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United States presidential election, 2016

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United States presidential election, 2016
United States
2012 ←
November 8, 2016 → 2020

Electoral College 2016.svg

The electoral map for the 2016 election, based on populations from the 2010 census

Incumbent President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The United States presidential election of 2016 is expected to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. It will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters in the election will select presidential electors who in turn will elect a new President and Vice President of the United States. The incumbent president, Barack Obama, is ineligible to be elected to a third term due to term limits in the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Background

Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that for a person to be elected and serve as President of the United States, the individual must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for a period of no less than 14 years. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the various political parties of the United States, in which case each party devises a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf.

Democrat Barack Obama, a former U.S. Senator from Illinois, is due to complete his second and final term in office on January 20, 2017. In the United States presidential election, 2008, Obama defeated Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona, receiving 52.9% of the popular vote and 68% of the electoral vote.[1][2] He was reelected in the 2012 election, defeating former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney with 51.1% of the popular vote and 62% of the electoral vote.[3] Obama is not eligible to seek reelection due to restrictions set by the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution. During his second term, President Obama's approval ratings have been listed by Gallup as between 40 and 50 percent, with Obama seeing a steady increase in approval and decrease in disapproval since September 2014.[4] The increase is uncommon among Presidents in their second terms. His approval reading is widely seen as an indicator for how well the Democratic Party will do in the 2016 election.[5][6]

In the United States elections for the Senate and House in 2012, Republicans retained their majority of seats in the House of Representatives despite minor losses while Democrats increased their majority in the Senate, leading to a more divided Congress.[2] Subsequently, in the 2014 midterm elections, the Republicans won a majority of seats in both Houses of Congress, increasing their majority in the House and gaining a majority in the Senate.[7]

Declared and potential candidates

Democratic Party

Declared

Individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the presidential nomination the Democratic Party; filed as a Democratic presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Candidates featured in major polls

The candidates included in this section have been listed in five or more major independent nationwide polls.

Other candidates

Announcement impending

The individuals listed below have scheduled events during which they are each expected to make an announcement regarding a potential presidential bid.

Formally exploring a candidacy

The individuals listed below have been identified by reliable media sources as potential candidates for president in 2016. Those listed under "Formally exploring a candidacy" have taken formal action(s) – such as the formation of an exploratory committee, political action committee (PAC), or a 527 organization – to build the groundwork for a possible presidential campaign. As of May 2015, all others have been the focus of media speculation in reliable secondary sources within the past three months. They are listed alphabetically by surname.

Publicly expressed interest

Other potential candidates

Republican Party

Declared

Individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party; filed as a Republican presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Candidates featured in major polls

Candidates included in this section have been listed in five or more major independent nationwide polls.

Other candidates

Announcements impending

The individuals listed below have scheduled events during which they are each expected to make an announcement regarding a potential presidential bid.

Formally exploring a candidacy

Publicly expressed interest

Independent and third party candidates

Declared

Individuals included in this section have taken one or more of the following actions: formally announced their candidacy for the presidential nomination of a minor party; formally announced intention to run as an independent candidate; filed as a minor party or non-affiliated candidate with the FEC (for other than exploratory purposes). Candidates are listed alphabetically by surname.

Constitution Party

Ballot Access: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming – (115 Electoral Votes)[85]

Potential

Green Party

Ballot Access: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin – (296 Electoral Votes)[85][88]

Formally exploring a candidacy
Publicly expressed interest

Libertarian Party

Ballot Access: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming – (366 Electoral Votes)[85]

Publicly expressed interest

Potential battleground states

Further information: Swing state

In every state except Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in the state wins all of the electoral votes of the state (although state legislatures can, by law, change how votes are allocated).[97] Recent presidential campaigns have generally focused their resources on a relatively small number of competitive states.[98][99] Potential battleground states include Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.[100] Democrats have discussed targeting Arizona, Georgia, and Texas as potentially competitive states.[100] Meanwhile, Republicans may also target Minnesota and New Jersey.[101] Other states may also become competitive if the close races of 2016 differ from the close races of the 2012 election, or if 2016 becomes a landslide election. Both major parties might decide to target the home states of their nominees or that of their running mates if they are from a swing state or have high favorability in the state or region.

Party conventions

Map of United States showing Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Orlando
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Cleveland
Cleveland
Orlando
Orlando
Sites of the 2016 national party conventions.
Libertarian Party
Republican Party
Democratic Party

Debates

On April 1, 2015, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that each of the following 16 locations are under consideration to host one of the three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate:[107]

The three locations which will host the presidential debates, and the one location selected to host the vice presidential debate, are to be announced by the CPD in the fall of 2015.[107][108]

Polling

General election polling
Democratic primary polling
Republican primary polling

See also

References

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External links