Welcome to the first edition of PoliticalDerby.com’s 2016 Power Rankings, the original tracking service of the race for the White House. The rankings are updated as circumstances warrant and are compiled by our Editors using wire reports, polls, campaign staffer scuttlebutt and confidential tips. The rankings may not be reprinted or quoted in any form without attribution to PoliticalDerby.com.

The GOP Horses
Power Ranking The Horse Momentum The Tip Sheet


Paul Ryan may have topped Marco Rubio (he’s Latino) in the Veep-Stakes, but after a brilliant convention speech, Rubio (he speaks Spanish) is the clear favorite in the early stages of the 2016 GOP race. Republicans know they must appeal to a broader voting base and nominating Rubio (not white) would be a historic step in that direction. The race could be his to lose, something Republicans are quite good at lately.


The Big Man of New Jersey ticked off Team Romney after slow dancing with President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In some eyes, Christie has grown from a darling of the right to just another Northeastern moderate who will get his plate cleaned in a general election. Still, the salty-tongued Christie has many admirers and he’ll rock the boat in 2016.


Ryan did nothing to embarrass himself as Romney’s running mate, unlike the last Republican VP candidate. He remains popular in Tea Party circles as one of the most respected fiscal conservatives on the Hill. But running mates on losing presidential tickets have had little political luck in modern American politics, with only FDR overcoming his loss on the 1920 Democratic ticket to later win the White House. If the boyish congressman thinks the field will hand it to him in 2016, then he should stick to running sub 3-hour marathons. 

Jindal is a dream candidate for the Republican Party. He’s a brilliant conservative Southern governor with a jambalaya-sized knowledge of today’s pressing policy issues. But when the party needs snap, crackle and pop, Jindal’s personality is more Shredded Wheat. So while he might be perfect on paper, voters don’t select resumes. They select people.
Those who mistake Rand for Ron are not paying attention. Rand is smoother, more game to compromise and more a team player than his father ever was. Can Rand take the next step in the evolution of the movement his father started? Can he break through the Ron Paul 10% ceiling? Discount the new leader of the Paul brand at your own peril.