A guide to the potential 2016 Democratic presidential field - including Vice President Joe Biden and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley - and a look at what they would bring to the race. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is the only official candidate to date, but Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders told The Associated Press that on Thursday, April 30, he will formally join the race.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton formally began her second presidential campaign on April 12, 2015, saying in an online video announcement, “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion." The video portrayed her in the corner of the middle class and working families, with Clinton saying, “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.” She is the overwhelming favorite in the early Democratic field, polls show. Clinton brings to the race a resume that includes her experience as a U.S. secretary of state and a New York senator – and the possibility, as in 2008, that she could make history as the country’s first woman president. But Clinton, 67, has already been forced into damage control over the revelation in early March that she used a private email account to conduct official business while secretary of state. Above, Clinton on the campaign trail at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa on April 14, 2015.
Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on April 29, 2015 that he will run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Joe Biden is the vice president, and he would probably have the second-highest name recognition in the Democratic field (behind Clinton), but there is little evidence that he is preparing for a third run for the White House. In late February he went to the Granite State to accept an award for public service from the University of New Hampshire School of Law, a trip that followed visits to the early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina. But Biden, 72, appears in no rush to make a decision, which he says he will make "sometime at the end of the summer." In 2008 he dropped out after a poor finish in the Iowa caucuses. Above, Biden speaks to students at the law school in Concord, N.H. on Feb. 25, 2015.
Lincoln Chafee, a former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator, said April 9, 2015, that he had formed an exploratory committee for a Democratic presidential bid. He also became the first possible Democratic candidate to directly criticize Hillary Rodham Clinton, calling her 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq war a “disqualifier.” "I don't think the next president of the United States should have voted in favor of that mistake," Chafee said in an AP interview. "And I don't think the Democratic Party nominee, in particular, should have voted for that mistake." Chafee, 62, has changed from a Republican to an independent to a Democrat. He cast the only Republican vote against the Iraq war, and refused to vote for President George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, before he lost his seat in 2006 and became an independent the following year. Above, the then-governor during an AP interview in his office at the State House in Providence, R.I., on Dec. 11, 2014.
The former Maryland governor may not announce until late May whether he’ll embark on the “colossal undertaking” of running for president, The Washington Post reported. Martin O’Malley has been reaching out to Iowa since 2012, and has visited the state six times since the start of 2014. But he was the first choice of just 1 percent of voters in a recent Iowa Poll. Still, O’Malley says, “The great thing about Iowa and New Hampshire is that people insist on meeting all of the candidates before they make a decision.” A progressive, O’Malley, 52, completed his second term in office in January. He said March 3 that he won't seek an open Senate seat in Maryland. Above, O'Malley speaks to local residents during a fundraiser for Rep. Scott Ourth April 9, 2015, in Indianola, Iowa.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren keeps saying she’s not running for president – but that’s not stopping some Democrats from holding out hope that she’ll get in the race. Warren, who helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is well-known for taking on Wall Street and the financial industry, would appeal to liberals looking for an alternative to Clinton. MoveOn.org and Democracy for America are trying to convince the 65-year-old Massachusetts senator to join the 2016 field with a draft movement called “Run Warren Run.” But despite her avowals that she’s not making a White House bid, Warren ranked second in a recent national Quinnipiac University Poll sizing up support among possible Democratic candidates. Clinton had the support of 56 percent of Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters around the country in the poll released March 5, 2015 – giving her a wide lead. Warren was next, with 14 percent, followed by Biden with 10 percent and Sanders with 4 percent. Above, Warren speaks in Louisville, Ky. on Oct. 28, 2014.
The former Democratic senator from Virginia says he would want to get into the presidential race “under the right circumstances,” explaining on C-SPAN in mid-February that he’d move forward if a campaign were “viable” and if he had funding to make it into debates. Jim Webb, 69, was cagey about his timeline, saying, "I will know it when I see it." He was the first possible candidate from either major party to launch a presidential exploratory committee in November, presenting himself as an outsider. "In politics, nobody owns me, and I don't owe anybody anything, except for the promise that I will work for the well-being of all Americans, especially those who otherwise would have no voice in the corridors of power,” he said. A Vietnam War veteran, Webb’s bipartisan bona fides include serving as Navy secretary under a Republican president, Ronald Reagan. Like O’Malley and Sanders, he is considered a long shot against Clinton. Above, he speaks at AP Day at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. on Dec. 3, 2014.