Who could contend in 2016?

 

USA

The 2012 election is behind us. Let the 2016 speculation begin!

With President Barack Obama's victory, 2016 will be a race without an incumbent president and, depending on what Vice President Joe Biden does (more on that below), we could be looking at a race as wide open as 2008 for both parties.

Here are the five most likely — and strongest — contenders for the Democratic and Republican nominations. They are listed in no particular order.

Chris Christie: The idea circulating in some conservative circles that the New Jersey governor's kind treatment of President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy somehow led to Mitt Romney's loss is preposterous. If Christie can win reelection next year — and that's a big "if," given the possibility that Newark's Democratic mayor and Twitter superhero Cory Booker might run — he has a strong case to make for the GOP nomination.

Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio, above: It's hard to see both Florida Republicans running in 2016, since Bush has long been a political mentor to Rubio. Bush probably has the right of first refusal in the race, but our guess is he stays away and plays a leading role in helping Rubio. Rubio has a real opportunity to try to lead his party to its next stage by pushing for a reassessment of the GOP's relationship, or lack thereof, with Hispanics.

Bobby Jindal: The Louisiana governor seems all but certain to make a bid for the presidency in 2016, and he's got a strong argument in his favor. He's Indian American, he's compiled a decidedly conservative record as governor of the Bayou State, and he's among the wonkiest members of his party.

Paul Ryan: Ryan acquitted himself well in his brief time on the national ticket and in so doing raised his profile with donors and activists within the GOP. His announcement that he would return to the House in 2013 to chair the Budget Committee suggests that Ryan will spend the next two years or so burnishing his reputation as the "ideas guy" within the GOP and, perhaps, as the most high-profile foil to President Obama and his policies.

Rand Paul: The senator from Kentucky will probably pick up the standard laid down by his father, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and, in so doing, ensure himself at least 10 to 15 percent of the vote in every early-voting state in 2016.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: The race for the Democratic nomination begins — and could end — with what decision the soon-to-be former secretary of state makes. If she runs — and she has said she is not interested — it's hard to imagine some of the people listed below making the contest.

Joe Biden: Just in case you had ruled out the possibility of Biden running in 2016 — he will be 73 on Election Day 2016 — Biden reminded you of it while voting Tuesday. Asked whether this was the last time he would cast a ballot for himself, the vice president smiled mischievously and said, "No, I don't think so."

Andrew M. Cuomo: If Clinton and Biden stay out, the governor of New York starts the 2016 race as the front-runner. Cuomo has a lot going for him as a national candidate: (1) he has demonstrated an ability to raise lots and lots of money; (2) he has a golden last name in American politics; and (3) he shepherded New York's same-sex marriage bill to passage in the legislature.

Martin O'Malley: Maryland's governor is, from all indications, the most "in" of any of the people on this list when it comes to 2016. Working for O'Malley is his record governing perhaps the most liberal state in the country, a top-tier (and experienced) consulting team and his own political acumen.

Kirsten Gillibrand, above/Amy Klobuchar/Elizabeth Warren: If Clinton doesn't run, there will be an open spot for a woman in the field. Gillibrand, who filled Clinton's former seat in the Senate, seems the most ambitious of the trio mentioned above and could theoretically raise the sort of money she would need to be viable. Would she run if Cuomo, her mentor, ran? Probably not. Warren, who was elected to the Senate from Massachusetts on Tuesday, seems uninterested in running for president, at least according to her political people, but she is a rock star to the liberal left and, as she demonstrated in her Senate race, she can raise money like few other people in the party. Klobuchar isn't a household name nationally, but everything the senator from Minnesota has done in her political career suggests she could make the leap.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power