As promised, here is a more in depth look at the Presidential race for 2008. I would have got this to you sooner, but, there for awhile, people were entering faster than I could type.
First, a bit of background on how our elections work. We have, basically, a two party system. While other parties or even individuals can run, our laws make it exceedingly difficult for them to get on the ballot in enough states to have a serious chance. Inside the two main parties, Republican and Democrat, they select one candidate to represent that party in the election. This is done by a system of primary elections, where only the registered members of that party can vote. These are done on a state by state basis, and state keep changing their laws trying to be one to hold an early primary. That’s because the first few primaries get lots of attention from the candidates, and lots of money from political ads. Most candidates will drop out after the initial handful of state races if they do poorly. Once selected as the party’s choice, the candidate will choose a Vice Presidential partner and start trying to undo the damage done during the primaries. This damage occurs, usually, because of nasty campaign tactics by other party members and, as only party members can vote, the candidates often have to take more extreme stands to please them. One more thing, Federal law require that to start raising money, a candidate must either actually declare they are running (by filling out some paper work and paying a small fee) or start a committee to “investigate” the possibility of running, called an exploratory committee.
Off we go then:
Semi-Official Candidates (started exploratory committee):
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Keep in mind that more may have entered the race while I was typing this. As to why there are so many, this is an unusual election. Normally, either the setting President or Vice President will run and be the obvious choice for one party. This also, depending on the popularity of that candidate, limits the number of people from the other side of the isle who think they can win. Next year, Bush can’t, by law, run again and Cheney isn’t running, leaving things wide open in both parties. I’ll fill in more about each later.