US election 2016: Meet the candidates

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The field of candidates having a White House run in 2016 is a wide one, although it's narrowing by the weeks. Here is a rundown of who is, was and might be.


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Donald Trump

  • outspoken billionaire business mogul
  • estimated net worth of nearly $9bn
  • leads the polls nationally and wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina
  • a string of controversies include calling on a Muslim ban to US
  • accused Mexican immigrants of being criminals and rapists
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Ted Cruz

  • Texas senator and conservative firebrand
  • gave up Canadian dual citizenship in 2014
  • shot to fame in 2014 by speaking in Senate for 21 hours against Obama healthcare law
  • won in Iowa, where he has huge evangelical support
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John Kasich

  • currently two-term governor of Ohio
  • former member of the House of Representatives
  • record of fiscal conservatism and experience with national security
  • focus on Christian faith for policy-making
media captionUS Senator Marco Rubio: America "is divided on many political issues"

Marco Rubio - DROPPED OUT

  • Florida senator since 2011
  • born in Miami to Cuban immigrants
  • his part in a bipartisan immigration reform package has cost him some right-wing support
  • conservative on fiscal and social issues
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Ben Carson - DROPPED OUT

  • author and neurosurgeon
  • became a popular conservative figure after National Prayer Breakfast speech in 2013
  • has likened Obamacare to slavery and doesn't believe in evolution
  • spent a few weeks atop the polls with Trump but since faded
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  • brother to one ex-president, son of another
  • was Florida governor for eight years
  • has large war chest with Wall Street backing
  • criticised for a lacklustre campaign but more feisty in recent weeks
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Carly Fiorina - DROPPED OUT

  • former boss of Hewlett Packard and executive at AT&T
  • was on cover of Fortune's Most Powerful Women issue in 1998
  • says she's running because federal government needs fixing
  • enjoyed some stand-out debate moments but only has single-digit support
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Chris Christie - DROPPED OUT

  • lawyer from Newark, New Jersey
  • was a US federal attorney, now New Jersey governor
  • moderate Republican with an abrasive edge
  • unafraid of reaching across aisle in interests of New Jersey
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Scott Walker - DROPPED OUT

  • governor of Wisconsin
  • battled unions over bargaining rights and survived recall election
  • has qualities that appeal to both Republican establishment and Tea Party
  • scores well in Iowa and is considered by many as dark horse
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Lindsey Graham - DROPPED OUT

  • has extensive foreign policy experience, chairing several Senate subcommittees related to security
  • spent 30 years in the Air Force Reserve
  • advocate for Second Amendment rights
  • calls President Barack Obama's foreign policy tactics "a failure"
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Mike Huckabee - DROPPED OUT

  • former governor of Arkansas
  • ordained Southern Baptist minister and social conservative
  • unsuccessfully ran for nomination in 2008, but won Iowa caucus
  • raised eyebrows recently when he labelled Beyonce's music as "mental poison"
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Bobby Jindal - DROPPED OUT

  • governor of Louisiana
  • recently said Rand Paul is "unsuited" to be commander in chief
  • says he is tough on terrorism and "radical Islam"
  • served in George W. Bush's administration in the Department of Health and Human Services
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George Pataki - DROPPED OUT

  • former three-term governor of New York
  • only supporter of abortion rights in Republican field
  • advocate for gay rights
  • compared to New York Republican Rudy Giuliani, who did not do well in last presidential race
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  • an ophthalmologist and Kentucky senator
  • a libertarian and Republican, also son of Ron Paul, who ran for president several times
  • attacked by some in his party as being isolationist on foreign policy
  • has testy relationship with senior party figures like John McCain and Mitch McConnell
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Rick Perry - DROPPED OUT

  • Texas governor from 2000 to 2015
  • supported anti-sodomy laws and gun rights
  • 2012 White House campaign ran aground when he suffered a blank in a TV debate
  • indicted by a grand jury in 2014 on state corruption charges
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Rick Santorum - DROPPED OUT

  • Christian conservative from Pennsylvania
  • second time running for president
  • strong emphasis on traditional families, anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion
  • talked about supporting middle-class working families in announcement speech


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Hillary Clinton

  • former First Lady and Secretary of State
  • has stumbled amid a scandal involving her use of private email
  • lost a bruising primary in 2008 to Obama
  • few experts see her being denied Democratic nomination
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Bernie Sanders

  • independent senator from Vermont, caucuses with the Democrats
  • identifies as democratic socialist, has been in Congress for more than 20 years
  • critic of current campaign finance system, including Citizens United decision
  • polling well in New Hampshire but dominance of national security as an issue does not suit him
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Martin O'Malley - DROPPED OUT

  • former governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore
  • has called for stronger regulation of Wall Street
  • performed well in Democratic debates but failed to make an impression in polls
  • been very critical of "demagogue" Donald Trump
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Lincoln Chafee - DROPPED OUT

  • former senator and governor of Rhode Island
  • was a Republican, then an independent, now Democrat
  • backs same-sex marriage, higher minimum wage and tax increases on the rich
  • was the only Republican senator to vote against Iraq invasion
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  • former Virginia senator and US Secretary of Navy
  • author and war novelist
  • Vietnam veteran
  • campaigned for Senate wearing the boots his son wore in the Iraq war
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  • Vice-President of the United States
  • former long-time senator with foreign policy and infrastructure focus
  • known for off-the-cuff remarks and sometimes over-familiar public presence
  • would be 73 on Election Day 2016