With one year to go, the presidential race is heating up. It’s time to tune in, because Iowans caucus in just 12 weeks and New Hampshire votes a week later.
Theme: Says he can fix Washington.
Assets: He still has a bigger stash of cash than his opponents.
Challenges: After underperforming for months, he needs a comeback.
Prospects: The GOP establishment backs him, but its clout is waning.
Themes: Not a politician, harsh critic of President Obama’s health care law.
Assets: Ample outsider appeal — and he’s not Donald Trump.
Challenges: Focus on his veracity and quirky views hurts; has no detailed policy proposals.
Prospects: Barring big wins early, broad backing could be elusive.
Themes: Willing to speak the hard truths, has won in New Jersey, a Democratic state.
Assets: Has charisma and is nimble in give and take with voters.
Challenges: Has little in common with Christian conservatives who are key in early voting.
Prospects: He’s betting on New Hampshire, which he must win.
Themes: The most conservative conservative, with a batch of bold ideas.
Assets: Rhetorical skills, uncompromising stances in a party that’s shifting right.
Challenges: Unclear how he can stand out in a conservative crowd.
Prospects: Could be outdone by rivals with more cash, crossover support from moderates.
Themes: Only woman in the GOP race, says she’s Clinton’s “worst nightmare.”
Assets: Poise, spunk, executive background.
Challenges: Hard to imagine the party nominating someone who’s never held office.
Prospects: Sometimes campaigns are a launching pad for other professional pursuits.
Themes: Defeating terrorism, improving the economy.
Assets: With a largely invisible campaign, it’s hard to assess.
Challenges: Out of politics since 2002, has raised little money.
Prospects: Let’s be honest. He doesn’t have much of a chance.
Themes: Foreign-policy hawk, says he’s ready to be commander in chief.
Assets: Likable personality, self-deprecating humor.
Challenges: Unclear how he can build a wide base of support.
Prospects: Must win in homestate S.C. primary
Themes: He’d be a leader with “moral clarity,” has a tax-cutting legacy.
Assets: Support from Christian conservatives who gave him Iowa in 2008 could still be intact.
Challenges: He’s not the only candidate who appeals to that bloc.
Prospects: If he can survive until March 1, he could fare well in Southern primaries.
Themes: Says he would shrink the government and grow the economy.
Assets: Appeals to part of the base with opposition to same-sex marriage, support for religious freedoms.
Challenges: Hasn’t pulled himself out of lower-tier debate group, limiting his national exposure.
Prospects: He’s only 44, so this campaign could position him to compete in the next one.
Theme: Has proven record of balancing budgets in Washington, D.C., and in Columbus.
Assets: Attracted blue-collar votes and won twice in Ohio, a crucial swing state.
Challenges: Seems like the adult in the room at debates, but that hasn’t boosted his standing.
Prospects: Bush’s slippage might create an opening for him.
Themes: He’s the only supporter of abortion rights and gay rights in the GOP field.
Assets: His record as New York governor was solid.
Challenges: This really isn’t the right year for a socially moderate Republican.
Prospects: Candidacy is a capper — he’s 70 — to a distinguished career.
Theme: Both parties share the blame for the country’s problems.
Assets: He’s the favorite of Tea Party members and libertarians.
Challenges: Hasn’t managed to spark buzz around his campaign.
Prospects: His unusual ideology could attract a diverse coalition, but it hasn’t so far.
Themes: Youth (he’s 44), energy and diversity.
Assets: A compelling personal story, appeal that could unite the party’s unruly factions.
Challenges: Scrutiny is increasing as he moves up in the polls; his Senate attendance is an issue already.
Prospects: He’s gaining momentum at the right time as his rivals’ appeal starts to fade.
Theme: Helping working Americans through conservative policies.
Assets: Iowa loves him; he won the 2012 caucuses.
Challenges: Needs to distinguish himself in the crowded field.
Prospects: A return to his commentary and advocacy background? Another run?
Theme: Making America great again.
Assets: Star power, bluntness and deep pockets.
Challenges: Hasn’t shown a sophisticated understanding of key issues — or much interest in them.
Prospects: Recent polls show that voters might be tiring of his swagger.
Themes: Competence, experience, Obama 3.0.
Assets: Support of the party’s establishment.
Challenges: Excitement deficit despite her chance to make history as the first woman president.
Prospects: Here’s the real question : Can anybody stop her?
Themes: Fresh leadership and progressive values.
Assets: Youth (he’s 52) and vitality.
Challenges: He hasn’t generated much excitement and isn’t ahead anywhere.
Prospects: Barring major collapses by his rivals, he might be positioning himself for VP slot.
Theme: Antipathy toward billionaire capitalists.
Assets: Enthusiam among voters who want a liberal option, fires up youths who might otherwise not vote.
Challenges: Viability could fade without strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Prospects: Will Democrats really nominate a self-described democratic socialist?