Republican 2016 Field to Double in Size

May 4, 2015

A trio of Republicans not currently holding office will formally announce they are running for president early this week. They will join the three sitting Senators (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio) who previously launched their campaigns. While the new entrants start out with longer odds to be the eventual Republican nominee, each brings a set of attributes that can certainly impact the race.

This will be the 2nd presidential run for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who previously ran in 2008. That year he won the Iowa Republican caucuses and continued his campaign until March, when it became apparent that Arizona Senator John McCain would be that year's Republican nominee. At the national level, Huckabee performs best in states with a larger evangelical Christian population, putting him in a decent position to impact the early caucus/primary states of Iowa and South Carolina. Huckabee is set to announce on Tuesday.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina joins the race Monday AM. Fiorina is expected to be the only woman in the Republican field and further distinguishes herself from the field with a strong business background. Of the three announcing this week, she is likely to be seen as the most moderate. Fiorina previously ran for Senate in California in 2010, losing to incumbent Barbara Boxer. Fiorina has received minimal support in early polling; it will be interesting to see if that shifts as she becomes more well-known.

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson made his 2016 announcement Sunday night. The only African-American likely to run for the 2016 Republican nomination, Carson became a star in conservative circles after a well-received speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Carson has not previously run for political office. Carson has been receiving about 5% support in early polls and will be competing with Huckabee for many of the same voters.

 

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