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With the 2006 midterm elections barely a month in the past and the last runoffs only now being completed, political observers are already turning their attention to the 2008 presidential election. With no sitting president or vice-president seeking his party’s nomination, the primaries are more wide open than they've been in many years. Given this fact, it's not surprising that a large number of politicians are rumored to be considering bids. Let’s take a look at where exactly each prospective candidate stands right now:
- Duncan Hunter (R) – the California representative was the first member of either major party to officially declare his candidacy.
- Dennis Kucinich (D) - the Ohio congressman has said that he will once again seek the Democratic nomination.
- Tom Vilsack (D) – the Iowa governor was the first Democrat to officially throw his hat into the ring.
- Evan Bayh (D) – the Indiana senator has accumulated staff and formed an exploratory committee but has not yet announced his candidacy.
- Joe Biden (D) – the Delaware Senator stated as early as 2005 that he intended to run in 2008, but has taken no formal steps toward candidacy.
- Sam Brownback (R)– the Kansas Senator has formed an exploratory committee to examine a possible candidacy.
- Hillary Clinton (D) – the Senator from New York and former First Lady has accumulated staff for a potential run, but has not officially declared or formed an exploratory committee.
- John Edwards (D)– the former North Carolina Senator and vice-presidential candidate has accumulated staff for a possible run.
- Al Gore - the former vice-president and 2000 candidate has said that he is not running but has not completely ruled out entering the race.
- Rudy Giuliani (R) – the former New York City mayor has formed an exploratory committee to examine a bid.
- John McCain (R) – the Arizona Senator has accumulated staff and formed an exploratory committee but has not yet officially announced his candidacy.
- Barack Obama (D) – the Illinois Senator stated that he is considering running and visited early voting states, but has not formed an exploratory committee nor declared his candidacy.
- Bill Richardson – the former U.S. Representative, Secretary of Energy, and U.N. Ambassador and current governor of Arizona was reported to have declared his intent to run, but a spokesman denied that Richardson has yet made a final decision.
- Mitt Romney (R) – the outgoing Massachusetts governor has accumulated staff for a potential run, but has not officially declared or formed an exploratory committee.
In addition to the aforementioned individuals, Democrats Wesley Clark, Christopher Dodd, John Kerry, and Republicans Newt Gingrich, Chuck Hagel, Mike Huckabee and George Pataki are considered potential candidates, but have not taken any concrete steps toward such a goal. In contrast, several prominent positions once considered potential 2008 hopefuls have stated that they will not run. These include Democrats Tom Daschle, Russ Feingold, and Mark Warner and Republicans George Allen, Bill Frist, Condoleezza Rice, and Rick Santorum.
With 2007 rapidly approaching, the field of presidential hopefuls is likely to change quickly. To cut through the layers of rampant speculation and stay up to date with all the latest developments, be sure to check out Congresspedia’s page on the 2008 presidential election.