2016 Presidential Candidates Prediction List: Rand Paul, Christie, Rubio

Thursday, 08 Nov 2012 11:13 AM

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The votes for the 2012 presidential election are still being counted in some places but that hasn’t deterred pundits from looking ahead to 2016. A number of news organizations and writers have begun to weigh in including The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who authors the political blog The Fix.

While most are an array of the usual suspects, there are a couple surprises.

On the GOP side, the Post has Chris Christie, Jeb, Bush, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan and Bobby Jindal, all people whose names are well-known as potential presidential aspirants. However, Cillizza also throws in Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

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“The Kentucky Senator will pick up the standard laid down by his father — sort of like Robb Stark and Ned Stark — and, in so doing, ensure himself at least 10-15 percent of the vote in every early-voting state in 2016,” Cillizza wrote.

“Those close to the Paul political world cast Rand Paul as Ron Paul 2.0; the son has all of the core beliefs of the father but with a much healthier dose of charisma and a willingness to occasionally couch his views in order to court skeptical voters. Dismiss Rand Paul at your peril; if he runs, we believe he has a clear path to the 2016 top tier.”

Elsewhere, pundits are including potential candidates such as Condoleezza Rice, Nikki Haley and Martin O'Malley on their lists. Time photographer Marco Grob spent the past few months getting many of these politicians on camera, posting a slideshow at Time.com.

On the Democratic side Cillizza lists Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Martin O’Malley and three relatively fresh-faced women, who are all senators, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.

“If Clinton doesn’t run, there will be an open spot for a woman in the field,” Cillizza wrote.

Gillibrand, who won Hillary Clinton’s seat, probably will pass if Cuomo runs, and Warren, a star on the left, was just elected and has so far shown no interest in higher office.

“Klobuchar isn’t a household name nationally but all she does is continue to rack up massive margins in the state of Minnesota; she was re-elected on Tuesday with 65 percent of the vote even as President Obama was winning with 53 percent in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. A presidential run would be a major step up for Klobuchar but everything she has done in her political career to date would suggest she could make the leap,” Cillizza wrote.

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