Eight weeks away from the Presidential Election of 2012, but with the obvious trend toward Barack Obama emerging, political pundits are starting to speculate on who might compete for the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominations in 2016, when if Barack Obama is reelected in 2012, we will be certain to have a new President.
The field of potential nominees is long in both parties. Among those being discussed are the following:
Vice President Joe Biden from Delaware
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill
Virginia Senator Mark Warner
Newark New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham
South Dakota Senator John Thune
So there are, theoretically, 12 Democrats and 14 Republicans who can be seen now as possible competitors for the Presidential nominations, but of course, some of these conceivable candidacies are based on election results yet to occur, including whether Senators Claire McCaskill, Scott Brown, and Lindsay Graham are reelected, the first two this year, and Graham in 2014; whether Cory Booker runs for New Jersey Governor and defeats Chris Christie, with the result eliminating one of those two candidacies; whether Elizabeth Warren can defeat Scott Brown, which would eliminate one or the other of those two candidacies; and whether the “old timers”—Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Jeb Bush—decide to run or stay out of the race, leaving the battle for the nominations to the “new generation” of leadership that is emerging in both political parties.
As of now, there is plenty of diversity in the potential race, with the following statistics:
7 women in the race–Hillary Clinton, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill, Elizabeth Warren for the Democrats, and Nikki Haley and Kelly Ayotte for the Republicans.
2 African Americans in the race—Deval Patrick and Cory Booker for the Democrats.
1 Hispanic-Latino in the race—Marco Rubio for the Republicans.
2 Asian Americans in the race (both of India heritage)—Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley for the Republicans.
On the Democratic side, there are three potential candidates from New York—Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Kirsten Gillibrand; one from New Jersey (Cory Booker); one from Delaware (Joe Biden); one from Maryland (Martin O’Malley); two from Massachusetts (Deval Patrick and Elizabeth Warren)–a total of eight of the 12 potential candidates from the Northeast, with one from the South (Mark Warner of Virginia); two from the Midwest (Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri); and one from the West (Brian Schweitzer of Montana).
On the Republican side, there are four potential candidates from the Northeast—Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania; seven from the South and border states—Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Nikki Haley and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Rand Paul of Kentucky; and three from the Midwest—Paul Ryan and Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Thune of South Dakota.
Additionally, there are many Catholics running, startling when one considers that this nation has only had one Catholic President (John F. Kennedy), and one Catholic Vice President (Joe Biden).
Also, the Democrats have four Governors, one Mayor, and seven former or sitting or potential Senators on their list; while the Republicans have six Governors or former Governors, seven Senators, and one Congressman on their list.
Speculation starting already makes the 2016 Presidential race seem ever closer even though it will not begin in earnest until mid to late 2014, and particularly so after the midterm elections of 2014!