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2016: Who’s in & Who’s Out?

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When your present sucks, people eagerly look forward to the future. Such is the case already with the 2016 presidential election cycle. I’m already being asked about the candidates, and who’s going to run and who isn’t. Already we have a pretty clear picture of who’s in and who’s out.

Perhaps the most influential entity in Iowa’s first in the nation caucuses is The Family Leader, led by former gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. Since Vander Plaats has been on the right side of the past two caucuses with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, he’s usually one of the first Iowans to know who’s making a run at the White House and who’s just basking in the speculation.

Based on Vander Plaats’ upcoming Leadership Summit roster of speakers, we can expect these candidates to be in for sure come 2016 (in alphabetical order):

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (wanted to come but has a birthday party)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (wants to come but may not be able to make it)

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (both he and his father are speaking)

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (may have scheduling conflict with previous Iowa speaking engagement)

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (wants to come but may not be able to make it)

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum

For those wondering, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was invited but declined.

Obviously if this is what the field actually looks like a year from now, this will be the strongest field of candidates the GOP has had since at least 1980. Maybe ever.

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