Not a week has gone by recently without an announcement of a run for the White House. And the race to join the race isn’t over yet. At least two more serious Republican candidates have still not announced — governors Scott Walker and John Kasich.
Democrats, one the other hand, have settled down more or less, with only vice-president Joe Biden left to make up his mind.
The score so far, thus: four Democrats and 14 Republicans.
Some of them may drop out between now and the debates and the primaries, but the Republican field as it stands now looks daunting compared to the nine who made it to the first debate in in the 2012 cycle. Only the first 10 in national poll averages will make it to the nationally televised debates this time.
Democrats: 4, and looking
Hillary Clinton, 67
Who is he? Trained in law at Harvard, like Obama, this Cuban-American, who was born in Canada, served as legal adviser to George W Bush’s campaign and as a senior official in him justice department before moving to Texas, his home-state, as solicitor general. He is now a US senator.
Chances: Sharp-tongued bomb-thrower invites strong likes and dislikes; has struggled with poll numbers, but is likely to make it to primary debates as he has been in the top 10 of averages
Rand Paul, 52
Who is he? An ophthalmologist, Paul’s first jump into politics was a run for the US senate, and he won. Libertarian son of a famously libertarian father, Ron Paul, who ran for president twice, he is a one-term senator from Kentucky, the bourbon whisky state.
Chances: A favourite of libertarians, who want the US to mind its own business and get the government out of most things at home, his poll numbers have been a shade short of the top five.
Carly Fiorina, 60
Who is she? A former CEO of Hewlett Packard, whose tenure was so controversial some critics branded her anti-Steve Jobs. She ran for the US senate in 2009 from California, and lost.
Chances: Despite being the only woman candidate in the running for the party nomination, she has failed to excite the party; her poll numbers have languished at the bottom.
Ben Carson, 63