s victory this November in Iowa, to help his campaign throughout the state.
The battle for Iowa is one that the Republicans are quickly gearing up for. According to The New York Times, a summit on Saturday, Jan. 24 was the largest gathering of potential Republican nominees to date, and included Christie, Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Walker, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon.
Several others are also considering running for the GOP. According to Chris Cellizza of The Washington Post, it is a “near certainty that the 2016 field will be the biggest in modern history of Republican nominating fights.”
With this many candidates considering a run, a drawn-out battle between heavy hitters within the party could potentially put a strain on fundraising. According to Cellizza, “A race with Jeb, Romney, Christie, Walker and Rubio would put enormous pressure on the party’s major donor class to choose sides among candidates they know and like.”
Choosing a nominee quickly and efficiently, however, is arguably what the Republican Party is after, according to The Washington Post. Narrowing a field of nearly 20 candidates will take some time, and therefore, take party energy away from fighting against presumed Democratic nominee Clinton.
With more than 600 days remaining until the general election, a lot is still up in the air when it comes to who will be the 45th President of the United States of America. But until candidates make official announcements about their intentions, the speculation will continue.
Editor’s Note: Information from Real Clear Politics, The Washington Post and The New York Times was used in this report.