politics The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016

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List Rules Officially declared candidates only. Vote for the most viable Republican presidential candidates running for the 2016 Republican nomination.

S Editor's Note: Voting has been closed.
The United States 2016 presidential race is heating up and this list will keep track of the officially-announced Republican candidates. Vote up the most viable Republican presidential election candidates, from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Learn about each of the Republican candidates for president on this list and find out who they really are. Their political positions, their current jobs, and the ways in which they formally declared their candidacies are all listed here, along with links to their official campaign websites.

The GOP presidential candidates 2016 are campaigning for your vote. They all seek to defeat current Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who announced her candidacy on YouTube. Most of these candidates, however, spoke from their home turfs (or the state in which they currently serve in the Senate) and announced that they would be running for president in 2016, as Republicans, to crowds of supporters.

Who do you think should win the nomination on the Republican presidential ticket? Cast your votes below before voting in the Republican primaries, and head over to the comments section to let us know which other Republican politicians and GOP members you hope declare their candidacy in the months to come. And for a look across the aisle, here are the official Democratic candidates.
Chris Christie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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Chris Christie


Ended campaign on February 10, 2016

Current position:
Governor of New Jersey

Political Positions:
A fairly moderate Republican, Christie opposes abortion rights but has few ties to Christian conservatives. He promises extensive entitlement reform, the promotion of a strong military, and a lowering of the corporate tax rate.

Announcement:
Once a rising star in the party, Christie's disappointing record as New Jersey Governor has not made him a favorite among Republican voters. After a mishandling of the state's pension overhaul and a scandal involving the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge, Christie's only hope is to run on his charismatic personality. In a speech in Livingston, New Jersey, he said, "Americans are not angry. Americans are filled with anxiety. I’m here to tell you that anxiety can be swept away by strong leadership and decisiveness to lead America again.”

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#4 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#3 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#7 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#2 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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John Kasich is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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John Kasich


Current position: Governor of Ohio

Political Positions: Kasich stands out in the field of long-shot Republican candidates for his pro-Obamacare stance. Although he claims to believe that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed, he was quick to embrace it's expansion of Medicaid in his state. Kasich justified his actions to his party by explaining that his deeply held Catholic faith calls him to help the poor in any way possible. Kasich is also open to immigration reform and is considered a centrist by others in his party.

Announcement: In a speech at Ohio State University, Kasich told the crowd, "I have to humbly tell you that I believe I do have the skills, and I have the experience and the testing that shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world."

Also Ranked

#36 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#4 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#1 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#1 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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Lindsey Graham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
Photo: John Orrell/Flickr
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Lindsey Graham


Ended campaign on December 21, 2015

Current position:
Senator of South Carolina

Political Positions: An ally of John McCain, Graham is a moderate conservative on many issues, except when it comes to foreign policy. He is a national security hawk who has been a loud critic of what he sees as President Obama's weak responses to global threats like ISIS. He is also a defender of controversal government surveillance programs.

Announcement:
Graham announced his candidacy in a speech in his hometown of Central, South Caroline. Citing his foreign policy experience, Graham promised a strong national defense, saying, "I want to be President to defeat the enemies trying to kill us, not just penalize them or criticize them or contain them, but defeat them."

Also Ranked

#12 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#13 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#10 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#3 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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Mike Huckabee is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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Mike Huckabee


Ended campaign on February 1, 2016

Current position:
Former Arkansas governor, former host of Fox New's Huckabee, and current political commentator on The Huckabee Report

Political positions:
A former Southern Baptist minister, Huckabee's political views are largely informed by his deep religiosity. He draws support from the right's evangelical base. He first ran for president in 2008, where he did well among Republican religious voters who agreed with his very conservative views on abortion, homosexuality, evolution, and gun control.

Announcement: In a speech in Arkansas on May 5, 2015, Huckabee debuted what may turn out to be his 2016 campaign slogan, "From hope to higher ground," a jab at Obama's 2008 campaign promise of hope and change. "I commit this to you today," Huckabee said. "I will never apologize for America. Ever."

Also Ranked

#5 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#5 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#8 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#5 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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Marco Rubio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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Marco Rubio


Ended campaign on March 15, 2016

Current position:
Senator of Florida
 

Political positions: The "Crown Prince" of the Tea Party, Rubio's conservative social and fiscal policies earned him a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union.
 

Announcement: Rubio gave a speech in Miami and referenced Hillary Clinton as "a leader from yesterday," promising that "Yesterday is over and we're never going back."

Also Ranked

#22 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#6 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#6 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#8 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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George Pataki is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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19 people just voted on George Pataki


Ended campaign on December 30, 2015

Current position:
Former Governor of New York

Political Positions:
A long-shot to win the nomination, Pataki hails from a group of establishment northeastern Republicans who do not hold much power within the party any longer. He is a fiscal conservative with relatively liberal positions on abortion, gun control, environmental protection.

Announcement:
In a TV ad for this candidacy, Pataki said, "Defeating Islamic terrorists, shrinking government, growing the economy -- these are the issues that matter most."

Also Ranked

#18 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#3 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#7 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

#6 on 2016 Candidates Who Are the Best at Debating

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Jeb Bush is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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Jeb Bush


Ended campaign on February 20, 2016

Current position:
Governor of Florida

Political positions: Floridians consider Bush a conservative Republican, thanks to his record of cutting taxes and scaling down what he said were burdensome regulations and bureaucracy. Socially, he has conservative views as well. Most notably, he fought the husband of brain-dead Terry Schiavo when Mr. Schiavo petitioned to remove her feeding tube. However, he is sometimes seen as a more moderate on issues like immigration (perhaps thanks to his Mexican-born wife, Columba). He supports a path to legal status.

Announcement: In a speech at a community college near Miami, Bush distanced himself from his family name, saying "Not a one of us deserves the job by right of résumé, party, seniority, family or family narrative." Instead, he positioned himself as a doer, not a talker-- citing his record of executing big ideas in Florida.

Also Ranked

#29 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#7 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#5 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#6 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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Rick Santorum is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016
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Rick Santorum


Ended campaign on February 3, 2016

Current position:
Former Senator from Pennsylvania

Political Positions:
A socially conservative Republican, Santorum has been referred to as a "right-wing extremist" for his views on gay marriage, abortion, privacy, public assistance, and other controversial issues. He is firmly pro-life, against gay marriage, and has been an outspoken critic of Obamacare.

Announcement:
After a failed bid in 2012, Santorum announced that he would once again be running for President. He said in a speech, "As middle America is hollowing out, we can't sit idly by as big government politicians make it harder for our workers and then turn around and blame them for losing jobs overseas. American families don't need another president tied to big government or big money."

Also Ranked

#31 on The Most Trustworthy Politicians

#16 on The Best 2016 Presidential Candidates

#26 on Republicans Who Are the Best at Reaching Across the Aisle

#10 on The Most Likable 2016 US Presidential Candidates

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