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Although the 2012 election cycle just came to an end, people are already beginning to speculate about the next one. Amongst the many articles about President Obama’s electoral victory, there were several ones projecting who will run in the next race. Both parties are searching for their new political leaders, and the 2016 race begins the day after the election. Many different articles suggest different candidates as the parties’ frontrunners, like Marco Rubio, Joe Biden, and Hilary Clinton. While both Biden and Clinton are playing coy about running for president, you cannot count them out of the race just yet. However, there could always be a dark horse that appears from behind that surprises everyone to take the nomination.

For the Democrats, an ABCNews article proposes former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. As for the Republicans, the article argues that there is no clear candidate because of the party’s factions; however, Paul Ryan, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were just a few names mentioned.

With all of these potential candidates, the question becomes when does each decide to run? In an article from The Journal of Politics called The Timeline of Presidential Campaigns, Christopher Wleizien and Robert S. Erkison argue that the timeline begins with the previous election and ends on Election Day. The presidential bid announcement usually occurs the year before the election. President Barack Obama announced his candidacy on February 10, 2007. Romney threw his hat into the primary ring on June 2, 2012.

Planning and coalition building is an important factor leading up to this announcement. One thing that must be in order is the campaign’s finances to launch the massive campaign following the announcement, pointed out by Paul-Henri Guaian and Audrey A. Haynes in Campaign Strategy in Presidential Primaries, 1976-88. Unknown candidates are usually at a disadvantage particularly at the beginning of the campaign and must work on name recognition and generating momentum.

While President Obama can relax in his oval office chair once again this January, a stream of politicians prepares to take his spot in 2016. Once the post-election hype fades away, potential candidates begin to work, campaign discretely, and attempt to persuade party members, activist groups and donors to put their faith and funds behind them in the next election cycle. This process will remain mostly behind the scenes until the ones who feel secure in their ability to win begin announcing their candidacy in 2015.

There might be many potential candidates now, but we will have to wait a couple of years to see which ones actually make it on the primary ticket.

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