You’ll never guess how many are real presidential candidates

Cruz Form 2By Bob Eschliman


It’s relatively easy to become a candidate for the highest office in the nation.

Create a candidate committee with your state’s Secretary of State, file a Form 2 with the Federal Election Commission, and you’re officially a candidate for President of the United States. And while U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is the first mainstream candidate to “officially file,” he’s far from the only official 2016 candidate.

A recent review of the FEC’s website found 205 candidates have filed the Form 2 required to register as an official candidate for President of the United States. A few are joke candidacies, or to send a statement. Many others are meant to be vanity campaigns, whereby a person can legitimately say to others at social gatherings, “I’m running for President.”

But, among them, are legitimate candidates, as well.

There are 55 candidates who list themselves as Republicans, 31 as Democrats, and four as Libertarians. Other third-party candidates on the list represent the American (1), American Independent (1), Constitution (2), Green (1), and Reform (1) parties.

Seventy-six of the candidates identified themselves as not belonging to any party whatsoever. Thirty-three candidates did not identify a political affiliation, or simply listed it as “Other.”