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How Many Presidential Candidates Are There?

by on December 4th, 2015

Recently I tried to do a quick search on the Internet to make sure I was remembering all of the 2016 presidential candidates.  I stumbled onto a website that listed an amazing number of people (along with the usual suspects that most of us could name) who were identified as candidates.  Was this for real?  I needed to find something a little more authoritative to be sure.

The Federal Election Commission seemed like a good place to check for an unbiased and official list of candidates.  Under the “Quick Answers” section, I found out what it takes (not too much) to register as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate or the Presidency.  Also at the FEC website, I found their 2016 Candidate Summary, which lists all the people who have registered with the FEC or appear on an official state ballot.  There are well over 1,000 names running for the office of president, although the vast majority have no cash on hand and practically no one would take their candidacy seriously.  Some of the candidate names are suspect (see photo), and it’s easy to see at a glance who the real contenders are.

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There is not a lot of middle ground between the FEC list, which includes so many names, and the coverage of the few candidates who register sufficiently high in polls and receive most of the media attention.   Ballotpedia is a website with up-to-date information on mainstream candidates and which notes the sources of its facts.  The Politics and Elections Portal lists many more candidates, but by no means all; it is interesting to read the short biographies of the lesser-known names.

If you are tired of the same old, same old when it comes to the president race, take a look at some of these other options.

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