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2016 Race Has Changed In Every Way But One: Hillary's Still On Top

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 19/10/2015 Lauren Weber

Who can remember January? Not us. So we did a deep dive and discovered two amazing facts about the 2016 presidential race, which has reached the halfway point in the nominating season. 

One: Hillary Clinton is the queen of conventional wisdom. She led our first ranking; she leads now. Two: There was a point in human history when we didn't have to listen to Donald Trump.

Hillary aside, changes in the ranking are amusingly vast. Remember Wisconsin's Scott Walker, shrewd GOP insider bet? Pfft. Formerly high-ranking libertarian ankle-biter Rand Paul? On life support. The Donald? Not on that first list. Ditto Carly Fiorina. Dr. Ben Carson? An anemic 18th back in January. Bernie "Saturday Night Fever" Sanders? An obscure 15th. But FTL was ALL OVER the powerful, looming candidacies of Elizabeth Warren, Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney.

(Here is where we remind you that FTL does not encapsulate The Huffington Post’s own extensive reporting. Rather, it is our sense of the view of the political/media pundit/industrial matrix, from which we lamely attempt to distance ourselves by deploying snark.)  



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RANKCANDIDATERISING OR FALLING
1

HILLARY CLINTON

The ultimate insider in an outsiders' race still maintains her top perch. As the Talking Heads would say -- same as it ever was.

No Change
2

DONALD TRUMP

He went from 0 to HUUUUUGE.

N/A
3

BERNIE SANDERS

Emerges from DeLorean to take No. 3 spot.

▴12
4

BEN CARSON

Doctor shows that gaffes are good for you.

▴14
5

JOE BIDEN

Confusing himself and the world since 1973.

▴5
6

MARCO RUBIO

Sweaty, true, but this fresh face is showing some stamina.

▴3
7

JEB BUSH

No shock, no awe, none of Dad's big mo'.

▾5
8

TED CRUZ

If the "real outsiders" collapse, he might do.

▴6
9

CARLY FIORINA

We still don't believe it.

N/A
10

MARTIN O'MALLEY

Buzzfeed declares him a hunk. We bump him up ten slots, as who are we to argue?

▴10
11

JOHN KASICH

We were geniuses for having him in this slot to begin with.

No Change
12

MIKE HUCKABEE

No guns, no grits = no gravy.

▴1
13

RAND PAUL

He's the biggest loser on this chart.

▾10
14

CHRIS CHRISTIE

When we originally drew up this list, we forgot him.

▾6
15

LINDSEY GRAHAM

You threatened to punch Trump, better do it now.

N/A
16

BOBBY JINDAL

Only fell two spots, but he was below sea level to begin with.

▾2
17

RICK SANTORUM

We can't believe we're still talking about him.

▴5
18

JIM WEBB

Growth of Chinese Navy not top of mind in the campaign, but you're right, Jim Webb.

19

GEORGE PATAKI

Ranking this far down is difficult.

N/A
20 (TIE)

LINCOLN CHAFEE

No scandal, no interest.

N/A
20 (TIE)

JIM GILMORE

Not happy.

N/A

(As a note, N/A means these folks didn't make it the first time around. Oh how the race has changed!)  

And for reference, our last go-round from January 15, 2015.  

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RANKCANDIDATERISING OR FALLING
1

HILLARY CLINTON

Hillary machine idles with nothing to do, but somehow minor foes are getting leaked on

2

JEB BUSH

Today's Mr. Sensible ran as wingnut in '94. Oops. And annoying Mitt won't quit.

3

RAND PAUL

Media can’t help but hang on his every word because he could easily hang himself.

4

SCOTT WALKER

Union-busting governor in birthplace of progressivism: a perfect theme for the '50s.

5

PAUL RYAN

Might have won in 2012 if they used “dynamic scoring” to count votes.

6

ELIZABETH WARREN

It’s been weeks since she denied she was running. ... What is she hiding?

7

MITT ROMNEY

He 100 percent wants to be president, but only 47 percent wants to run.

8

CHRIS CHRISTIE

Mitt claimed kinship with NASCAR owners; bro-hugging N.J. governor does him one better.

9

MARCO RUBIO

Holding first fundraiser at Manhattan restaurant; Yelp says oysters are subpar.

10

JOE BIDEN

Grandfathered into the top 10. Joe knew his way around a selfie long before the smart phone.

11

JOHN KASICH

Speaks blue collar, raised Catholic and from Ohio. Pre-tea party, that was enough.

12

BOBBY JINDAL

Enough with the Ivy League position papers, give us some “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.”

13

MIKE HUCKABEE

Enough with the “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” give us some position papers.

14

TED CRUZ

We know you’re trolling us, but we can monetize that.

15

BERNIE SANDERS

Unlikely to get Democratic nomination, but shoo-in for a Ben and Jerry’s flavor.

16

JIM WEBB

Hard-to-pigeonhole longshot, but reportedly got the attention of the Hillary machine.

17

RICK PERRY

New glasses don’t make him look studious, more like Warby Parker spokesmodel.

18

BEN CARSON

Wasted no time meeting at least one campaign requirement: a plagiarism apology.

19

ANDREW CUOMO

Can count on one softball CNN interview.

20 (TIE)

RICK SANTORUM

We still have our ‘12 sweater vest, but has he lost the ‘16 evangelical play-in game to Huck?

20 (TIE)

MARTIN O'MALLEY

Relentless dinner-circuit travel and self-promotion save him from list below.

EVEN MORE OBSCURE CANDIDATES: Cory Booker, Jerry Brown, Steve Bullock, Julian Castro, Mitch Daniels, Rahm Emanuel, Russ Feingold, Carly Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, Lindsey Graham, Luis Gutiérrez, Nikki Haley, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin, Jack Markell, Susana Martinez, Jay Nixon, George Pataki, Deval Patrick, Mike Pence, Rob Portman, Ed Rendell, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Joe Scarborough, Brian Schweitzer, Donald Trump and Mark WarnerPhotos: Getty, Associated Press

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