The 6 Strongest 2016 Presidential Candidates

Published: November 12, 2013

This is a list of 10 people who could be the next President.  These 10 politicians have enough name recognition, media coverage, and popularity to be viable candidates.  Candidates scoring higher on this list met more of the following criteria: (a) has served or is serving in a prominent public office, (b) has attracted a sizable following in their party, (c) has foreign policy experience, (d) has demonstrated political skills in previous campaigns, (e) would appeal to independent voters in the general election, and (f) has a record of accomplishments to run on.

  1. Hillary Rodham Clinton

    By far the most talked about presidential candidate for 2016, the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State meets all of the criteria.  She is very popular in the Democratic Party and easily beats other Democrats in primary polls.  She also has leads in key swing states in general election polls when matched head-to-head with Republicans.  She will be able to raise a huge amount of money and will have her husband, Bill Clinton, a popular ex-president, campaigning alongside her.  With her long list of qualifications and her unique presence as the most famous woman in American politics, she is the favorite for the Presidency.  A victory would be historic and her candidacy will energize women voters.

  2. Chris Christie

    Chris Christie, having just won a landslide reelection in blue New Jersey, is highly likely to run.  While sufficiently conservative for the party establishment, Christie also holds positions that make him more centre-right than far right, and he is popular and well-liked with independent voters and even some Democrats in his home state.  If he runs, it remains to be seen if he can unite the party, but in a general election, he will be formidable.  Christie is the Republican that does the best against Mrs. Clinton and Republicans, after eight years out, are anxious to get back in the White House.

  3. Rick Santorum

    Don't underestimate him.  He may not be a frontrunner but he did come in second in the 2012 Republican primary.  With populist themes that reached out to working class voters, he came from behind to present the biggest challenge to Mitt Romney.  Republicans have a tradition of going with runner-ups: Ronald Reagan was second in 1976, then won four years later, George Bush was second in 1980, then won eight years later, John McCain was second in 2000, then won the primary eight year later, and Mitt Romney too was second, in 2008.  Santorum would have the strongest support among conservative evangelicals, who make up a powerful base in the party.  Yes, he has weaknesses, and he suffered a huge defeat when he lost his Senate seat in 2006, but he has the potential to be a dark horse.

  4. Marco Rubio

    Latinos are the fastest-growing group in the country and Marco Rubio is the most prominent Latino in politics.  Coming from the huge battleground state of Florida, Rubio has a lot of media hype and is a household name for many Republicans.  Rubio has an attractive family and his views on social issues are in line with the base.  He has been considered a candidate since he won his Senate seat in 2010.  Since then, however, his star has dimmed somewhat in the party with his controversial support for immigration reform and he's being overshadowed by Chris Christie.

  5. Elizabeth Warren

    She has become a darling of economic populist progressives and truly represents the soul of the Democratic primary.  The media has speculated on her future since she joined the Senate.  She proved she could run a strong campaign by beating the popular Scott Brown.  Democrats certainly see her as their go-to person on income inequality and financial reform.  She has created an image of a crusader against Wall Street and Big Business.  She may even run against Hillary in 2016 and is even more likely to run if Hillary doesn't.

  6. Ted Cruz

    He's a very new face, but already he's become, to some, the new face of the Republican Party.  He is very conservative and would likely get a lot of support from people on the right who might have reservations about Christie.  He's polarizing, but he's making headlines, which he'll need to make himself better known before the primary.

There's two names that constantly show up in any discussion of 2016: Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chris Christie.  These are the two to watch.  Even though its only still 2013 and there are three years to go before we elect another President, the next election has already excited the media.  Tons of articles are being written about Clinton and Christie and the former Secretary of State is my choice for the strongest candidate.