The GOP has created a digital menu of 2016 presidential options. And it’s full of people you probably never even thought of.
The list includes plenty of obvious contenders: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan, Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and so on. But it also digs deeper in political history, stretching back to Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, and floats names like Sen. Kelly Ayotte and the always-rumored former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
There are some notable names not on the list, like celebrity millionaire Donald Trump and one-time candidate Mitt Romney. But right now, the GOP is casting an almost comically large net in its hunt for a 2016 candidate.
At the same time, Democrats would probably love to be able to put out a list like this. Once you toss out those who don’t stand a chance (sorry, John Bolton), the massive shopping list still shows how deep the GOP bench is right now. And once Republicans set their mind on a candidate, they will have to convince everyone within their splintered party to support him or her.
Maybe this extremely early, free-flowing straw poll isn’t the worst idea.
Of course, to fill out the poll, you have to give the Republican National Committee your info — there is a broader point in this for the party, after all. Here’s the full list:
- Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire
- Former Gov. Haley Barbour, Mississippi
- John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, mustachioed
- Former Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida
- Herman Cain, pizza
- Ben Carson, neurosurgeon
- Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey
- Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas
- Former Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana
- Newt Gingrich, former Newt Gingrich
- Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina
- Mike Huckabee, television host
- Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana
- Gov. John Kasich, Ohio
- Rep. Peter King, New York
- Gov. Susana Martinez, New Mexico
- Former Gov. Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s Alaska
- Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky
- Former Rep. Ron Paul, Google Ron Paul
- Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota
- Gov. Mike Pence, Indiana
- Gov. Rick Perry, Texas (listed on the poll as former governor, which he will be by then)
- Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio
- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida
- Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin
- Gov. Brian Sandoval, Nevada
- Former Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania
- Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina
- Sen. John Thune, South Dakota
- Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin
- Allen West, Allen West Inc.
And, if that’s not enough for you, there’s always a write-in.
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