Here are the declared 2016 Republican presidential candidates, in the order they declared: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Dr. Ben Carson, HP executive Carly Fiorina, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee.
We’re expecting announcements from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, and… the man who is probably the current front-runner, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Oh, and probably John Kasich of Ohio, maybe mogul Donald Trump, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton jump in, too.
Six in, two almost in, five almost certainly coming in, and four probably or possibly in. If everybody in the above list jumps in, we have eleven more announcements to go!
The straw poll in Iowa is held August 8 in Boone this cycle. Of course, the votes at the straw poll don’t count for anything. The first debate will be in August as well. (Hope the stage is big enough for 17 candidates! Maybe they’ll have a play-in round, like with the NCAA Tournament.)
There’s a bit more than twelve weeks until the straw poll. If they spaced it out, every candidate could get their own week the way Cruz, Rubio, and Paul did; Cruz and Rubio in particular had nice little polling bumps from their introductory weeks. Of course, some weeks are probably not so great for getting the public’s attention: Memorial Day, the week of Fourth of July, etc. (Attention, candidates: The National Review cruise runs from July 18 to 25, so if you announce that week, you probably should do it from Alaska.)
But the candidates are unlikely to be so cooperative with each other; you’ll probably see candidates sharing weeks the way Carson, Fiorina, and Huckabee shared last week. Some of the bigger names may even deliberately attempt to step on the announcements of the lesser names.
And while the second week of May probably seems awfully early in the cycle, one has to wonder… how early does it get late in this cycle?